Running head is Architecture News
Victorian Architecture: A primer
What exactly is a Victorian? Many people use the term to describe an architectural style. However, Victorian is not really a style but a period in history. The Victorian era dates from about 1840 to 1900. During this time, industrialization brought many innovations in architecture. There are a variety of Victorian styles, each with its own distinctive features.
The most popular Victorian styles spread quickly through widely published pattern books. Builders often borrowed characteristics from several different styles, creating unique, and sometimes quirky, mixes. Buildings constructed during the Victorian times usually have characteristics of one or more these styles:
Gothic Revival Architecture
Victorian Gothic buildings feature arches, pointed windows, and other details borrowed from the middle ages. Masonry Gothic Revival buildings were often close replicas of Medieval cathedrals. Wood-frame Gothic Revival buildings often had lacy "gingerbread" trim and other playful details.
Victorian Italianate Architecture
Rebelling against formal, classical architecture, Italianate became the one of the most popular styles in the United States. With low roofs, wide eaves, and ornamental brackets, Italianate is sometimes called the bracketed style .
Victorian Queen Anne Architecture
Queen Anne is the most elaborate of the Victorian styles. Buildings are ornamented with towers, turrets, wrap around porches, and other fanciful details.
Georgian Architecture: An introduction
The period called Georgian, is very roughly equivalent to the 18th century. Although the reign of George III extended into the 19th century, and George IV did not die until 1830, the style of architecture most commonly associated with the Georgian England are most strongly identifiable in the period 1730-1800.
With all those disclaimers established, what characterized Georgian design? More than any other period of English historic architecture, Georgian style is linked with the classical period of Greece and Rome.
The Georgian period was highly, and at times almost exclusively, influenced by classical architecture. An entire generation of aristocratic youth travelled throughout Europe on the "Grand Tour", which was supposed to put a polish on their education. These Grand Tours exposed the most influential class in Britain to the classical traditions of style and architecture. These young men (only very occasionally did women undertake a Grand Tour), came home to Britain fired by an enthusiasm for classical architecture and design.
During the 18th century wealth was accumulating in the hands of fewer and fewer people. Basically, the rich were getting richer, and they put money into their homes. Wealthy landowners enclosed vast tracts of land to create huge landscaped parks, and those parks acted as a setting for grand houses we call "country houses".
These country house estates were dotted with copies of classical temples and other allegorical architectural elements such as grottoes, bridges, and that group of oddments we call "follies". These elements were aligned and joined by sinuous avenues or subtle openings in areas of carefully planted trees and shrubs. The houses which dominated these parks carried on the classical philosophy.
Baroque vs. Classicism
At the beginning of the century, the Baroque movement produced architecture which employed classical elements in a willy-nilly free-for-all profusion. The opulent cascades of ornamental elements of Baroque gave way in the Georgian period to careful, and in some cases rigid, adherence to a sense of classical proportion. If Baroque is "over-the-top", Georgian classicism is understated elegance.
Georgian classicism was most heavily influence by Palladianism, a philosophy of design based on the writings and work of Andreas Palladio, an Italian architect of the 16th century who tried to recreate the style and proportions of the buildings of ancient Rome. What characterizes Palladian architecture? In a nutshell, grace, understated decorative elements, and use of classical "orders".
Today's terrace house is playing it smart
The modern terrace is a far cry from drab Coronation Street. Now they’re all colour, balconies and carports
They’ve been derided for years. We demolish them with barely the bat of an eyelid, or sell them for 50p a pop when times are tough. They’re so ubiquitous, I bet that if you looked around right now you’d spy one.
They’ve been the constant butt of jokes, the spiritual home of the pigeon-keeping, cloth-capped worker with flying ducks on his wall or the aspirational petit-bourgeoisie who cover theirs with stone cladding. But now the traditional terraced house is back, big time. In fact, some experts think these under-rated national treasures are poised to come to our nation’s rescue in our time of housing need — although not in the shape we’re used to. The all-new improved terrace is no two-up, two-down. It’s coloured bright acid yellow, or checked like a Pringle sweater. It might have a living room on the top floor and a roof garden above. It might be the home of rich or poor. And there’s definitely no outdoor loo.
Wolverhampton's parks are located around the city. In fact, within 30 minutes of walking from any point within the city limits, you could well find yourself at one of the city's green, open spaces, or one of our fine parks.
Recently, two of our most interesting parks were awarded Green Flag status for the second year running. West Park and Bantock Park were also awarded the prestigious Green Heritage awards for the first time.
St. Peter's Gardens was also awarded a Green Flag Award after being submitted for the first time.
The Green Flag Award scheme was launched in 1996. Any green space that is freely accessible to the public is eligible to enter for a Green Flag Award. Awards are given on an annual basis and winners must apply each year to renew their Green Flag status.
A Green Pennant Award recognises quality sites managed by voluntary and community groups. Green Heritage Site accreditation is judged on the treatment of the site's historic features and the standard of conservation.
John Watkins, head of gardens and landscapes at English Heritage, said:
"Green Heritage Site Accreditation shows that a park's history has been understood and is considered in the way that the park is used by the local community.
Historic open spaces provide a link with the past, a resource for learning, a space for community events, and help to create a sense of pride in our shared heritage.
Receiving Green Heritage Site Status is an excellent way to create community interest in a site's local heritage, to draw attention to the importance of that heritage and to show that it has a long-term future."
Student housing costs up sharply, NUS survey suggests
By Anna Adams, BBC News
The average cost of university accommodation has risen by 22% in the past three years, according to the National Union of Students (NUS).
The survey of 132 university and private sector landlords found the average weekly room cost had risen from £81.18 in 2006-07 to £98.99 in 2009-10.
The NUS blamed the private sector for pushing up prices of accommodation.
But property developer Unite Group said the private sector had invested more than £5bn in new student flats. It said without that there would be a chronic shortage of accommodation.
There are huge regional differences in costs, according to the NUS. Students pay the most in London where the average room costs £151 a week. In Northern Ireland, which is one of the cheapest places to live, it is just £68 a week.
Unite Group chief executive Mark Allan said: "You have to bear in mind that the student population has almost doubled in the last decade. The private sector has injected something like £5bn into building accommodation and that translates to about 130,000 rooms. If those rooms hadn't been built, the shortage of accommodation today would be chronic."
Unless the industry is better regulated, critics like the NUS say students will not be able to afford to live away from home for too much longer.