Architectural masterpieces – Château architecture transcends a century
According to recent research, Fort Biltmore is eighth among the most popular places among US citizens. What is the reason for that? I think this is the Château style that symbolizes the warmth and prosperity of the Gildered era.
The building was commissioned by successors of the Vanderbilt family. It was built in 1889 and rises over 16,000 square meters. This is the largest private residence in the Americas and is located near Asheville, Northern California.
The architect Richard Morris Hunt referred to the design on the French Châteaus in the Loire area. There are mainly lots of local aristocrats built in the 17th and 18th centuries.
Typical of these buildings is the mixing of Italian and French Renaissance elements. Hunt has brought his own interpretation, which included many traditional elements. The result: a fantastic and gorgeous masterpiece.
The Château style came to America in the 1880s. At that time many houses were built in this, mostly in the northwest. Rarely have examples been found in other regions of America. Further examples can be found in the middle of the 20th century. These show a peculiar mix of extravagance and modesty.
Let us now carefully examine the facade from left to right. You will recognize the elements that define the style. The building has a heavy masonry construction on the outside. The facade was clad in stones and completed with a steep hipped roof.
A mix of Italian and French Renaissance elements
The parapet-like roof hoods break the lines of the eaves and underpin the attic. Massive and detailed chimneys rise high above the building, adding even more importance to the roof ridges.
An elaborate arc determines the line of lower positioned windows and arcades. The constellation and the rising elements on the windows determine the exact position of the stairs. Gothic-style tracery decorates the windows and door openings on the ground floor. Towers and gables visually extend the building upwards.
Do we want to return to earth again? Are you ready for a visit from another French fort? This time it’s about a little gem near San Francisco. This is about a wonderful interplay of heights and ornaments. This creates a unique building. When compared with Biltmore you can see the same source of inspiration and some differences.
Family house in San Francisco
Most originals from around 1800 are asymmetrical. But some architects achieved the restoration of Renaissance-style balance. This has been achieved at the main part of the house from this picture.
The Château style is a forerunner of French eclecticism. One can recognize this by the characterisika from Biltmore and the reference to the Renaissance. Within this beautiful façade, all the elements are in perfect harmony with each other. Look closely at the arched windows of the flanking elevations. Furthermore, you can see here classical Romanesque columns within the centrally located entrance. Also traditionally are the pilasters, which are located around a core rotating composition and gables with stone tracery. These are other striking elements of this construction.
There are two types of roof windows and gables on the building. These reach to the top of the construction and provide the typical feeling that you associate with a fort.
The result is a fantastic and ravishing masterpiece
In the next picture we see a less formal house. But even here you can see the ideal balance. This new house has a steep hipped roof, detailed chimneys and richly decorated elements. Modern is the elaboration of the style elements made of wood. The stone is reserved for the façade view.
The Château style is a forerunner of French eclecticism
One can clearly define the style of this house as French eclecticism. But there is a strong connection to the Château style through the chimneys and gables. The waistline and the broken eaves reinforce this impression. The brick facade is again an element that can be found in many periods of style history.
This playful composition was clearly inspired by the Château style. The symmetrical façade combines many elements that are usually found in more upscale styles.
The next example is also very formal. Striking is the central, symmetrical elevation. This is flanked by extensions on the two sides. Small and detailed roof windows can also be seen in the picture. Above the gate you have corresponding openings of light. Here you can see two larger and equally detailed windows. Two smaller openings for ventilation can be seen on the side.
Wonderful interplay of heights, ornaments and light
Do you notice that the vertical orientation is particularly characteristic of the style? This can be seen very clearly in the following example. The individual details also contribute a great deal to this, such as gables, detailed openings for ventilation and light, belt lines, tracery windows, wrought-iron railings.
Here you can see the typical renaissance balance
Now consider the symmetrical and asymmetrical parts of this beautiful house. The main component is ideally balanced. An essential role for the building, however, play the car door and the left attachment.
Symmetry and asymmetry
Do you notice the raised position of the two side inputs? Asymmetrical large and small windows rhyme with the other elements.
Playful windows and doorways
Adding to the previous examples, this building immediately recognizes the flexibility of Château-style architecture. Beautiful windows make an elegant connection to the outer private spaces. This is a special achievement rarely found in other traditional styles.
A contemporary and architectural masterpiece inspired by the Renaissance
At first glance, the classically detailed facade appears symmetrical. But from the near view one recognizes the complexity. One sees a close interruption to the left side of the entrance. Such features make the appearance all the more attractive. Do you notice that the roof over the entrance turns out steeper?
A rough and simple stone facade
This grand house refers directly to Biltmore. This is due to its elongated façade and varied details. You can see two types of clerestory windows in the roof and at the waistline. The entrance was placed in a small insert with a detailed environment.
A great house worthy of the royal family
In the cities of Northeastern and Midwestern America, many examples from the Biltmore tradition have survived long dynamic periods of time. Even the restrained building below can be recognized by the fine classic details and the vertical orientation.
Another example of modern interpretations of classical music
In the next example, the Château style comes into its own thanks to the rough-clad stone and the relaxed asymmetrical composition. Even the entrance inscribes itself in this line.
The well-kept garden is also part of the beautiful architecture
What do you think about the modern interpretations of classical music? In my opinion, history repeats everything on a new level, and so does architecture. The examples here show just that.