Introduction to Modern Art 24/11/03 – Architecture in the 19th Century
Intro to Modern Art, 24 / 11/03 (Pd B)
Architecture in the 1 Century: Main Issues and Debates.
Affectionately known as’The Old Lady of Threadneedle Street ‘, the Bank of England has been through several incarnations in its three – hundred year history.
Now a large and imposing edifice sprawling over four acres of the City, the original bank opened for business in 1694 in the Mercers’ Hall later moving on to the Grocers’ Hall.
Finally, in 1732, the present site was bought and work began on the buildings which form the back of the present court towards Threadneedle Street.
Extended and rebuilt several times over the centuries, much of what is visible of the bank today owes its design to Sir John Soane. In fact, one of its most famous features, the stately colonnade which forms the North West or’Tivoli’ corner (pictured above), was based on the Temple of Vesta at Tivoli which the architect sketched in 1779.
The interior of Soane ‘s bank was demolished in the 1920 ‘s, leaving only the massive enclosing wall that had been constructed for security and privacy. But the then architect, Sir Herbert Baker, was careful to incorporate both Soane ‘s designs and those by an earlier architect, Sir Robert Taylor, into the new building. As a result, the parlours, as the bank ‘s workrooms are known, retain their authentic feel.
John Nash (1752-1835) was the son of a millwright, but he cast aside his father ‘s profession and apprenticed with architect Sir Robert Taylor.
He soon wearied of apprenticeship, however, and In a typical act of impatience he set up his own practice.
Nash ‘s first major venture was a speculative effort building London houses of brick which were faced with stucco painted to emulate stone. The venture fell flat, and Nash retired to the country. There he began to build a successful practice, partnering with landscape architect Humphrey Repton on several projects – Nash built the houses, Repton the grounds.
In 1802 the two split up and Nash returned to London. There Nash ‘s natural ebullience found its scope tackling visionary (read extravagant) schemes for his sponsor the Prince Regent.
In 1811 the Prince Regent asked three architects, including Nash, for ideas on developing the farmland called Marylebone Park and the surrounding areas. Nash ‘s ambitious plans included a garden city, with villas, terraced houses, crescents, a canal, and lakes.
The prime focus of the developement was a proposed avenue from Prince Regent’s Park to Prinnie’s home at Carlton House in the Mall. The area covered by Nash ‘s scheme covered the present Regent’s Park, Trafalgar Square, St. Jame’s Park, and Regent Street.
The enthusiastic Prince Regent through his support (and more importantly, his money), behind Nash ‘s scheme, and for the next 23 years until his death, Nash laboured to create his vision.
Several elements of Nash ‘s sweeping scheme had to be abandonned, including a summer palace in Regent’s Park, and the present day Regent’s Street has been much altered.
As the work in London continued, Nash took on other projects for the Prince Regent, including the remodeling of Brighton Pavillion.
There was already a villa at Brighton, designed by Henry Holland, and the Prince Regent asked Nash to make it into a palace. This Nash did, beginning in the Indian fashion then popular, and as work progressed, incorporating further Eastern design elements….
Slide 17: 17. Paris, Galerie d’Orleans, Fontaine
Slide 19: 19.Bibliotheque National, Henry Labrouste, 1858-68, Paris(image not found)
Slide 25: 25.’Wey’ chintz, 1884