The Industrial Revolution


Architecture and Interior Design: Volume II

Chapter 1: The Industrial Revolution

Concept: This is the time in which there are many incredible changes to the economy and society.  New materials, techniques, and forms to architecture, interiors and furniture shape the world into something innovative and fresh.  Goods are becoming more available, but not necessarily a higher class or quality. The world is experiencing new technological advances.  Glass and steel were shaping the world as they knew it.

Design characteristics: Old forms were less threatening with the new machine construction and new technology, so they mostly looked backwards for design characteristics.  Symmetry, regularity, unity, harmony, nothing out of the ordinary.

Architecture: Crystal Palace, 1851; London, England, Joseph Paxton

  • Derived from greenhouse design
  • Made of cast iron and glass
  • Mass production of prefabricated components
  • 770,000 SF interior
  • Interior was decorated with red, blue, white, and yellow

Design Practitioner: Pierre-Francois-Henri Labrouste

Labrouste was an architect during the industrial revolution who found the most effective ways to use modern materials in his work.  He understood the materials in a way not many could achieve.  Most of his work fuses functionalism with neoclassicism, for example, one of his most important buildings; the Bibliotheque St. Genevieve in Paris.  It includes masonry, cast iron columns, and glass skylights.

Interiors: The industrial revolution brought more conveniences to the people.  Someone which include of better lighting, heating, plumbing, ect.  Skylights, natural lighting, were becoming more popular because of the advances in glass and steel.  The style was simple, and had a lack of clutter. They used new materials but motifs and influences stayed the same, or took from the past.

Furnishings and decorative arts: iron gates, porches, architectural details, windows, cast iron seating, mail order furniture: bedroom suites 1890 grand rapids MI, and Chicago IL.  Michael Thonet was a well known furniture designer of the times.

Chair: Cooper Rocker

  • One of the most popular metal chairs
  • Mid 19th Century
  • Popular in the Unites States and England
  • Two flattened pieces of metal formed the entire structure of the chair
  • Modern interpretation of historic revival style

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