Richardsonian Romanesque is a style of Romanesque Revival architecture named after the American architect Henry Hobson Richardson (1838–1886). The revival style incorporates 11th and 12th century southern French, Spanish, and Italian Romanesque characteristics. Richardson first used elements of the style in his Richardson Olmsted Complex in Buffalo, New York, designed in 1870. Multiple architects followed in this style in the late 19th century; Richardsonian Romanesque later influenced modern styles of architecture as well.
History and development
This very free revival style incorporates 11th and 12th century southern French, Spanish and Italian Romanesque characteristics. It emphasizes clear, strong picturesque massing, round-headed "Romanesque" arches, often springing from clusters of short squat columns, recessed entrances, richly varied rustication, blank stretches of walling contrasting with bands of windows, and cylindrical towers with conical caps embedded in the walling.
Architects working in the style
The style includes work by the generation of architects practicing in the 1880s before the influence of the Beaux-Arts styles.
Some of the practitioners who most faithfully followed Richardson's proportion, massing and detailing had worked in his office. These include:
- Alexander Wadsworth Longfellow and Frank Alden (Longfellow, Alden & Harlow of Boston and Pittsburgh);
- George Shepley and Charles Coolidge (Richardson's successor firm Shepley, Rutan and Coolidge of Boston);
- Herbert C. Burdett (Marling & Burdett of Buffalo, New York)
Other architects who employed Richardson Romanesque elements in their designs include:
- Spier and Rohns and George D. Mason, both firms from Detroit
- Edward J. Lennox, Toronto-based architect;
- John Wellborn Root, in Chicago
- Harvey Ellis, in Minneapolis
- Theodore Link, in St. Louis and surrounding area
Overseas, Folke Zettervall was influenced by the Richardson style when he designed several railway stations in Sweden during this period. In Finland, Eliel Saarinen was influenced by Richardson.
Research is underway to try to document the westward movement of the artisans and craftsmen, many of whom were immigrant Italians and Irish, who built in the Richardsonian Romanesque tradition. The style began in the East, in and around Boston, where Richardson built the influential Trinity Church on Copley Square. As the style was losing favor in the East, it was gaining popularity further west. Stone carvers and masons trained in the Richardsonian manner appear to have taken the style west, until it died out in the early decades of the 20th century.
As an example, four small bank buildings were built in Richardsonian Romanesque style in Osage County, Oklahoma, during 1904–1911: the Osage Bank of Fairfax, Bank of Hominy, Bank of Burbank, and Bank of Bigheart.
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Byggnaden är starkt inspirerad av den amerikanske arkitekten Henry Hobson Richardssons arkitektur.
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