The Design Of The White House As A Villa

2363 words - 10 pages

This paper looks at monographs and villas and concentrates on the design of the White House as a villa. The idea of villas in based on ancient Roman culture and traditions and specifically on the upper class country house in ancient Roman Empire. Since the origin of this ideology, the idea of villa and its function have considerable evolved over the years. After the Roman Republic fell, villa developed to become small farming compounds. These small farming compounds increasingly fortified later in the Late Antiquity. They were sometimes moved to the Church in order to be reused as a monastery. Through the middle ages, villas re-evolved once again into country homes for the upper class. Today villas are attributed to different types as well as sizes of residences, which range from suburban to urban constructions and residential building. The architect and design of the White House are considered to have taken the idea of villas.
The White House in Washington D.C. is both the official residence as well as the workplace of the US President. The house is located at Pennsylvania Avenue NW within the city of Washington D.C.
Description of the Building
The White House was particularly designed by James Hoban who is an Irish-born architect. It was built between the year 1792 and 1800. The main material used to construct it were Aquia Creek sandstones that were painted in white. The design was mainly the neoclassical style. Neoclassical style is an architectural style that was produced by neoclassical movement mainly after the mid-eighteenth century. This style is principally derived from Classical Greece and Roman architecture. A clear term to describe the style here is the idea of villas, which has a strong historical root from Rome. The neoclassical architecture creates emphasis on the walls instead of chiaroscuro. The architectural design with this regard maintains distinctly separate identities to every other part within the same building. This idea is largely seen in the White House. The style here is manifested in its details to generate a reaction against the style of Rococo, which involve naturalist ornament. It has its architectural formulas as the outgrowth classicizing attributes of the Late Boroque. The White House uses the same technique, but it is considered a New Classical Architecture because it is a contemporary building structure and a mark for the United States of America. The initial structure does not exist today because the building was destroyed during the War of 1812, specifically in 1814.
Much of the design especially the interior design was charred and destroyed. This damage called for a reconstruction, which began immediately. First, the South Portico was first re-designed and constructed. It was completed in 1824 after which the North was started and later completed in 1829. Even after this renovation crowding within the building especially the executive mansion, which forced the president relocate to the West Wing,...

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