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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  1. this first photo is very special because of the lights. I guess when they designed these columns in the ancient times their intention was make the light playing around them.

  2. Exactly put. Flutting makes columns appear thinner.

  3. Your photos let me feel the atmosphere of the Temple again. Like a poem.

  4. Beautiful columns, perfectly proportioned I think.

  5. Nice photos and I like the light and shadow in the first time in particular 🙂

  6. These your pictures get me to long for “sunny ruins” in Greece and Italy 🙂
    I don`t remember, how many times I have been in Greece walking and watching wonderful ancient world.

    Perhaps this an Italian architect classmate meant
    just a feeling and atmosphere, which she can get
    by seeing these ionic columns. You need it anyway
    in UK. I have lived 11 months in Scotland, there was three sunny days during this time! We can have in Finland same kind of bad summers as well.

    Seeing these fine architecture from ancient time and warm countries is important to us in many ways.

    Ps. Have you been in Petra, Jordan, It was most
    impressive place and it has very interesting history too.

  7. love the light and shadows here. have a litle brainfag and so cant muster anything else to say or do but ;0)

  8. I was just wondering, are you an architect? Annie

  9. Hi, I studied architecture but now am a Architectural Conservation student. I studied fishing but now do not practice. I’ve only fished once in my life, and my catch was so big I’ve never had to go fishing again. It’s been in the freezer for years feeding me and several others.
    Actually, I don’t like fish.

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