Rediscovering the Elegance of Mediterranean Revival ArchitectureAug, 2 2023
The Timelessness of Mediterranean Revival Architecture
The architecture styles that have been inspired by Mediterranean countries have a certain allure that catch my fancy, perhaps more than any other design school. The Mediterranean Revival Architecture, my personal favourite, is a phenomenon in the world of architecture that easily transcends time, defies conventions and stands as an aesthetic symbol that's both intriguing and endearing.
Its captivating charm beckoned me during my visit to Florida, where I fell head over heels for the elegant structures that were scattered around. Buildings with cream-colored exteriors, low-pitched red tile roofs, and lush outdoor spaces which were not only visually appealing but also instigated a tranquil feeling within me.
The Birth and Growth of Mediterranean Revival Architecture
This style of architecture, known as Mediterranean Revival Architecture, first made its presence known in the United States during the roaring 20s. It was initially influenced by the seaside villas of the Mediterranean coasts of Spain and Italy but the style soon embraced elements from diverse sources, thus evolving into an amalgamation of Spanish, Italian, Moroccan and even French influences.
Picture a sprawling Spanish villa with verdant greenery, intricate terracotta tiles, ornate ironworks on the windows, mixed with the extravagance of Italian architecture and you get a taste of the grandeur that Mediterranean Revival Architecture boasts. The style surged in popularity after World War I, when soldiers returning from the fronts brought back a fondness for the romantic aesthetic of the Mediterranean coast.
Characteristics that Define this Architectural Style
If you're hoping to spot a Mediterranean Revival building, there're some key elements to keep your eyes peeled for. These might include terra-cotta or red-tile roofs, arched windows and doors, wrought-iron balconies, towers, courtyards, and the ubiquitous stucco walls. You'll notice that the structures have a somewhat rustic, yet highly sophisticated appeal, with a keen focus on symmetry and balance.
The interiors are typically airy with high ceilings and large windows to let in natural light. The design emphasizes an intimate connection with nature, usually featuring a courtyard or a garden, creating an indoor-outdoor living space.
Becoming a Part of the Mediterranean Revival Family
A few years ago, my wonderful wife Imogen and I made the decision to move our little family of four to a delightful Mediterranean Revival home. While it was love at first sight for us, driving this decision was a deeper appreciation for the thoughtful design behind these types of homes. Thanks to this timeless architectural style, our children, Harris and Elsie, grew up surrounded by designs that have stood the test of time and weather.
Living in our very own Mediterranean Revival home has added an undeniable charm to our everyday life. The style's emphasis on connecting the building with nature has allowed our children to grow up with a deep appreciation for their naturally beautiful surroundings. Not to mention, the timeless beauty of the architecture itself serves as wonderful inspiration for their budding creativity.
Preservation and Conservation of Mediterranean Revival Homes
Preserving the beauty of these structures requires attention to detail and appreciation for the intricacies of the style. If not cared for properly, the unique elements that define Mediterranean Revival homes can degrade or lose their charm.
From maintaining the distinct tiled roofs to preserving the original stucco and ironwork, it takes considerable commitment to keep these aesthetics alive and vibrant. Yet, it's a labor of love for those who are enchanted by this architecture, as it's about preserving not just a house, but a piece of historical beauty.
Mediterranean Revival Architecture Today and Beyond
The influence of this style has not waned in the 21st century. With more individuals now appreciating the charm of traditional aesthetics, Mediterranean Revival Architecture is seeing a resurgence in popularity, especially in warmer climates.
The crux of the matter is that this architectural style has a timeless elegance that embraces the past yet feels fresh and relevant even today. It is flexible, easily adapted to contemporary needs, and rooted in a history that yields character and interest to any home or building. It represents the fusion of various cultures over centuries, reminding us that beauty can indeed be timeless.
Understanding the Spirit of Mediterranean Revival Architecture
Finally, I would say that Mediterranean Revival Architecture isn't just about the visual appeal, it's a lifestyle. It beckons us to slow down and appreciate the finer things in life - a beautiful sunset, an intimate dinner in the courtyard, or a lazy afternoon spent in the shade of your balcony. It celebrates the simple joys of life that often get lost in our relentless pace. I'd dare say living in a Mediterranean Revival home is like owning a slice of paradise in this otherwise chaotic world.
It intrigued me, captivated me, and ultimately became an intrinsic part of my life. It stands as an epitome of how things of the past can be so impactful and influential in our present and can continue to make a lasting impression in our future. Here's to a lifetime of rediscovering and experiencing the elegance of Mediterranean Revival Architecture!
Surrounded by Inspiring Architecture: A Tale from My Real Life
There was an incident that further cemented my love for this architecture style. This took place while I was holidaying in Spain with Imogen before the kiddos, Harris and Elsie, came into our lives.
We were in Seville, meandering through the cobbled streets, when we stumbled upon a stunning Mediterranean Revival structure. Spellbound, we entered the courtyard. The beautiful combination of sunlight filtering through the arches, the play of shadows on the tiled flooring, and the calming sound of a fountain in the centre made us lose track of time. Captivated by this elegance, it was then we visualized our future home to be Mediterranean-inspired. Looking back, it was this beautifully crafted place, where the love for our dream home was born.