VO­LU­MI­NOUS VIC­TO­RI­ANS

The Daily Telegraph - Property - - Architectu­re -

Fol­low­ing Re­gency, the Vic­to­ri­ans be­came even more dec­o­ra­tive, heav­ily in­flu­enced by or­nate 16th-cen­tury Ital­ian Re­nais­sance ar­chi­tec­ture. They de­vel­oped in­tri­cate brick­work, de­tailed plas­ter­work, coloured floor tiles and the bay win­dow.

How­ever, it’s the vol­ume of homes that de­fines the era, ar­gues ar­chi­tect Henry Squire. “Be­tween 1835 and 1910, Victoria car­peted Lon­don to the M25 in ter­raced hous­ing,” he says.

The in­dus­trial revo­lu­tion and the rail­way shifted peo­ple from ru­ral farm­ing to city work, and the mass pro­duc­tion of brick meant that the Vic­to­ri­ans were build­ing at tempo.

“They also had a so­cial con­science, de­mol­ish­ing slums and cre­at­ing rows of worker cot­tages,” he says. “They cre­ated high-den­sity streets and proper com­mu­ni­ties.” The Vic­to­rian ter­raced house is also adapt­able, he adds. “They are ex­tended up, down and back to suit mod­ern needs. To cre­ate sus­tain­able cities we need to learn from the Vic­to­ri­ans.”

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