The Idea of Villa Castagna
A garden is both a real place, and a cloud of possibilities. What you will find here will be both something real, and something that may or may not become real. For this reason you will find no map: Instead you will meet fragments, part real, part possible.
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Category Archives: Restoration and Conservation
The New Traditional Architecture Facebook site is interesting, not least because of its European (often Central European) focus. While Putin seems to be revisiting WW2, as Hitler needing Lebensraum rather than Stalin resisting an invader, this site often engages with … Continue reading
Montsalvat Part 1: Less an Artist’s Colony than an Ideal Burgundian Village, an Australian Portmeirion
While Montsalvat was an artist’s colony, it was also a Portmeirion: one man’s dream of building a village that romantically alluded to old Europe. Continue reading
Jemima Grey’s Chinoiserie Fabrique at Wrest Park. Part 3. Chinese Elements, Function, Typology and Sources
Chinese Elements There is not much Chinese about the fabrique. It has a dragon on the pinnacle, which was easy to miss in 2013 (Fig. 4), but must be much more conspicuous now that it has been gilded (Fig. 13). … Continue reading
Within a month of the destruction by fire of the roof and flèche (crossing spire) of Notre Dame in Paris, proposals by architects for their replacement abound. Why are these designs so awful? The answer is simple: they lack respect. … Continue reading
Onion domes are seen here as being extravagantly exotic. They are certainly un-English and un-Australian. While ogee curves are common enough here in neo-Elizabethan buildings and Victorian bandstands, I cannot think of an example of an ‘onion’ dome. But first … Continue reading
I was reading an article about the 1974 V&A exhibition about the Destruction of the Country House. It cited a Guardian review of the time, to the effect that why should we care that the houses of wealthy (or once … Continue reading
Looking back at the controversy over the restoration of Chartres cathedral, and a look at some commentary available on-line: an article in the Spectator in 2012 by Alasdair Palmer (http://www.spectator.co.uk/arts/arts-feature/7836868/restoration-tragedy/), a blog by Martin Filler in the New York Review … Continue reading