Mediterranean Revival Architecture has always been about capturing the soul of the beautiful coast side living. It started as a way for people to experience the Mediterranean air while still being hundreds of miles away. The lifestyle in countries like Spain, Tunisia, France, Greece, Italy, and Morocco primarily gave birth to this Revival in the Roaring Twenties of the United States. California and Florida were some of the states that adopted this style into its holiday homes, villas, and hotels. Some of the characteristics that make this style unique include –

1. A sudden adoption of this design style

During the 1920s, the people were rolling in riches, often spending it on the most affluent luxuries. This led to a boost in seaside villas, resorts, and luxury homes that embraced the spirit of the Mediterranean coast. Architect Addison Mizner can be credited with making the style famous in Florida to the point where it got called the ‘Mizner Style’ In California, architects Bertram Goodhue and Summer Spaulding popularized the style. After this, the design started reaching other states as well.

10 Things you did not know about Mediterranean Revival architecture -A sudden adoption of this design style
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2. An amalgamation of different styles

This architectural style draws insights from several ideologies, Spanish being the topmost among them. Blending different elements from the Spanish Renaissance, Spanish Colonial with that of the Italian Renaissance defines the Mediterranean architecture. Mediterranean Revival Architecture also incorporates Venetian styles, Gothic and Arabic styles. It achieves eclecticism by combining various features of these styles rather than being inspired by a single one.

10 Things you did not know about Mediterranean Revival architecture -An amalgamation of different styles
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3. The roof becomes the unmistakable element

The design of the roof is the most striking. It is what catches the eye at the first glance. A roof laid with a thick red or terracotta tiles is a distinct feature of this style. It is a low-pitched hip roof with the presence of broad overhangs that makes it a signature of the Mediterranean style.

10 Things you did not know about Mediterranean Revival architecture -The roof becomes the unmistakable element
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4. The symmetry of facades

The exterior is the second most prominent element making this style different from the rest. To add contrast to the deep red-tiled roofs, the facades are kept white, buff-colored, or in shades of pastel. They are always covered in stucco work, a feature of the Spanish styles. However, the Italian aspect of the facade makes it unique. The symmetry is stressed upon above all else to give it a solemn appearance. The exteriors are also covered in lime paint to preserve authenticity.

10 Things you did not know about Mediterranean Revival architecture -The symmetry of facades
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5. The designs of doors and windows

A notable feature of the Mediterranean style of residences is the presence of arched doors and windows. To maintain symmetry a uniform number of windows have been provided on both sides of the entryway or the porch. The interiors also feature arched doors all over. The sizes of these fenestrations had been kept greater to make for an open and airy environment.

10 Things you did not know about Mediterranean Revival architecture -The designs of doors and windows
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6. A surplus of open spaces

Since luxury is the central theme of Mediterranean buildings, open spaces are generously consolidated. A detour from the presence of grand front porches was seen. Instead, open loggias, patios, and lush courtyards bring a sense of openness. Extensive gardens and outdoor loggias equipped with plush seating, a fireplace, and all the luxuries make the user experience rich. The Mediterranean region has a breezy climate hence the balconies, as well as open spaces, make it all the more enjoyable.

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7. A tasteful floor finish

Mediterranean style flooring is usually characterized by geometrical patterns. Tiles are often used in almost all places to inject personality into the design. Sometimes the stairs or the walls also feature accents of tiles. Often taking inspiration from the Mediterranean countries, mosaic tiles also adorn the floors. For decorating, terracotta tiles were used.

A tasteful floor finish
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8. Integration of columns in the design

A plenitude of classical design elements like columns, parapets, and pediments are incorporated in the Mediterranean Revival architecture style. They can be either used as structural supports or merely for ornamentation purposes. Italian Renaissance influenced designs where the columns used could be twisted, ornate, or spiral with beautiful carvings. These columns can be seen at the grand entryways, supporting arched doorways, in porches, or between balusters.

Integration of columns in the design
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9. The aesthetically pleasing interiors

The interior walls kept textured, peak the interest of the user, and keep it compelling. To accomplish this, they were often covered in stucco or plaster that adds texture to it. Another material that is found abundantly in Mediterranean designs is wood. Whether it be the skirting boards, furniture, or the staircases, all are done in wood. The use of hardwood extends into details, including kitchen cabinets, wooden wall panels, ceilings, and fireplaces.

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10. Different materials like wrought iron accentuate the design

Wrought iron gives the building a feel of the Mediterranean. It is mostly found in interior door grills, railings, windows, and balconies. Sometimes, light fixtures and staircases also employ the use of wrought iron. Other materials like ceramic tiles, limestone, and terracotta beautify the buildings by ornamentation.

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Author

Kriti Shah is a student of architecture with a keen interest in writing. When she’s not involved in college submissions,she can be seen reading about travel, design, art and popular culture. An eager travel-buff, she plans to sail across the oceans and write about her adventures

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