Prairie Style Architecture, What is Prairie Style Architecture

Prairie Style Architecture speaks to what is Prairie Style Architecture and to define Prairie Style Architecture.

This which was a popular style from 1910 to 1930s refers to buildings that have low, horizontal proportions, flat or gently pitched roofs extending beyond the walls in deep, projecting eaves as well as rectangular windows whose glazing bars form angular, geometric patterns. This design was popular in both the US and Canadian prairies.

The flowing, informal floor plans of these Prairie style homes often included porches and terraces that extend into surrounding gardens. Plain materials like stucco and brick are preferred for exterior walls, with strips of natural wood and occasionally stained glass inserted in windows as retained decorative elements.

The Prairie styles horizontal emphasis reflects its origins in the flat plains of the American Midwest for which it was named. An essentially North American development, Prairie style buildings exhibit an abstract cubic massing that parallels contemporary European development in modern architecture, while its emphasis on natural materials recalls the English Arts and Crafts Movement.

This style rejects the use of historically derived ornament, expressing instead a Japanese inspired taste for simple clean lines, natural materials and a close relationship to the landscape. Since the American architect Frank Lloyd Wright (1869 to 1959) was the style’s main progenitor, buildings of this type are sometimes also called “Wrightian”.

Prairie style architecture spread to Canada through the publication of house plans in magazines such as House Beautiful, and through the work of Canadian Architects such as Francis C. Sullivan for a time for Wright before returning home to practise in the Ottawa area. The Canadian version of the style resulted in somewhat smaller, more compact buildings with a closer balance between the verticals and horizontals.

Sullivan’s designs do exhibit, however, flat wall planes, simple wood detailing, overhanging eaves and an almost complete lack of historical ornament. Many other Canadian architects and builders were also influenced by the style. The increasingly popular bungalow, with its deep eaves, smooth stucco or brick walls and ground hugging characteristics show its debt to the Prairie Style.

As defined by “Wikipedia” architecture is defined as:

"Architecture" can mean:

A general term to describe buildings and other physical structures.

The art and science of design and erecting buildings and other physical structures.

The style and method of design and construction of buildings and other physical structures.

The practice of the architect, where architecture means the offering or rendering of professional services in connection with the design and construction of buildings, or built environments.

The design activity of the architect, from the macro-level (urban design, landscape architecture) (to the micro-level (construction details and furniture).

The term "architecture" has been adopted to describe the activity of designing any kind of system, and is commonly used in describing information technology.

In relation to buildings, architecture has to do with the planning, designing and constructing form, space and ambience that reflect functional, technical, social, environmental, and aesthetic considerations. It requires the creative manipulation and coordination of material, technology, light and shadow. Architecture also encompasses the pragmatic aspects of realizing buildings and structures, including scheduling, cost estimating and construction administration. As documentation produced by architects, typically drawings, plans and technical specifications, architecture defines the structure and/or behaviour of a building or any other kind of system that is to be or has been constructed.

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