Stucco As An Element Of Architectural DesignStucco As An Element Of Architectural Design

Stucco is a material that is applied to buildings, usually as an embellishment. It is usually made of cement which is mixed with water and materials like sand or lime. The moist liquid can be applied to wood, stone or brick. It may also be applied over tar paper or wire mesh if complicated shapes are required. Usually two or three layers are applied on top of each other. Once it has been applied and shaped it is allowed to set hard. If properly mixed it will set hard and be fixed for very long time.

The word 'render' is used sometimes in place of stucco. The former term is often preferred in Britain whereas the latter term is preferred in America. Although both words are of Germanic origin the latter word came into English through the Italian language. Somehow, the Italian words suggests a more decorative approach, whereas rendering seems very dull and practical.

Stucco was used in many Roman buildings and is still evident in the city of Rome. It was also used in the famous Roman arches, and the fact that some has lasted for nearly two thousand years is testament to its durability. If lime or marble is used in the mix it will probably last longer.

In some American homes an 'artificial' form was used to appear like real stucco. It is not as solid as real stucco and can easily be dislodged or damaged. Buyers should investigate the quality of the embellishments on a house before committing to a purchase. It can be applied internally or externally to different backings. The backing may be wood or masonry and the permanence of the decoration will be determined by the composition of the backing.

The acceptability of cement ornamentation is a matter of personal taste. For those inclined to minimalism and simple lines fancy embellishment are anathema. Other people find the embellishments charming and interesting. They might argue that the human spirit expresses itself through decoration and that architects are justified in adding character to a building by using moulded cornices or elaborating lines with ornamental designs shapes and weather proof decorations.

Creative uses can also be found in modern houses. There can be a form of wall art both inside and outside a home. By raising the flat surface of a wall interest can be added through the addition of an extra dimension. Use can also be made of colour to make mouldings more vibrant and complementary to other aspects of interior design.

When damage has been done repairs are possible by making a new mix and restoring the shape of the original ornamentation. Problems arise when colour must be applied to try and disguise repair work. It is extremely difficult to match shades exactly because of the effects of weathering.

Ornamentation may also be used in garden landscapes. In Georgian and Augustan periods 'follies' were created to add interest to beautifully landscaped gardens. Often they attempted to emulate classical structures. An artificial lake might have had a cosy gazebo artfully placed so that just two people could sit together beneath a stucco representation of Venus or Diana.
by Adrianna Notton
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Stucco Toronto specializes in home repairs for residential and commercial clients across the Greater Toronto Area, get fast and efficient plaster ceiling repair Toronto with this Toronto business firm of more than 25 years of experience.
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