Lindsey House, Lincoln’s Inn Fields, London
The design is generally attributed to Inigo Jones, though there is no direct evidence for this. It consist of three storeys, with attic and basement. The house was divided into two between 1757-1762 when the interior is much altered.
Inigo Jones (1573—1652) may be said to have revolutionized architecture in England. He was the first architect to break entirely with the Gothic tradition and to develop the grand manner of purely classical design. During a stay in Italy he became enraptured with the revival of the old Roman architecture which Palladio had brought about. His most famous building is the Banqueting Hall, Whitehall. Had his original plans for the Palace been carried out, we should have had the grandest Palladian edifice that Europe could show. With Inigo Jones began the idolatry of the column and of symmetry. Everything on the right side of the centre line had to have its counterpart on the left.
Before proceeding further, however, with a study of Renaissance architecture, it should be clearly borne in mind that Gothic never really died it was carried on at Oxford, for example, long after the Renaissance style had set in, and Jacobean remained in vogue, especially as regards fittings, long after the Banqueting Hall, Whitehall, had started a new fashion.
The Moot, Downtown, Wiltshire
It is most pleasant, moderate-sized sample of the style which arose in England in the middle of the seventeenth century. There seems to be a little doubt as regard the part taken by Wren in this building, but it is, nevertheless, typical of the style of domestic architecture that came into existence mainly owing to the influence of Wren.
Inigo Jones possessed great and original talent, but perhaps his truest title to fame was that he paved the way for Sir Christopher Wren, the famous architect of St. Paul's. Wren was far less rigid in manner than Inigo Jones; in fact, many of his contemporaries were shocked at his freedom. But it was his, not Jones's, adaptation of the new style, which became for a long time the national style of architecture. Wren's smaller houses, in an English countryside setting, make pleasing pictures. A study of The Salutation (p. 30) will explain why the Wren style, or as it is now called the Queen Anne style, is still influencing modern designs.
Architecture during the early Georgian period did not differ very much in style from that of Wren ; but side by side with Wren a group of professional and amateur architects - Gibbs, Hawksmoor, Campbell, Lord Burlington and Sir John Vanbrugh among others'—had developed a mania for ponderous buildings with huge pedimented porticoes. So pompous were the private houses of this period, which lasted nearly a hundred years, that it is known as the " Pillar and Portico " period.
Later, during the reigns of George II. and III. the brilliance of the French courts of Louis XV. and XVI. attracted the English fancy, and many mansions, which were dull and heavy externally, were decorated internally with much florid ornamentation, bright gilding and painting. Then followed a reaction. Many people began to feel that internal arrangement had been sacrificed to outward show and domestic economy and comfort to symmetrical planning. They began to grow tired, also, of brilliant, monumental internal ornamentation, which although very costly, was often a little gaudy and by no means restful. In the matter at least of decoration the Adam Brothers came to the rescue with their cheaper, simpler and daintier style of ornamentation.
Wanstead House, which was designed by Campbell in 1720, is perhaps the most pleasing example of the “ pillar and portico” style of private houses. The architect was probably forced by his patron to introduced porticoes, and as Fergusson says, “In Campbell’s designs they are used with as much propriety and taste as the feature is well capable of, as applied to a dwelling-house.
Cheyne Row, Chelsea. East Side built in 1704. Ten houses, 16 to 34
Notice in the picture, near the far end of the street, the attached portico with two classical pillars. The practice of adding these to fairly small town houses began in the reign of Charles II. and continued for at least two centuries. Most cities have many such houses, with porticoes designed in the Doric, Ionic or Corinthian manner. It was also a fairly common practice during the eighteenth century to give individuality to each house of a series, otherwise similar in appearance, by varying the form of the doorways on which much of the ornamentation of the building was concentrated.
The magnificent ironwork of the eighteenth century must not be forgotten as it played an important part in the domestic architecture of the period. Wrought-iron gates, railings, balconies, trellis verandas and fan lights were introduced as necessary artistic contributions to the general design.
The doorway, no. 44 Great Ormond street, London
Adam’s Fanlight, at no. 31 John Street, Adelphi
The masterpieces of the Georgian smiths were their gates and railings and these, in conjunction with eighteenth century brick-work, help to form a picture of peculiar richness and character.
Trellis Veranda, The Glouchester Coffeehouse, Piccadilly. Several verandas similar to the above are stillto be seen at the north-east corner of BedfordSquare and the entrance to Euston Station.
Home House, 20. Portman Square, London. (exterior)
This house is a highly finished example of Robert Adam's domestic architecture. It is simple study in stock brickwork, decorated with few paterae, and distinguished by a characteristic porch and fine metal railings. The boldness of the focal point, in this case and projecting portico, is somewhat marred by the junction with the balcony, which unfortunately was added at the later date. The heavy top storey is also a later addition.
Most of Adam's smaller town houses have very simple exteriors. He relied for beauty in design on the skilful disposition of well proportioned windows, a good cornice, iron railings, and the concentration of ornamentation on an elegantly finished doorway, with a graceful fanlight over the door. But many of his somewhat plain-looking houses without were beautifully decorated within, as will be seen by a study of the room below.
The Music Room, Home House, Portman Square. This is a masterly example of Robert Adam’s work.