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Architectural appeal

Tuscan farmhouse or Tudor manor? Our guide to the most sought-after architectural styles from around the world

Tuscany

Jelena Cvjetkovic, Director, Global Residential Network

What is the most important architectural style?
It could be argued that the Renaissance villa is the most important architectural style, but converted farmhouses are the most sought-after properties. Many of those bought as ruins a few years ago are now firmly established in the prime segment. They come in a variety of styles – which vary according to the area and period in which they were built, as well as the specific estate they were developed on, as these properties were originally built for the workers.

What makes it so special?
Farmhouses were built for livestock and people – stables downstairs, living quarters above. This meant that the existing large and open rooms downstairs could easily be converted into spacious reception areas and kitchens. A ‘Leopoldina’ farmhouse will also typically have an arched loggia and a pigeon-tower, while older farmhouses will often have been added to over the centuries, creating sprawling properties.

Why is it ever-popular with prime buyers?
By their very nature, farmhouses have a great indoor-outdoor flow – and the ease of being outdoors in a beautiful setting is a big part of what makes Tuscany so popular. Stone courtyards and pergolas provide outdoor living and dining areas. In addition, Tuscan farmhouses are often in a hillside setting, offering stunning views over a well-preserved landscape.

 

Swiss alps

Jeremy Rollason, Head of Savills Ski

What is the most important architectural style?
Architects have tried to reinvent the style of chalet design by introducing vast A-frame windows, which offer floor-to-ceiling panoramic views. While this might work for certain locations, most buyers in this region still prefer a traditional style chalet.

What makes it so special?
More traditional chalets still have the features you’d expect to see: old wood, rustic interiors, and French windows on to a covered balcony, from where you can admire the view. Combine this with the latest technology, and you’ve got exactly what prime buyers want.

Why is it ever-popular with prime buyers?
A chalet should feel authentic and provide the sense of tradition that they are looking for.

 

Barbados

James Burdess, Director, Caribbean and Latin America

What is the most important architectural style?
Oliver Messel houses are among the most highly sought-after homes on the island. Originally a portrait painter, Messel eventually forged a career designing theatre and film sets before discovering a love for architecture at 55. He then moved to Barbados from England to begin his career as an architect and, without any formal training, produced some of the most striking villas we see here today.

What makes it so special?
Messel’s background in theatre gave his work a theatrical flair when it came to his design. His choice of materials, along with the traditions of island architecture that inspired him, made him a truly innovative architect, one that so many others have been inspired by. His homes tended to be romantic and have a sense of grandeur, even redesigning his own Barbados home to suit the idea of living in the tropics by incorporating balconies, loggias and terraces which overlooked the ocean and gardens.

Why is it ever-popular with prime buyers?
Only 18 Messel houses were built, but his style endures. Many leading architects have been influenced by him, and combine a modern finish with Messel’s sense of elegance. Villa Tamarindo (above) by Larry Warren is a great example. One of Messel’s legacies is his preferred light sage green shade of paint, now known as ‘Messel Green’.

 

Los Angeles

Santiago Arana, Principal, The Agency

What is the most important architectural style?
The architecture that commands the most attention in the city is one of contemporary modern design.

What makes it so special?
This approach to design allows for a property to look truly individual and offer distinct features. The Sky Lane property (above), for example, has a contemporary modern style that is unique. It sits on top of a mountain with views of the ocean, mountains and city lights. Furthermore, the flowing, round shapes that define the architecture of the home allow its residents to enjoy these spectacular views from every room.

Why is it ever-popular with prime buyers?
Homes with this type of architecture afford their occupiers an enviable indoor-outdoor lifestyle that can be enjoyed year round in Los Angeles.

 

UK country

Lindsay Cuthill, Head of Country Department

What is the most important architectural style?
Georgian may be the UK’s favourite architectural style, and its influence is far-reaching. Tudor, however, is uniquely English. The Tudor era was one of great social change and the improved economic conditions led to a construction boom. Up until this point, most houses were built using local stone and wood, but the more widespread use of brick led to the creation of some outstanding houses which you can see across the country.

What makes this style so special?
The Tudor style encompasses a variety of appearances, including the famous black and white timbered façade. In grander houses, the brickwork is elaborate and elegant, while exposed wall and ceiling timbers, oak floorboards, lattice and lead light windows and inglenook fireplaces typify the style.

Why is it ever-popular with prime buyers?
It is testament to the style that Tudor houses have not only survived for around 500 years, but they still work as a home in the 21st century. As well as characterful features, the grander houses have impressive grounds and large halls. These are perfect for entertaining and steeped in history – a significant part of the appeal.

 

Lisbon

Jelena Cvjetkovic, Director, Global Residential Network

What is the most important architectural style?
Although placa buildings, built in the mid-20th century and plainer in style, comprise 40% of the city’s residential market, it is the traditional traça antiga that holds the most appeal. Of this design, demand is greatest for those that have been refurbished, rather than ones comprising their original interiors.

What makes this style so special?
When first built, the traça antiga style was characterised by high ceilings, wooden floors, gloss tiles and ornate plaster designs. However, poor sound insulation and lack of storage, lifts or garages mean they don’t meet the demands of modern residents. Refurbished properties keep appealing features, such as their classic frontage and high ceilings, but include modern interiors, sound proofing, upgraded communal areas and lift access.

Why is it ever-popular with prime buyers?
It’s the beautiful blend of old and new. Furthermore, many of these properties are found in or towards the city centre.