061115.Stowe, Temple of Concord and Liberty

November 15, 2006 at 12:01 AM | Posted in Architecture, Buckinghamshire, Chisel Marks, Columns, Conservation, countryside, Gardens & Parks, Ionic Order, Light and Shadow, Restoration, Sculpture, Stowe | 9 Comments

It’s a bird’s beak molding?
It’s a plain molding!?
No, it’s the Roman Ionic Order!



See here the ease a Roman Ionic capital can negotiate a corner without using a pilaster!
Be astounded by its total symmetry!
as it evolves into a Corinthian and Composite capital–before your very eyes!


An Italian architect classmate living in England told me that “it’s always sunnier by an Ionic column.” How—with the fluting? I said I didn’t believe her. If she still has faith in that proverb, I don’t think she’s lived in the Overcast Kingdom long enough.

These photos of the Temple of Concord and Liberty came from my recent trip to Stowe, Buckinghamshire. The house and incredible gardens (with their hundreds of ornate garden buildings) were a primary influence in Catherine the Great’s palace buildings, etc. Stowe House is now a private (termed “public” in the UK) boarding school and the gardens are open to the public. Both the Pushkin Palaces and Versailles directors have expressed that it’s one of the greatest and most influential properties in the world, but it only gets 3,000 visitors a year. Because of this, the site, which needs a great deal of repair always has scaffolding up without much complaint…and also my class was given the full tour, including the roof!

Click here to see a more interesting photo of the same subject taken by Hsueh-Ping (it’s the second photo down). I’m off to Stonehenge today. There, there is a proposal in the works to sink the nearby motorway into a tunnel so it doesn’t disturb the sights or sounds of the very important ancient monument. The downside is that it costs too much. What do you think? I have to do a report on it eventually, so please be generous with your comments. (I’ll post the pictures when I get back, so you’ll have another chance.)


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