Melgrand and Architectural Style

Styles are subject to infinite variation, there are no hard and fast rules. However there are similarities and tendencies which allow for identification of buildings under one of several labels.

At Melgrand our understanding of style informs seven broad style designations:

English Georgian and Classical

This is based on the Roman temple front with symmetry in each setting and strict adherence to a modular system of proportion. These rules meant that every element was sized in direct relationship to the module which is the same dimension as the diameter of the principal columns, normally those used at the main entrance. The modular system became canonical in the late eighteenth century and the five orders Tuscan Doric Ionic Composite Corinthian all had designated relations between their heights and the respective module. In Australia it was used in the mid-Victorian period and then around the mid war period as neo Georgian. Classical rules flow through to all the other traditional styles with adjustment and variation.

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Late Victorian Boom Baroque

Also a classical style but very often asymmetrical and notable for elaborate, baroque ornamentation, often foliate or vegetative in origin. The Victorian wool boom and the gold rush brought immense wealth to east coast cites, particularly Melbourne. Boom architecture is best seen on either side of Sturt Street, Ballarat, Victoria.

French Villa Style

This is also a classical style with a Gallic twist. Not necessarily set up with columns at the front entrance, very often with a broken front and quoins at the main façade corners. A notable effect with the French Villa is a roof line with a noticeable kick at the eaves, and the lucarne or dormer set into the roof above the gutter. This style is seen in almost every street in Toorak and South Yarra. It is elegant and urban. Melgrand has all the parts to make this style work well.

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Arts and Crafts, Federation

At the end of the Gothic Revival period and replacement style valuing honesty in materials and handcrafted components, borrowing ideas and forms from the Arts and Crafts and Art Noveau movements. It is distinctive and surprisingly difficult to reproduce effectively in this present era. However Melgrand can help if you have a predilection for an Arts and Crafts scheme.

Art Deco

A development of Arts and Crafts more severe and geometric, Art Deco reached its height in the 1930s, best seen in the popular TV series Poirot where sleek ‘modern’ schemes seem to be the ideal background for ingenious murder plots. Also called the ‘P and O’ style after the luxury shipping line with its streamlined cruisers. A great style to merge modern simplicity and classical proportion.

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Modern and Post Modern

The Modern Movement rejected the notion of style and was initially directed to functionalism and convenience. Such ideas as appearance, proportion and surface ornamentation were considered unimportant: houses were thought to be ‘machines for living’. At its best it is clean functional and economical, however many people find it impersonal and cold as a background for family life. At Melgrand we believe the fundamental Modernist rule of no ornamentation was made to be broken. The Post Modern movement allows for limited ornamentation and human touches so this is the way to add meaning and personal touches to the Modern template.