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White House Architecture - Essay Example

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One of the most famous buildings in the history of mankind is the American White House. The construction of the landmark house started by simple laying of the foundation stone in October 13, 1792, and was devoid of any ceremony as was the case to state constructions…
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White House Architecture
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White House Architecture

Download file to see previous pages... One of the most famous buildings in the history of mankind is the American White House. The construction of the landmark house started by simple laying of the foundation stone in October 13, 1792, and was devoid of any ceremony as was the case to state constructions. The foundations and the main residence were built by black American laborers, slaves and other professionals from the larger European continent. Most of the construction work was carried out by immigrants who had not yet gained citizenship status. The sandstone walls of the white house were the work of Scottish immigrants under the employment and supervision of Hoban. According to Seale (2008), he was also responsible for the construction of the garland decorations and high relief rose that are found on the upper part of the north entrance. The pattern resembling fish scale constructed under the pediments of the window hoods were also carried out by the Scottish immigrants. Architectural composition of the white house The initial construction of the white house took a period of eight years at a estimated value of about $232,371.83. Even though the white house was not complete by then, it was partially ready for state functions as at November of 1800. The construction of the white house was marred by shortages of labor as well as raw materials hence forced the engineers to alter the original plan as was constituted by Pierre Charles L'Enfant, a French engineer for the building to be a place, which was to be more than five times of what was settled for. The completed structure of the building therefore contained two central floors as opposed to the original plan of three floors. The lining for stone facades was done by cost-effective bricks and when the construction was completed the porous sandstone walls were effectively coated with a mixture of casein, lime, rice glue, and lead thus offered the house its fundamental name and color. The architectural composition of the White House was magnificently designed, thus the main facade of the White House with the north front having eleven bays and three floors. The ground floor of the house is intentionally hidden by a parapet and a carriage ramp thus somehow raised hence the facade gives a fall picture of two floors. The main three bays are located behind what is called a prostyle portico, which was an addition effected latter (Fazio, W.M & Snadon, A.P , 2006). The windows fitted on the four bays at the first flour flanks the portico, which are segmented and pointed pediments. The pediments at the second flour are flat flat. When one looks at the main entrance there are two striking architectural work, thus there is a lunette fanlight erected at the centre of the portico and above the entrance is found a sculpted swag. It is also noticeable that roofline is characteristically hidden from view by a balustraded parapet. The southern facade mansion presents a combination of the neoclassical and Palladian styles of architecture. It has three floors that are highly visible. The ground floor is unique in the sense that it has been rusticated in regard to the Palladian style of architecture. The facade’s centre is marked by a neoclassical projecting bow supported by three bays. The bow is substantially flanked by 5 strong bays. The windows located towards the north of the facade have alternating pointed as ell as segmented pediments at the first floor. The bow also has a ground floor fitted with a double staircase that leads to what is known as a Doric colonnaded loggia thus leads to the south portico, also known as Truman Balcony located at second floor. The third floor which looks more modern is also hidden by a balustraded parapet and essentially plays no meaning role in the facade composition (Fazio & Snadon, 2006). The side walk has also been included in the buildings design and usage; it was very significant as it served as a queuing bay for the numerous pilgrimages to the ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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