Arts and Crafts Movement Architecture

Instructor: Graig Delany

Graig teaches Architecture, Construction and Engineering Courses and has a Master of Architecture Degree

The Arts and Crafts movement symbolized a move away from machine-made goods and a return to traditional craftsmanship. It is typically dated between 1880-1910.

Setting the Scene

The year is 1850; Britain has just gone through the Industrial Revolution, and it changed from a rural agricultural society to one of urban industrialization. John Ruskin saw the mechanized production and what came with it as great evil. He feared the loss of skilled trades. Ruskin's social criticism set the stage for the Arts and Crafts movement and empowered craftsman to make things with their hands.

Industrial Revolution
Industrial Revolution

William Morris

William Morris is the most important person of the Arts and Crafts Movement. Born in 1834 to a wealthy middle-class family, he attended Exeter College at Oxford where he developed a strong interest in Medieval architecture and history. Morris also studied the writings of John Ruskin, and his artistic style began to develop.

He is most known for his textile design, wallpaper, and furniture. However, the Red House which he designed with Philip Webb would synthesize his ideas on craftsmanship and become the starting point for the architectural movement.

William Morris
William Morris

Red House

Morris and Webb's Red House began construction in 1859 and was finished in 1860. The plan for this two-story house is L-shaped with no attempt for symmetry. It has an organic appearance, as though it had been made over centuries instead of a year.

The window placement suited interior purpose rather than some applied symmetrical necessity. The red-brick house uses its architectural features as ornamentation, highlighting the skills of the bricklayers, carpenters, and glassmakers. This house shows Morris' interest in Gothic revival and the work of Augustus Pugin. It served as a tangible manifesto for the Arts and Crafts movement, and Morris would show it off as he entertained many artists, artisans, and intellectuals. Like bees, these artists spread his ideas around England, into Europe, and eventually, America.

Drawing of Red House by Edmund Hort
Red House by Edmund Hort

Gamble House

The Gamble House is an American Arts and Crafts style home located in Pasadena, CA. It is commonly thought of as the finest American example of the style. Designed for David Gamble of the Procter & Gamble Company by Greene & Greene, the home was built in 1908.

Many types of fine wood were skillfully crafted to create this custom home. A central hall unifies the interior space of this asymmetrical house. Art glass windows allow light to flood into its low horizontal structure and blurs the ideas of inside and outside. The second floor has three covered porches off of the bedrooms. The American style of the Arts and Crafts movement has some gothic tendencies, as seen in the fireplace, but it also takes qualities from Japanese architecture as seen in the horizontality and inside and outside relationship.

Gamble House porch
Gamble House Porch

Arts and Craft Bungalows

The style of the Arts and Crafts Movement is most commonly seen in the bungalow style houses of the early 20th century. These simple homes had low-pitched roofs with dormers and large porches with overhangs.

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