070703.Bath, Queens Square 1/2

July 3, 2007 at 2:39 AM | Posted in Architecture, Bath, somerset | 3 Comments

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This week, we are listening to Michael Forsyth! It’ll be fun!

Queen Sq was designed by John Wood the Elder, built between 1728 and finished in 1736. It was the first square in England to be completed with one side of terrace houses (the north of seven houses) all appearing to be one palatial front.

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“The concept of individual dwellings as a single unified architectural composition was partly inspired by Ingo Jones’ Covent Garden piazza (1631-7), while the square plan form perhaps echoes Wood’s reconstruction in his Description of Bath of the Roman camp which he believed formed the basis of the present city. A more direct influence can be traced to London, where he knew the work of the builder-architect Edward Shepherd (d. 1747) and was thus intimately familiar with Shepherd’s design for the north side of Grosvenor Square (c.1720-5). This he intended as one palatial composition, itself influenced by Colen Campbell’s first, unexecuted design for Wanstead House, Essex, published in his Vitruvius Britanniucs in 1715. Shepherd however failed to acquire all the leases simultaneously and the result was hesitant and asymmetrical. Wood’s north side of Queen Square fulfills Shepherd’s thwarted design and is architecturally more assured and robust. Completed earlier too was Dean Aldrich’s Peckwater Quadrangle at Christ Church, Oxford of 1706-10, and this scholarly work may have especially influenced the very muscular buildings that Wood created at Bath.” –Michael Forsyth, Bath (New Haven: Yale University Press, 2003), 136.

posted by JosyC
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