French Colonial Architecture: A Brief Overview


Over the years, many different countries have come up with their own unique styles of architecture. Major colonial powers like the Dutch, French, and British have successfully exported their style of architecture to many different countries around the world.

Similarly, even the French exported their way of architecture around the world, which we know as French colonial architecture today. Therefore, let us take a deeper look into French colonial architecture and understand what it is all about.

What Is French Colonial Architecture?

French colonial architecture covers many different architectural styles that the French people used during their period of colonization. These kinds of architecture have been around for hundreds of years, and they feature unique historical looks.

The main characteristic of French architecture is that they have evolved a great deal over the years and got some unique and distinct features representing France. But from where did it all come from?

Origin Of French Colonial Architecture

Similar to all the other colonial architecture styles, the inspiration for French architecture came from the home country, which in this case is France. Therefore, this means that there are not many homes in countries like the US or China featuring French colonial architectures as France did not colonize these countries. 

However, French colonial architecture homes can be found in the Midwest of the Us in states like Louisiana and Illinois. In addition, one can even find the French colonial architecture in Canada.

French colonial architecture is one of the oldest types of architecture in the US that has been around from the very start of the 17 century. However, French colonial architecture’s styles and different features have evolved a great deal over the years.

What Are The Characteristics Of The French Colonial Architecture?

The very first thing that anyone would recognize about the French colonial architecture is the symmetrical and balanced structures. French colonial architecture is all about using simple shapes such as rectangles without adding much clutter to the design. The other distinct feature of French colonial architecture is the balconies and full porches that can be found in either a single house or even an entire townhouse.

Furthermore, the roofs in French colonial architecture houses are very sloping and steep, and the windows are very tall as compared to windows found in general houses with general architecture.

The other distinct feature of French colonial architecture houses with double doors and double windows. The primary materials used in French colonial architecture include stucco, bricks, ad even wood in certain cases.

However, one of the most common features of French colonial architecture is the wrought iron detailing that can be commonly found on the front porch of the house.

The overall layout of the houses is generally equipped with three to four different highly spacious rooms. The larger houses featuring the French colonial architecture are generally equipped with an entryway with a primary focus on the parlor, reflecting the significance of entertainment in that era.

Concluding Thoughts

Colonization has given us both good and bad things from countries like France, Britain, Portugal, and many other European powers. However, now that time has passed, we should embrace the good and let go of the bad. Therefore, feel free to add characteristics of French colonial architecture to your home.