Victorian architecture does not reflect a specific style of architecture, but instead encompasses an entire era in the UK, from 1837 to 1901 – the reign of Queen Victoria. With over 60-years of architecture and design during this period, it would be too simplistic to say there is one set style to call Victorian architecture, but if you are looking for a style that suits that period, or you live in a Victorian-era property that requires refurbishment, it is vital that you work with experienced architects with knowledge of that period and that can offer advice and guidance of the many different overlapping styles that come from that time. From there, you can begin to plan with confidence that your project will hit all the right notes.
There are a few different styles that come under the umbrella of the Victorian era. These include Gothic Revival, Romanesque Revival, Colonial Revival, Folk Victorian and many others. It is an era of architecture that still clearly defines so many towns and parts of cities in the UK and over time it has come to spread to different parts of the world, especially those areas of British colonial interest, such as North America, Australia, New Zealand and others. In the other parts of the world that have taken on Victorian-era architecture and design, there have been necessary changes where building materials and lifestyles differ from the UK quite drastically in some places.
The period of Georgian architecture which preceded the Victorian-era in 1714-1830 is still much easier to define. This can be seen with the areas of cities in the UK that have Georgian architecture at its core, with some Georgian quarters existing in certain towns and cities. This era was full of grand homes with large rooms in three-story properties. Everything was open, grand, opulent, whereas the Victorian era was a time where change to the population was drastic and the architecture and dwellings for the population reflected this. There was now a need to build for the masses, with an increasingly large middle class and families with low-level incomes growing in number due to the continued changes brought on by the industrial revolution.
Although there isn’t one clearly defined style that matches all types of Victorian-era architecture, there are some characteristics that you can look out for, especially when it comes to ornate interior design and the flourishes associated with this. What you see much of the time with architecture from this era is a roof that is pitched steeply, painted brick that is colourful in some cases, large bay windows and plenty of sash and case window frames, two and three-story properties and asymmetry in design. The interior of Victorian-era properties often include luxury staircases, high ceilings and decorative fireplaces, stained glass windows and hardwood flooring that is then covered with rugs for extra layers of luxury and design.
Whether you are looking to refurbish a Victorian-era property to maintain the high standards of design and building material originally used, as part of a heritage of conservation architecture project, or you are looking to recreate certain aspects of the era within a new project, always look to architects with experience of the Victorian-era to help you plan and design in detail.