sdaarchi SDA Architect What is Victorian Houses? | SDA Architect

What is Victorian Houses?

Victorian house generally refers to all the styles developed during the rule of Queen Victoria, which is about the time of 1837 to 1901. It is befitting the image of a doll house m which is highly ornamented with elaborate trims and brightly colored. The industrialization during this time brought about many innovations, which affected the house architecture. The architectural styles of Victorian house architecture are:.

Victorian styles include:

  • Gothic Revival,
  • Italianate,
  • Second Empire,
  • Queen Anne,
  • Stick, Shingle, and
  • Richardson-ian Romanesque.
potrait of Queen Victoria

Queen Victoria

History of development of Victorian House Architecture Character

With the advent of the railways and industrial manufacturing innovations, the locally produced building materials became readily available all over the country, such as bricks. Brick were produced in mass and they were cheaper. Brick required less preparation and maintenance when used in buildings. New houses, new chapels, cute English cottages, new barns and sprawling factories were being built using the new technology- bricks, irrespective of region. Before this period, all houses in the local area being built using the same building materials which were available locally.

b) Garage
Victorian house built without garage as it was a time when people did not have cars. The fire place was the only way to keep warm. Chimneys were built in often in every room. In comparison to today houses, are kept warm using a central heating system to do the same.

c)Bay windows
Typical Characteristics of Victorian houses are bay windows (they stick out), iron railings, Flemish brick bonding, patterns in the brickwork made from colored bricks, stained glass in doorways and windows, roofs made of slate, no garage and sash windows (they open by sliding the window up). Victorian house plans featured elaborate detail inside and out, with asymmetrical, free-form and rambling floor plans.

In Victorian times, population growth, and the Industrial Revolution which saw a migration of workers from the countryside to the cities caused in successive housing booms in the 1850s and 1870s that saw the creation of millions of houses. These cater not only for the rich and the new “middling-classes”, also for the poor. Many people in Victorian times lived in homes without any of the modern comforts we take for granted today. People had to manage without central heating, hot water from the tap, vacuum cleaners or washing machines, looking after the home was very hard work.

For poor house in Victorian times, poor people were living in terrible overcrowding run-down houses, often with the whole family in one room. Many people during the Victorian years moved into the cities and towns to find work in the factories. People crowded into already crowded houses. Rooms were rented to a whole family or perhaps several families.

The middle classes and the upper classes were much better. For rich classes, they built larger houses that which had flushing toilets, gas lighting, and inside bathrooms. Wealthy Victorians decorated their homes in the latest styles. There would be heavy curtains, flowery wallpaper, carpets and rugs, ornaments, well-made furniture, paintings and plants. The rooms were heated by open coal fires and lighting was provided by candles and oil or gas lamps. Later in the Victorian period, electricity became more widespread and so electric lights were used. Most rich people had servants and they would live in the same house. They slept on the top floor of the house or in the attic.

Features of the Victorian Houses:

  • Victorian homes are usually large and imposing and are constructed of Two to three stories.
  • The majority of Victorian styles use wood siding, but the Second Empire and Romanesque styles almost always have outer walls made of stone .
  • Unlike the boxy Greek revival style, Victorian homes have wings and bays in many directions with Complicated, asymmetrical shape of the homes/
  • They are conventionally called “gingerbread,” because the Victorian homes are usually decorated with elaborate wood or metal trim.
  • Scalloped shingles, patterned masonry or half-timbering are commonly used to dress up Victorian siding, which were Textured wall surfaces.
  • Steep, multi-faceted roof or Mansard roof.¬†Victorian homes often have steep, imposing roof lines with many gables facing in different directions. The Second Empire Victorian style has a flat-topped Mansard roof with windows in the side to allow for maximum space inside the house.
  • One-story porch.¬†A large, wraparound porch with ornamental spindles and brackets is common, especially in the Queen Anne style.
  • Some high-end Victorian homes are embellished with a round or octagonal tower with a steep, pointed roof.
  • Vibrant colors. Before the Victorian era, most houses were painted all one color, usually white or beige. By 1887, bright earth tones like burnt sienna and mustard yellow were in vogue.
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Prepared by Architect Perumal Nagapushnam
System Design Architect