Roots of Style: Many Cultures Make Their Marks on Mediterranean Design

Roots of Style: Many Cultures Make Their Marks on Mediterranean Design

While classical architecture and medieval customs created connections involving the northeast U.S., England and Northern Europe, another architectural expression was growing in Mexico and the southwestern U.S. through Spanish colonialism.

Not only did Mediterranean impacts form the definition of style within this region, but Latin American and Native American cultures merged, resulting in a still-varying and wonderfully rich fashion. Particular building techniques were created concurrently in North Africa, Spain and North America.

By way of instance, earthen or mortar-formed flat-roofed structures supported by heavy timbers where rainwater is steered through spouts at a wall with a parapet are just one type. Spanish colonists brought other knowledge to the Americas, for example wood-framed pitched roofs covered with clay tiles. With the ultimate exploration and establishment of missions in the 18th century, Spain solidified its cultural sway over the region.

In the time the Spaniards arrived, Native Americans were building adobe and stacked-stone walls, often covered with stucco, due to their dwellings. Few structures have survived, partially due to this sparsely populated and scattered settlements of these times but also because adobe structures have to be inhabited and maintained to remain intact; they dissolve if uninhabited. Though there are profound roots to Spanish-style architecture in the United States, based styles did not appear until the late 19th century, although others started in the 20th century.

Flea Market Sunday

Spanish Colonial

By the late 1800s, Spanish-style houses were timber framed, though horizontal roofs with parapets and stucco walls retained a very clear connection to their own ancestry. The style of this particular home became popular across the southwestern U.S. in the 1920s and 1930s, and will best be categorized as Spanish colonial revival or Spanish eclectic.

Modern Group

Spanish colonial architecture had rooms arranged in rows: L shapes, U shapes and courtyard variations. Covered porches with shed-roof forms, supported by heavy wood or hewn wood posts with decorative brackets, lined personal facing spaces. This home exhibits these details with a pre-assembled porch arrangement, which became common in newer structures.

Tim Barber Ltd Architecture

Though most first Spanish colonial dwellings were just one level, two-story variations of this trend became increasingly well known in the 20th century. This newer home encircles a private courtyard, as did a few 19th-century examples. See the detail of their posts and brackets, which are very similar to the ones in the previous picture.

Corynne Pless

Mission Details

Americans were adopting many different residential designs around 1900. In California they turned into Spanish assignments for inspiration, and the design spread in modest numbers to other parts of the country. This Birmingham, Alabama, home exhibits several different stylistic traits, but the front and tile porch roof with parapet are apparent identifiers of assignment design.

Stofft Cooney Architects

Notice the mission-inspired wall depth about the ideal side of this newer Florida house’s elevation. The two-story element on the left softly alludes to bell towers seen on some early-20th-century examples. Florida is another place heavily influenced and characterized by Mediterranean styles.

Koffka Phakos Layout

Spanish Eclectic

All of the Spanish-influenced fashions are regarded as Mediterranean, but most are more specifically identified as Spanish eclectic. Early-20th-century examples, such as this Los Angeles home, borrowed from several cultures and translated details in contemporary ways. Notice the large, arched picture window, behind which the living area is often placed. There are tens of thousands of them throughout California, along with the notable living area window comes in many variations, including parabolic shapes.

Bernard Andre Photography

In this more elaborate Spanish eclectic home in the San Francisco Bay Area, the two-story freely formed altitude appears to be a village unto itself. Heavily textured stucco, cantilevered balconies, varying window shapes and sizes, and notably the mission-inspired window arrangement at the forward-right elevation generously lead to a rich encounter.

Domiteaux + Baggett Architects, PLLC

Texas is also home to quite a few Spanish eclectic layouts, though brick veneer is your preferred exterior wall mounted within this region, as seen with this Dallas home. Notice the roof-like structure on the chimneys. Individually in depth chimney caps are a key Spanish eclectic component.

Heritage Design Studio

This new home exuberantly emulates early-20th-century Spanish eclectic illustrations. An elaborately detailed entrance surround leans toward Italian Renaissance inspiration, while wrought iron railings and closely put cast medallions and light fixtures contribute to a considerably detailed asymmetrical elevation.

Evens Architects

This coastal California Spanish eclectic design is positioned very near the street. More often such examples have a far more private exposure to the public place than does this case. Yet, as seen in the next photograph, the home was made in a conventional style to enclose a fantastically lovely and private courtyard.

Evens Architects

The resort feeling of this space ought to be recognizable to many. This style of architecture was and still is a favored theme for luxury resort and hotel properties. The very similar assignment style was also popular for this type of property.

Kevin Rugee Architect, Inc..

This newer suburban home demonstrates just how far Mediterranean-inspired architecture has extended into American house design. It’s probably safe to say more Southern California areas are of this type than any other.

Cooper Johnson Smith Architects and Town Planners

Monterey Colonial

Monterey colonial,another 19th-century design, developed in the colonial capital of California, merging Greek revival cues with Spanish characteristics. The signature of this design is really a full-width cantilevered balcony to the front elevation overhanging the entry. For instance, though a contemporary version, illustrates this trait.

DD Ford Construction

The hyperlink to Greek revival is quite loosely translated in the majority of instances but is signified by using timber columns. This newer home has its Monterey colonial balcony to the back elevation. Though this design designation isn’t as well-known, odds are you have seen houses with a combination of stucco, brick and wood siding; timber shingle roofs; along with the cantilevered balcony around the street-facing facade.

More about Monterey colonial architecture

Pueblo Revival

Adobe bricks have been a key building material for Native Americans long before the colonists arrived. On the other hand, using adobe is almost extinct, due to the high maintenance as well as the simplicity and efficiency of wood-frame construction. But this has not deterred those wanting the native aesthetic of adobe structures. Particularly in the areas of northern New Mexico and many areas in Arizona, this is the accepted and, in some cases, required. The house here’s a contemporary version of what can best be categorized as pueblo revival.

Soloway Designs Inc | Architecture + Interiors AIA

Contemplating the previous photograph, it isn’t difficult to find the inspiration for this contemporary desert home. You can observe the disciplines of contemporary architecture — sharp lines — blending with impacts from the past.

Although this design is credited to previous Native American dwellings, its characteristics are located in Mexico, Spain and North Africa, as previously mentioned, confirming its connection to other Mediterranean designs.


Mexican Modern

Two well-known Mexican architects of this last century are Luis Barragán and Ricardo Legorreta. Their designs highlight block-like strong masses with color and texture to prompt a beautiful dance of light and colour.

With similar traits, the subsequent three houses could perhaps be categorized as Mexican modern. Notice the tiled shed roof among a string of rectilinear forms in this case. The shed roof can be traced back into a few of the most fundamental colonial-era Spanish dwellings.

David Howell Design

See the sense of solidity in the composition of this Mexican home, like the effect achieved by first pueblos.

Louie Leu Architect, Inc..

Here the usage of colour and texture, along with the varying kinds, alludes to the bunch arrangement of adobe villages.

Studio H Landscape Architecture

As seen in this coastline putting in Orange County, California, the impression left by Spanish architecture is far reaching, and it’s still a substantial motivator in the vernacular of Southern California.

Next: See how contemporary styles emerged in the 20th century

See related

Comments are closed.