IRON, WOOD AND STUCCO AS THE MATERIAL FOR THE DECORATIVE ELEMENTS IN THE BUILDINGS
Use of iron, wood and stucco in architecture is common. Iron is used for decorations and frames since the middle of 18th century. Wood is less used for exterior decorations because of the moist and mites, but with modern day protection it can last for years. It is preferred as interior decoration material. Stucco has being used during the period of Barocco and Rococo. It was used for design and decoration of interior of the buildings (ceiling, walls, etc.), and it amplified an impression of aristocracy in villas, castles and houses. The use of stucco can be seen in Islamic and Indian art, too, where it was held in high regards as decorative material in palaces and mosques. It was used in India as a decoration material for manufacturing sculptures, mostly deities.
* Cast iron facades
* Houses made from wood
* Stucco details and decorations
When it comes to imitation, iron was used to imitate period from late 18th and beginning of the 19th century, as well as masonry and Victorian period. Stucco was used to imitate Barocco or Rococo style, Indian and Islamic art, and wood was used to imitate Japanese culture. Because some materials had higher values than other materials, it was common for architects to use cheaper ones as a replacement. Cast iron was used to replace stone, stucco was used for imitating carved stone, and wood was used in combination with sand-impregnated paint to imitate cut-quarried stones.
* Victorian cast iron * Spanish stucco house * Traditional Japanese house
Because durable materials have been discovered, iron is now used as a decoration on facades, as a decoration for fences on windows and terraces. It is also used in architecture to build greenhouses. Wood is used to build montage houses, as a frame for houses and as an interior decoration in buildings, cabinets, etc. Stucco is used for Spanish building style, and on a daily basis to decorate buildings and interior of the houses (walls, ceilings).
Difference between a building with a cast iron front only and one with a cast iron frame is in different purpose that iron has. In buildings with cast iron front only, a cast iron frame is used for decoration of walls or facades, while the frame of the building can be built from the other materials (stone, steel, etc). A building with a cast iron frame has a frame made from iron, but it does not have to have a cast iron facade. Buildings with cast iron fronts or frames differ from other buildings in the area by their distinguishing looks, because other materials are in use as a building material (steel frames, bricks), although cast iron frames can be used as a decoration. Advantages of cast iron as a building material are iron’s low cost and strength, but the main problem is maintaining (corrosion). Cast iron buildings differ from steel frame buildings in their appearance: steel frame buildings are more resistant, and because steel has better quality, it is used in modern architecture (skyscrapers). The iron has lower prices, but because it lacks steel’s durability, so it is used for decorations and greenhouses.
The impact of cast iron architecture from the 1850 to 1870s to contemporary streetscape in New York is highly visible in some districts, which are now being declared as a district for historic preservation (Soho district). The cast iron is a symbol of beginnings of industrialization in New York and as a trademark of one historical period. Because of iron’s constant need for maintaining, the declaration of Soho as a district for historic preservation is showing that we are one level higher in preserving New York’s history. The Soho district reminds of ages that have passed, but have implemented deeply in identity of New York and its architecture. They are living reminders of a history that has to be saved from neglect. Problems that could occur with preserving those districts are related to costs of maintaining. Lots of money and energy is needed to keep those buildings and districts from ruination.
The significance of new building materials is in opening wide area of possibilities in architecture. Usage of cast iron columns and iron arches made possible the creation of open spaces, tall and large buildings, that are suitable for serving large audiences. Houses are being replaced with buildings, and possibility of creating more space for growing population arises. Low costs of those new materials made it possible to create impressive buildings, decorations and it changed the path of development of architecture towards modern ages.