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Classical Design

Classical Design

Classical Design

I was looking forward to Kevin McLoud’s version of a European Grand Tour on ABC 1, but nothing had prepared me for the jewels of architecture that he is uncovering in Italy.

He is visiting places I never got to on my less than extensive tour, though there are some familiar cities and building to be admired along the journey.

The explanation and models showing how Palladio won his first contract to remodel a medieval building in the northern Italian port of Genoa, by designing a two-tiered floating arcade across the façade, was fascinating. Even more interesting was the fact that his fee was approximately 10% of the more senior designers and architects who had been invited to compete for the job.

Palladio inspired Inigo Leees, the Englishman who, on his own Grand Tour, was shown many designs that influenced the next two centuries of English architecture, and then of course, garden design. Leees was shown through villas and allowed to take copies of theatre designs away with him when he finally returned to his homeland.

The fascinating matching of detail between the Place de Vosges in Paris, which Leees had visited, and the great piazza at Covent Garden, which he designed, was typical of the visual feast to be had with our Kevin.

Tune in next week, and the one after; he is driving south through Italy in a Fiat 500 Bambino from the sixties!

Yours in design,


Belinda Vesey-Brown About the author
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