Category Archives: Restoration and Conservation

Jemima Grey’s Chinoiserie Fabrique at Wrest Park. Part 4. The Chinese Bridges

There was also, it seems, a Chinese bridge that went with the ‘house’ or temple. I can’t seem to find any primary sources for this. This is long gone. There is today a Chinese bridge nearby made of brick and … Continue reading

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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

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Jemima Grey’s Chinoiserie Fabrique at Wrest Park, Part 2. Form and Style

The Status of the Current Version The relationship between the Chinese fabrique she built and Wrest Park and the 20th century structures is not completely clear to me. Apparently the stone base is original,[1] but Conner writes that ‘the pavilion … Continue reading

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On Recent Proposals for Rebuilding the Roof and Spire of Notre Dame

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

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Onion Domes and the Spire of the Dresden Hofkirche (1738-51), with asides on the Frauenkirche

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

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The Bridge on the River Kwai

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

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The Restoration of Chartres Cathedral

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

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