Regency architecture

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The Regency style of architecture refers primarily to buildings built in Britain during the period in the early 19th century when George IV was Prince Regent, and also to later buildings following the same style. The period coincides with the Biedermeier style in the German-speaking lands, Federal style in the United States and the French Empire style.[1]

The style follows closely on from the neo-classical Georgian style of architecture, adding an elegance and lightness of touch. Note that the Georgian style takes its name from the four Kings George of the period circa 1720–1840, including King George IV. Many buildings of the Regency style have a white painted stucco facade and an entryway to the main front door (usually coloured black) which is framed by two columns. Regency residences typically are built as terraces or crescents. Elegant wrought iron balconies and bow windows came into fashion as part of this style.

An instigator of this style was John Nash who designed the Regency terraces of Regent's Park and Regent Street in London. Excellent examples of Regency properties dominate Brighton and Hove in East Sussex; in particular in its Kemp Town and Brunswick (Hove) estates. In London itself there are many streets in the style in the areas around Victoria, Pimlico, Mayfair and other central districts. The town of Cheltenham in Gloucestershire also provides many fine examples of Regency architecture and makes the claim to be "the most complete regency town in England".[2] The Cheltenham Synagogue is judged by Nikolaus Pevsner to be one of the architecturally "best" non-Anglican religious buildings in Britain.[3] Good illustrations of the Regency style can also be seen in Royal Leamington Spa in Warwickshire, particularly in parts of The Parade, Clarendon Square and Landsdowne Circus.

The term Regency style is also applied to interior design and decorative arts of the period, typified by elegant furniture and vertically striped wallpaper, and to styles of clothing; for males, as typified by the dandy Beau Brummell, for women the Empire silhouette.

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  1. ^ The Encyclopedia Americana, Grolier, 1981, v. 9, p. 314
  2. ^ "Cotswolds Guide - Cheltenham". The Cotswolds Guide. Retrieved 2009-11-22. 
  3. ^ The Buildings of England, Nikolaus Pevsner, Penguin Books, 1951, p. 37