I've got some photos from London for you today. I was blown away by the Gothic Revival architecture of the city. It made me think a lot about how people used to value the work of artisans; the importance of living and working and worshipping somewhere filled with visual iconography. You can read more about the architecture of Big Ben (the clock tower with the scaffolding around it) here and more about Westminster Abbey's architecture here and the Palace of Westminster (i.e. House of Parliament) here.
A friend of mine, who is an architectural historian, told me that this kind of stone work is called "vermiculated ashlar" as in it looks like worms ate it.
As you'll see from the photos, we walked from the Gothic Revival architecture through St. James's Park and to the Neoclassical Architecture of Buckingham Palace and then to Wellington Arch, which is an example of Georgian architecture.
The unicorn is said to represent Scotland in the Royal Coat of Arms in the UK. According to Wikipedia: According to legend a free unicorn was considered a very dangerous beast; therefore the heraldic unicorn is chained, as were both supporting unicorns in the royal coat of arms of Scotland.
A fun aside about the Wellington Arch: Much of the planned ornamentation was scaled back or eliminated as a cost-saving measure because the King was renovating Buckingham Palace at the same time.
So, your architecture cheat sheet:
- Gothic Revival Architecture: inspired by medieval design, featuring complex and irregular shapes, castle-like towers and parapets, pointed Gothic arched windows and doorways, and steeply pitched roofs.
- Neoclassical Architecture: featuring grandeur of scale, simplicity of geometric forms, Greek or Roman detail, dramatic use of columns, a preference for blank walls, and described as antique simplicity.
- Georgian Architecture: featuring symmetrical composition along with formal details.
Hope you enjoyed my layman's architectural tour! Thanks for stopping by!