Beaux Arts In The 21 Century

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The Beaux-Arts style is derived from Les beaux arts (The Fine Arts)  in France, and associated with the Ecole des Beaux-Arts (School of Fine Arts), where numerous 19th and early 20th century architects studied.  The style emphasized classical (Greek and Roman) forms and features, elaborate detailing, massive plans, and heavy masonry.

A hallmark of the style is its elaborate, decorated surfaces with little area left unornamented. Grand Roman arches and colossal columns or pilasters – often paired – are typically featured, along with other Renaissance and Baroque-era designs.

On the flip side are the architectural historians who prefer the more academic “Age of eclecticism” or “Eclectic Era,” which is an important concept to provide historical context here. The Eclectic Era, however, includes both revival and early modern styles that competed ideologically and appeared nearly simultaneously before the Great Depression.

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The primary inspiration for one of our designs was the Palace of Deposits, Consignations and Economics (known as CEC Palace),  a building located in Bucharest , Romania.

The Palace was built after the design and plans of the architect Paul Gottereau and presents special elements of French Architecture of the  late 19th Century.

The palace is built in an eclectic style and ends with a dome of glass and metal. Above the entrance is a semicircular pediment supported by a pairs of columns in composite style. The four volume corners decorated with gables and coats of arms, are covered by Renaissance style domes.

Thoughtful decoration of the facade, balanced volumes makes this palace a very interesting architectural monument.

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Beaux Arts buildings are designed to make a formal statement and approach to design have a strong urban planning component.

The project which was happily designed by our team, is currently under construction in Mansoriya, Kuwait. The residential villa contains all Greco – Roman elements: the column, arch, vault and dome. It is the showy, almost operatic, manner in which these elements are composed that gives the style its flavor.

The architectural element set as a grand gesture is the over-scaled archway, placed between coupled columns, a dramatic colonnade as a center of the composition.

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The materials used in these types of projects tend to be of the best and most expensive quality. In most the predominant material is light-colored stone, often richly worked with strong relief, rooftop sculptural elements, quoins and rustication.

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On the surface Beaux-Arts architecture may seem outdated or out of touch with contemporary design and living, however a closer look reveals that many notable elements are not only remained but are still shaping architecture today.

Historically revered in lavish estates, contemporary architecture has identified key Beaux-Arts design elements and introduced them to more modest homes and urban lofts.  Without question Beaux-Arts style continues to leave an indelible impression on architecture.  Its characteristics still influence and embrace today’s contemporary design.

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