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An understanding and appreciation of the London’s Edwardian building boom is essential for navigating London’s architectural scene today.
In the Edwardian period the City’s and most of London’s West End was rebuilt. The new architecture that replaced the faded Georgian capital was supremely confident, beautifully detailed using high-quality materials, and adopted all the latest technological advances available to the 20thcentury architect and engineer.
Benedict O'Looney (Benedict O'Looney Architects) looks at the both the stylistic and technological sources of London’s Edwardian scene. It shows how the brilliant architect Norman Shaw found a way out of the ‘battle of the styles’ that characterised high Victorian Architecture and how Shaw and his pupils & followers set the high artistic standards, and paths, that British architecture was to follow into the twentieth century. We will look at the two principal design currents of Fin de Siècle London: the changeful Arts and Crafts ‘Edwardian Free Style’ and the Classical revival brilliantly led by Edwin Lutyens.
We will also look at how progressive architects and engineers battled with London’s antiquated building control laws to introduce fully steel framed buildings and show that behind the immaculately detailed Portland Stone, glazed brick and terracotta facades, the modern structures and services we take for granted in building today are first to be found.
Illustration – Edwin Lutyens’ Country Life Magazine offices
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