SEPTEMBER 19, 2016FRENCH PROVINCIAL HOMES – IN MELBOURNE
A new style of homes is emerging in Melbourne and its suburbs, but perhaps new is not quite the right word. The style of homes that more often than ever are being built in certain suburbs is commonly described as French Provincial and there is nothing new about French Provincial homes. It is also a bit difficult for an architect to call these homes French, at least if you ask our French Architect here at Architeria, who would pull his hair out when this particular style of homes are described as French Provincial.
The dictionary would come up with synonyms such as non-metropolitan, small-town, non-urban, outlying, rural, country and rustic and the typical locations for the Melburnian French Provincial homes would be quite the opposite. Suburbs like Toorak, Balwyn, Hawthorn and Templestowe are hosting some of Melbourne’s most grand classical homes and this is what many times would tend to be the more accurate synonym to French Provincial, grand, at least here in Melbourne.
The true style of French provincial homes would host a combination of a more relaxed country atmosphere that yet has balanced, symmetrical proportions. The symmetry in a floor plan is important and the formal, stately grandeur would be mimicking the country manors in the French provinces. The typical French provincial homes would have steep hipped roofs and a square, symmetrical shape along with windows that are balanced on each side of the entrance. Further, they would often have tall second-story windows rising above the eaves.
Classical style homes, whether we call them French or Georgian homes are all borrowing elements of the past. The most prominent streets with a price tag to follow have classical homes that all have been inspired by the classical architecture. Some larger acre blocks hold homes of grand scale, palaces with circular driveways and large landscaped gardens, capturing great moments of history.
Classic homes are not a reinvention of the wheel and maybe there is a stamp of the modern era written all over these new developments but then again, can the authenticity in the historic buildings ever be replicated? Can we achieve the same feel when stone is substituted with render and readymade mouldings?
Melbourne is a city that has a remarkable contrast between Victorian architecture and modern skyscrapers. During the early years of the city’s growth, settlers sought to bring influences from the historical European buildings to Melbourne. We see houses that were built in Toorak and South Yarra as well as in many Eastern Suburbs that are influenced by grand mansions of Tudor and Georgian style. As a part of human nature, we have always, perhaps out of nostalgia, wanted to go back in time to revisit history and maybe even bring some of it forward to current time and place. A building that stands the test of time can be just that, a manifestation of who we are or what we want to represent.
In today’s Melbourne with its new migrants and new Asian population, the French Style and Classical homes have been immensely popular and a demand for this type of classical design has been on the rise. Some may argue that this type of residence is an expression of status and perhaps a display of ones position in the society. On the other hand, a carefully designed home with high attention to details can enhance a streetscape and bring some of the reminiscence of the old world back.
As an architectural practice that prides itself for its design diversity, Architeria has been designing a number of highly detailed, delicately crafted French provincial style and classical homes around Melbourne.
As we enjoy the process of designing classical homes with the aim of capturing the bygone era in external details as well as the interior we prefer to call these homes part of our classical collection of architecture.
To see samples of our work or to discuss your project, we welcome you to get in touch with us on 03 98945805 or by emailing us to firstname.lastname@example.org , Bienvenue!
By Kate Gawi