October 18, 2011
Blending traditionalism with extravagance – How Monaco has influenced Mediterranean urban architecture
Monaco’s Casino in Monte Carlo
Monaco’s landscape and surrounding terrain has undoubtedly influenced the urban architecture of this autonomous state.
Its narrow steep streets and rocky hills sharply protruding from the coast are conveyed in the architectural makeup of Monaco, where the buildings have been built into the hills because of a limited amount of space and because of this restriction, high-rise buildings dominate the urban landscape.
Its close proximity to the Mediterranean Ocean has also influenced the architectural landscape of this inspiring city. Local materials, such as marble, terra-cotta tiles and granite, are the visible material many buildings in Monaco have been made from.
Monaco, like the rest of the Cote d’Azur, enjoys a mild year-round climate. Being located on the Mediterranean coastline, temperatures rarely fall below 8 degrees Celsius in the winter and can soar well into the 30s and 40s during the summer months. Because of its warm climate, Monaco was built with a huge emphasis on public spaces and outdoor living. Squares, terraces and balconies, therefore dominate the urban character of this independent municipal.
The architecture and urban planning of Monaco that has been so obviously influenced and shaped by its geographical location has inspired many a city and town sharing the same stunning and unique geographical attributes of Monaco. Many other Mediterranean communities, in countries such as France and Spain, that also enjoy a year-round mild climates focus on outdoor living as being a priority of its architecture.
From the affluent and lavish to the less-wealthy and frugal, the materials used for the architecture of Monaco that is characterised by granite, marble and terra-cotta tiles, are symbolic of many a Mediterranean coastline town.
But where Monaco stands out compared to other Mediterranean destinations, is that uniquely blends the traditionalism and simplicity found in much of its architectural aspects, namely the simple and local materials it uses to build its architecture, with the elaborate, decoratively extravagant and lavish, with Monaco’s Casino in Monte Carlo, epitomising the extravagance Monaco has become renowned for.