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Tuscan

History

While the architecture of the Tuscan region of Italy has been around for a very long time, the Tuscan style in America is a fairly recent creation. It was established in the early 1990s by Californian firms such as Bassenian/Lagoni Architects, who saw parallels between the southern Californian environment and the central region of Italy. They sought to reproduce the feel of a medieval village as it organically grew over the centuries, and translate that into a modern floor plan, mirroring the rough stone and brick exteriors with rustic wood details and clay barrel tile roofs. The original floor plans drew heavily on exterior spaces and courtyards as part of the overall design, and the style spread to other regions of the country by the early 2000s.

characteristics

A mixture of materials that reflects the heavy remodeling of the Tuscan region over the ages is typical for this style- Rough stone and brick veneers are mixed, often with brick as the material for the arched openings, while stone remains the common choice for the majority of the wall. Low pitched roofs with barrel tiles are always present in this style. Exposed rafter tails in the soffits (overhang of the roof) are common as well. Covered arcades, patios and porches help create a transition space between indoor and outdoor, and are frequently used in the design. Often an “outdoor room” becomes a critical component to the overall design, and simple fountains are typical for the exterior as well. The overall shape and feel of the design should be massed to create a “rambling” effect, much as the street of a medieval village would vary and change, so the shape of a Tuscan styled home meanders and changes.

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