The calm of the Mediterranean. Soft sunsets on unique beaches.

Who wouldn’t want to be in such an idyllic place forever? This way of seeing life is one of the reasons why today we can talk about Mediterranean revival architecture. Yes, the architectural style that became popular during the 1920s and 1930s is based on the style of Mediterranean Villas by the sea.

Mediterranean revival architecture captures the lifestyle and customs of the Mediterranean regions through a calm, fresh and elegant style. So, in today’s article we are going to dive more deeply into an intense sea with a lot of character. Are you ready?

What is Mediterranean revival architecture: the perfect eclectic

During the 1920s and 1930s, an architectural style called Mediterranean revival architecture began to be introduced in the United States. A great way of understanding this architecture style is to take a close look at different references or styles such as Spanish Renaissance, Italian Renaissance, Arab-Andalusian architecture and Venetian Gothic architecture. 

This architectural movement was born in coastal resorts in California and Florida, as they are warmer and more tropical places and they also were the first cities in the United States where the tourist industry began to develop. The Roaring Twenties called for leisure and fun, so much so that the construction of spas and entertainment places increased.

Mediterranean revival architecture is a style that captures the air of a Mediterranean villa, a unique aesthetic full of personality that evokes relaxation and comfort. But in addition to its Mediterranean style, which was intended to attract tourism in California and Florida, it was also promoted in these two regions because of their Spanish colonial history. Architects in both cities began to combine different styles, creating authentic oases of relaxation.

Photo by Claudia Altamimi

In Florida, the architect Addison Mizner stood out, and in California, the Mediterranean revival architecture was highlighted by names such as Bertram Goodhue, Paul Williams and Sumner Spaulding.

What are the characteristics of the neo-Mediterranean architectural style?

As you already know, the mediterranean revival architecture style is essentially an eclectic style, that is to say, it combines different trends to achieve that relaxing and special personality. But, what are the main characteristics of the mediterranean revival architecture? 

1. An eclectic architecture

When we talk about eclectic architecture we refer to the mixture of different styles and trends that define the mediterranean revival architecture. It is true that the one that stands out the most is the Spanish Mediterranean style, but we can also discover other elements of Venetian, Gothic and Arabic styles. 

2. The roof matters

The roof is a distinctive hallmark of mediterranean revival architecture, and is characterized by being striking at first glance, with thick red or terracotta tiles. The roof tends to have a low pitch and wide overhangs.

Photo by Zeke Tucker 

3. Symmetry in facades

The Mediterranean architectural style also stands out for its symmetry in the facades. In addition, to try to generate contrast with the roof, they are usually facades of soft colors or white. The exterior in this style is very careful, since its intention is to generate that air of luxury and relaxation at first sight.

It is very usual that the facades of the Mediterranean revival architecture are stuccoed and always keep symmetry between the different elements (windows, doors, etc…). 

4. Curved doors and windows

Maintaining the symmetry of the facade, the doors and windows have a very peculiar shape. The presence of a uniform number of windows and doors on both sides of the main door is essential in the Mediterranean architectural style and, in addition, the shape of both doors and windows is arched and of ample size, generating an open atmosphere. 

5. A luxurious garden

A style that fosters this Mediterranean character of peace and relaxation has to have a garden that stands out, don’t you think? 

In the Mediterranean revival architecture, luxury is a point that is given special attention, therefore, an open outdoor space with a beautiful garden is a must.

6. Pleasant interiors

After seeing the most essential characteristics of the exteriors of the Mediterranean revival architecture, it is time to pay attention to the interiors. 

The main characteristic of the interiors is that they should be pleasant and with a touch of majesty. It is usual to detect elements such as columns or the use of bright tiles in some interiors. The material that stands out is wood in furniture and wrought iron in certain elements such as stairs or railings. 

If you liked this article about Mediterranean revival architecture and you would like to know more about trends in this area, you can keep up to date through our magazine specialized in architecture. We are waiting for you!