Some Like It GeorgianPublished on 21st January 2017
From elegant Edwardian’s to ‘concrete carbuncles’, everyone has their own opinion of what makes for architectural perfection, but according to a recent poll conducted by the BBC, it’s the gorgeous Georgian’s which currently come out on top.
Watch any property programme, or speak to any house-hunter, and you can almost guarantee that within five minutes of discussion the words ‘period features’ will come up. However, while the ornate architraves, complex cornicing and bright bay windows of the Victorian era were once the top of the homebuyers pops, they’ve now slipped down to second place, with only 26% of those surveyed favouring the style, while 38% plumped for Georgian design.
It could be that the clean symmetry of Georgian architecture appeals to the fuss-free uncluttered ethos of the modern homebuyer, while the neo-classical styling delivers a grounded sense of permanency and history. The large windows, which lead into well-proportioned, geometrically shaped rooms are also a factor, with light-levels being a topical concern for the more environmentally aware. Although trends come and go, the rise in interest in Georgian features seems to correlate with a wane in the popularity of Edwardian homes – with lower ceilings and smaller windows, only 17% of people now prefer them.
Interestingly, the BBC survey also marked a change in attitudes towards post-war ‘architect-designed’ structures, with 9% of those polled listing the modernist aesthetic as being important to them, and 10% enjoying the large interiors offered by inter-war houses. While mock-Tudor may well still be mocked by industry insiders, the public have no problem accepting the pastiche, and houses inspired by the Arts and Crafts movement offer large dwelling spaces with a distinct nod towards character, albeit via the appropriation of an unoriginal idea.
Although Prince Charles may once have sneered at the ‘monstrous carbuncles’ of post-war concrete, an appreciation of the style is on the up. An epitome of the genus, Erno Goldfinger’s Trellick Tower in west London, amazed property experts when flats within the complex sold for £480,000 – as much as a five bed detached farmhouse in Herefordshire. Contrastingly, the faux-Georgian buildings in the future monarch’s Poundbury village project received a lacklustre response from critics back in 2008 whilst the general public seemed to love the Prince’s plans.
It’s difficult to tell where tastes will go in architecture; at the moment we’re all about light and glass, but in 50 or 100 years time, will an Apropos glass extension be listed as a period feature? We rather hope it might be.
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