Category Archives: Town and Village

New Traditional Architecture 1: A Frankfurt Reconstruction

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

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New Traditional Architecture 3: On Vernacular Architecture

In one posting on the New Traditional Architecture Facebook page is illustrated the ‘Villa Tällberg’, completed in 2019 in the Swedish vernacular manner. It is by a Swedish architectural firm Byggnadswerk, led by Tommy Janssen, who does some rather beautiful … Continue reading

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New Traditional Architecture 2: Right Wing Conspiracies and Leftist Divisiveness

An article in the Art Newspaper by Robert Bevan on 7 January 2022 (‘The ugly pursuit of beauty: how traditional architecture has become a battleground for right-wing politicians’) comes out firing on all barrels against New Traditional Architecture as a … Continue reading

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Sky Barrels: Lake Daylesford, Neighbourhood Character, and Imagistic Architecture

In Daylesford there has been a recent planning application for ‘Sky Barrels’ on Cornish Hill (Fig. 1).[1] These are five one-bedroom holiday cottages in the shape of compressed (elliptical) barrels on metal stands. The ends of the barrels are windowed, … Continue reading

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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

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Pavilions, Fabriques, and the Reverential Copy

[This paper discusses a category of building that is related to, and sometimes overlaps with, the pavilion: the fabrique. The fabrique is not to be confused with the folly, although both are found in parks and gardens and the terms … Continue reading

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Portmeirion 3. How Serious is Portmeirion?

The trauma of the First World War seems to have manifested itself in the ‘silly ass’ artistic culture of the 1920s. Novelists like Margery Allingham, and even Dorothy L. Sayers, created their detective heroes as upper class twits who took … Continue reading

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Portmeirion 2. Portmeirion and the Picturesque

The most useful way of approaching Portmeirion is through the concept of the picturesque. Williams-Ellis (or, as everyone calls him, Clough) explains how he liked sailing around the Mediterranean and enjoyed the view of coastal towns from the sea. He … Continue reading

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Portmeirion 1. Introduction

People don’t always get Portmeirion (Fig. 1). For example, it has been argued that it is a proto-Post-Modernist work, created by an architect trying to subvert the modernist norm long before Venturi and Scott-Brown came on the scene. But this … Continue reading

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Highgrove’s Berninian Fabrique

A new book on Highgrove arrived today, by Bunny Guinness. I was interested to see if one feature was illustrated there—the Oak Pavilion—as it does not appear in any other book and they don’t let you take photos. Indeed, it … Continue reading

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