Some buildings are very beautiful, don’t you think? From the tall soaring spires of a church to the tiny romantic country cottage, so much character can be found. We’re very busy on our way through life sometimes and we don’t always take in our surroundings or look up and notice the fabulous architecture around us.
When I studied for my diploma, part of the course was learning about the history of style, decoration and architecture. We looked at everything from the Neolithic era (10,000 – 2000BC) right through to the Contemporary style of the present day. Such an interesting subject as it’s so evident how interior design styles have evolved in a response to changing architectural styles and also historical and cultural trends. A lot of design trends have seen revivals throughout history such as the columns of Ancient Greece in Georgian architecture, the Egyptian designs in Art Deco buildings and Gothic influences in the Victorian period.
For our assignment we chose 5 buildings from different style eras and looked at the characteristic features and historical influences. I chose buildings from different countries too to make each one more diverse from the other.
I loved researching my choices and finding out a little more about the ‘story’ behind the building. These were the buildings that inspired me:
SENATE HOUSE, London. Built between 1932 and 1937 in the Art Deco style, it houses the University of London. However, during WWII it was used as the headquarters of the Ministry of Information. Urban legend has it that Hitler earmarked Senate House as his headquarters had he successfully won the War.
THE REAL ALCAZAR, Seville, Spain. A Palace designed by the Moorish Kings, commissioned by King Pedro in 1364. It’s a beautiful fortified building which is still used as a Royal Palace and is today a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
CARPENTER’S HALL, Philadelphia, Pensylvania, USA. Built in the Georgian style between 1770-1774, Carpenter’s Hall is a meeting house and the first Continental Congress was held there in 1774.
MANCHESTER TOWN HALL, Manchester, England. A municipal building built between 1868 and 1877 in the Victorian, Gothic revival style of the era. As the City grew in wealth and size a new administration building was required. It is now Grade I listed.
FLINDERS STREET STATION, Melbourne, Australia. Built in 1910 in the renaissance style, this was the first railway station in an Australian city and was the world’s busiest passenger station in the late 1920s. Interesting fact: the station originally housed a library and a ballroom.