Greek Revival Architecture: The Perfect Blend of History and ArtSep, 26 2023
The Intrigue of Greek Revival Architecture
Isn't it amazing how architecture can tell stories? Specifically, Greek Revival Architecture, with its tall columns, symmetrical shapes, and classic motifs, is a language all on its own - a historical narrative etched in stone. I often find myself looking at a Greek Revival building, and suddenly I've travelled back in time - lost in the majesty of ancient Athens. Truly, it's the perfect blend of history and art, speaking volumes about the period in which it was popularised.
My hubby, Howard, always jokes that my fascination with architecture might be just an excuse to travel and see more of the world. Well, maybe he's onto something there. After all, appreciating stunning architecture is just one of the perks of being an adventurer at heart!
Unravelling The Roots of Greek Revival
Not many people realise that the rise of Greek Revival Architecture was as much about politics as it was about aesthetics. In the 18th century, Greece was under Ottoman rule, and their plight attracted a lot of sympathy from scholars and intellectuals. The Greek struggle for independence became a popular cause, and this was reflected in the architecture of the time.
I remember reading this fact in a library and sharing it with my little son, Sebastian. He was so intrigued that he asked me to sow more seeds of this incredible knowledge into his young mind. Oh, to be a sponge for information like that again!
Understanding The Hallmarks of Greek Revival
Greek Revival Architecture is distinct and easily recognisable if you know what to look for. The most prominent feature would be the Greek orders - Doric, Ionic, and Corinthian. Doric being the plainest and oldest, Ionic a bit more decorative with curled scrolls at each side, and Corinthian easily recognised by the elaborate leaves and small scrolls. And of course, the iconic triangular pediment. Who could forget that?
In fact, I remember a hilarious incident many years ago when my daughter, Matilda, made a building with a triangular pediment out of her Lego blocks. She was so excited to show it off, proclaiming she had designed a "Greek survival" house! Believe me, it's hard to correct your child when you're trying not to laugh!
How Greek Revival Manifests in Modern Architecture
Now, you might think that Greek Revival is a relic of the past due to its deep historical roots, but that's where you'd be wrong. The form is very much alive and present in modern architecture. In fact, you'd be surprised at where you might see its influences, like in bank buildings, courthouses, or even churches!
MySQL -->Related Story Alert-->Howard once asked me why such buildings tended to adopt Greek Revival style, and it got me thinking. Perhaps it's because the grandeur and gravitas of the style imply stability, authority, and longevity - qualities most institutions want to project.
Building Your Own Greek Revival Home: Yes, It's Possible!
Are you inspired yet? If you're thinking, "Boy, I'd love to live in a house like that," well, guess what? You can! Designing and building your own Greek Revival home is no longer a far-fetched dream. However, do bear in mind that whilst the build may be modern, maintaining the aesthetics of the period is crucial.
Say, for instance, you decide to stylishly ignore my advice and include a floor to ceiling glass wall in your Greek Revival home. Darling, all you've succeeded in doing is transforming your beautiful Grecian abode into something that looks like a misplaced modern art project. I'm all for personal tastes, but hey, some things just don't mix!
Go Take a Stroll Down History Lane
Honestly, you don't need to build a Greek Revival home to appreciate its majesty. Living in Australia, we've got numerous such structures around - all you've got to do is take a walk. Howard and I once took a lovely stroll around a Greek Revival mansion here in Melbourne. The grandeur is something that photographs just can't capture - it's even better in person, trust me.
So there you have it, the magic and majesty of Greek Revival Architecture. From its roots to how it has evolved, it's a testament to how history and art can blend so seamlessly to create a style timeless in its appeal. I’ve lost count of the times I’ve looked at a Greek Revival building and been swept off to ancient Athens. Do yourself a favour and pay more attention to the architecture around you - who knows what wonderful places it will transport you to!