NEOCLASSIC HOME

NEOCLASSIC HOME

Neoclassical house Neoclassical, meaning "New Classical," architecture describes builings inspired by the classical architecture of ancient Greece and Rome. While the term Neoclassical is often used to descibe an architectural style, it is not any one distinct style. Neoclassicism is a mode or theory of deisgn that relates to several distinctly different styles. 
 
High neoclassicism was an international movement. Though neoclassical architecture employed the same classical vocabulary as Late Baroque architecture, it tended to emphasize its planar qualities, rather than sculptural volumes. Projections and recessions and their effects of light and shade were more flat; sculptural bas-reliefs were flatter and tended to be enframed in friezes, tablets or panels. Its clearly articulated individual features were isolated rather than interpenetrating, autonomous and complete in themselves.

 




 

Neoclassical house architecture

A Neoclassical house plan reflects the grace and beauty of classical architecture. Neoclassical home plans evoke a sense of grandeur by incorporating traditional elements drawn from Greek and Roman classical architecture. Graceful proportions are the hallmark of Neoclassical architecture, evident in the symmetrical façades and balanced arrays of windows. The central part of a Neoclassical home design is generally two stories and may be flanked by one-story wings. A two-story portico supported by towering columns may frame the entry or stretch across the entire façade.
 
Eclectic touches such as exaggerated broken pediments and dentil molding may adorn the doorways, cornices, and windows. Inside, a Neoclassical floor plan may include formal living and dining areas for entertaining, with comfortable family spaces and modern amenities to the rear of the home.
 

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Neoclassical homes are inspired by the classical architecture of ancient Greece and Rome. These homes are large (usually two or two-and-a-half stories) and often feature a prominent portico supported by large columns, which are often the full height of the facade. Roofs are most often side gabled, with an elegant triangular pediment over the front entrance. Neoclassical elements can be found in antebellum architecture, Greek revival and federal style homes. Popular in America from 1895 to 1950, stately Neoclassical house plans recall the architectural traditions of ancient Greece, Rome, and the Renaissance period.
 
 
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Usually two or two-and-a-half stories, these dignified homes typically feature a symmetrical shape, a simple side-gabled roof, and a prominent portico or full-width porch supported by classical columns. Neoclassical home plans may be faced in brick, stucco, or siding, and usually display elaborate pediments over doors and windows as well as dentil molding and balustrades along the roof lines.
 
Common in prosperous neighborhoods from the east coast to the west and down into the Gulf States, Neoclassical floor plans tend to have a formal air, with living room and dining room in the front and kitchen and family room in the back. Elegant and gracious, elegant Neoclassical home plans are a natural choice for families who feel at home with classic style. The term Neoclassical Design when applied to residential architecture is broad enough to cause much confusion. It is a general term that covers just about any house that is classically inspired or at least has some classical features.
 
 
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Within the United States people have been building such houses ever since the early colonists were able to scrape together enough money to invest in nice homes. Within the context of this article I am going to focus on four style, most of which look a lot alike. These are Palladian, Georgian, Federal (or Adams), and Greek Revival. There are a few others, but these are the major players.
 
 
 

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Exterior of mediterranean style home with various levels, driveway, and manicured lawn.

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These four styles of Neoclassical design were popular in the later colonial period and the first few generations of the Republic. All were resurrected at the end of the Victorian era, as a reaction to the Queen Anne, the dominant house style of the day. This is often referred to as the Colonial Revival style. Colonial Revival design was rarely true to a specific period, but mixed and matched to suit the whim of the architect or the homeowner.
 
All four of these neoclassical styles strove to emulate the architecture of antiquity. This meant they were symmetrical, they used classical proportions, and they were adorned with classical elements like columned porches and arched windows and various decorative touches cast in plaster or carved in wood.