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vernacular architecture

vernacular architecture. Unpretentious, simple, indigenous, traditional structures made of local materials and following well-tried forms and types, normally considered in three categories: agricultural (barns, farms, etc.), domestic, and industrial (foundries, potteries, smithies, etc.). In England and Germany the great range of timber-framed medieval and later buildings would largely be classed as vernacular architecture, while humble rural structures, such as cottages, would also fall into the category. It was first taken seriously in the late C18 when attempts were made to re-create it as part of the Picturesque movement, and it provided exemplars for C19 architects, especially those of the Gothic and Domestic Revivals and the Arts-and-Crafts movement. In the USA Colonial and simple clap-boarded buildings provided models for designers, especially for the Stick and Shingle styles. It has been contrasted with polite architecture, and even classed as architecture without architects, but this is not really true, as most vernacular architecture drew on more sophisticated designs somewhere in its development, while architects such as Devey, Lutyens, and Webb derived much of their styles from vernacular buildings, so it was never really an isolated phenomenon, an architecture of the proletariat, rural or urban.


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Glassie (2000);
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P. Oliver (2003);
P. Oliver (ed.) (2000);
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Pennick (2002);
Jane Turner (1996);

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