If you want to better understand a culture, you can investigate its food, religions, clothing, customs, and politics. You can ask questions about its values and what it deems important for health and happiness. You could also take a closer look at the way their cities look and their homes.
Architecture, particularly the domestic kind, is a reflection of our priorities, activities and ambitions. While there are similarities between the architecture of different countries, no two nations approach house building in exactly the same way. If you need to hire towers within the UK for your construction projects, give us a call.
This article explores some of the differences between American and British architecture, to try to shed some light on these two cultures.
In Britain, it is common practice to construct new homes from brick and mortar. While the country does contain a great many timber frame houses, they tend to be from an older time.
These days, most new structures feature a cavity wall, and an inner skin made out of clay or concrete bricks. Ordinarily, the interior bricks are covered up with plaster, and the exterior ones are left exposed.
In America, on the other hand, a much larger volume of homes are constructed from timber frame and cladded with wood. They are not quite as sturdy as British homes, but they are quick to build and can be demolished just as fast.
Wood is a very easy and inexpensive material,d when it comes to architecture. The biggest problem, however, is that it doesn’t stand up well to earthquakes and other environmental stressors.
Roofing is another area in which the two countries differ. In the U.S., it is very common for homes to be covered with felt roofing shingles. These are very lightweight and, although they are inexpensive to build with, they don’t have a lot of resilience when it comes to turbulent weather.
Therefore, it’s no surprise that in rainy Britain, architects tend to use much more heavyweight materials. In the UK, new homes are covered with slate or clay tiles. While slate is common in rural areas, you’re more likely to find clay roofs in major cities.
The Floor Space
One of the most talked about differences between American and British homes is interior floor space. By virtue of having so much land to space, U.S. architects are able to construct ambitious buildings that practically dwarf homes in the UK.
The average English home is a third the size of typical American domiciles. In fact, British houses are among the smallest in the developed world. Buildings across Europe tend to be significantly roomier as well.
Bedrooms And Bathrooms
Apart from being a lot smaller, UK homes are not too different from American houses, when it comes to layout. The only major differences are with bedrooms and bathrooms.
For many homeowners in the U.S., a bedroom is not a bedroom at all, unless it has a fully integrated wardrobe or closet. These aren’t rare in Britain, but they’re not considered to be essential.
En-suite bathrooms are becoming very popular in the UK, but they weren’t always such a common architectural feature. Many homes have an entirely separate room for their toilets, a quirk that can seem quite strange to Americans. In the U.S., houses are big and it’s not unusual, for even modestly priced homes, to have multiple bathrooms.
Why Architecture Is Key To Understanding Cultures
There are, of course, plenty more differences between British and American architecture. It is important to recognize and investigate these dissimilarities, because they say so much about how we live and who we are. Architecture gets right to the heart of what people value, and it is where you can discover their joys, trials and triumphs.
Your home could be one of the most familiar and unremarkable places that you know. Yet, it is also extraordinary, because it stands as an enduring legacy of your life and all its idiosyncrasies.