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Gothic Revival: The Latest Architecture and News

AD Classics: Grundtvig's Church / Peder Vilhelm Jensen-Klint

21:30 - 10 October, 2018
AD Classics: Grundtvig's Church / Peder Vilhelm Jensen-Klint, Courtesy of Flickr user Flemming Ibsen
Courtesy of Flickr user Flemming Ibsen

This article was originally published on July 28, 2016. To read the stories behind other celebrated architecture projects, visit our AD Classics section.

Six million yellow bricks on a hilltop just outside Copenhagen form one of the world’s foremost, if not perhaps comparatively unknown, Expressionist monuments. Grundtvigs Kirke (“Grundtvig’s Church”), designed by architect Peder Vilhelm Jensen Klint, was built between 1921 and 1940 as a memorial to N.F.S. Grundtvig – a famed Danish pastor, philosopher, historian, hymnist, and politician of the 19th century.[1] Jensen Klint, inspired by Grundtvig’s humanist interpretation of Christianity, merged the scale and stylings of a Gothic cathedral with the aesthetics of a Danish country church to create a landmark worthy of its namesake.[2]

It was decided in 1912 that Grundtvig, who had passed away in 1873, had been so significant to Danish history and culture that he merited a national monument. Two competitions were held in 1912 and 1913, bringing in numerous design submissions for statues, decorative columns, and architectural memorials.[3]

Courtesy of Flickr user Flemming Ibsen Courtesy of Flickr user Rune Brimer Courtesy of Flickr user noona11 Courtesy of Flickr user Flemming Ibsen + 18

AD Classics: Red House / William Morris and Philip Webb

04:30 - 16 June, 2017
AD Classics: Red House / William Morris and Philip Webb, The L-shaped footprint of the building allows it to focus in on the garden. ImageCourtesy of Flickr user Gabrielle Ludlow (licensed under CC BY-NC-ND 2.0)
The L-shaped footprint of the building allows it to focus in on the garden. ImageCourtesy of Flickr user Gabrielle Ludlow (licensed under CC BY-NC-ND 2.0)

In the heart of a suburb just east of London stands an incongruous red brick villa. With its pointed arched window frames and towering chimneys, the house was designed to appear  like a relic of the Middle Ages. In reality, its vintage dates to the 1860’s. This is Red House, the Arts and Crafts home of artist William Morris and his family. Built as a rebuttal to an increasingly industrialized age, Red House’s message has been both diminished by the passage of time and, over the course of the centuries, been cast in greater relief against its context.

This stained glass window, depicting Love and Hate, was one of many designed by friends and family of William Morris throughout Red House. ImageCourtesy of Flickr user KotomiCreations (licensed under CC BY-NC 2.0) The painted front door is undeniably medieval in character; the stained glass window panes are not original. ImageCourtesy of Flickr user KotomiCreations (licensed under CC BY-NC 2.0) Courtesy of Flickr user KotomiCreations (licensed under CC BY-NC 2.0) The L-shaped footprint of the building allows it to focus in on the garden. ImageCourtesy of Flickr user Gabrielle Ludlow (licensed under CC BY-NC-ND 2.0) + 14

How Rebuilding Britain’s Houses of Parliament Helped Create Clean Air Laws

08:00 - 29 January, 2017
How Rebuilding Britain’s Houses of Parliament Helped Create Clean Air Laws, The British Houses of Parliament. Image © Flickr user megantrace. Licensed under CC BY-NC 2.0
The British Houses of Parliament. Image © Flickr user megantrace. Licensed under CC BY-NC 2.0

MIT has published new research revealing how the reconstruction of the British Houses of Parliament paved the way for legislation to tackle air pollution in Victorian London. Through original archival work into the 1840-1870 reconstruction, MIT architectural historian Timothy Hyde has revealed that work on the Parliament building was so hindered by air pollution that the British government ordered an inquiry into the effects of the atmosphere on new buildings.

The British Houses of Parliament. Image © Flickr user megantrace. Licensed under CC BY-NC 2.0  © Flickr user daveograve. Licensed under CC BY-NC 2.0. Image New limestone corroded while the building was still being constructed. Image © Flickr user pahudson. Licensed under CC BY 2.0 Westminster Bridge, 1903. Image © Flickr user nedgusnod2. Licensed under CC BY-NC 2.0 + 5

Uncovering Viollet-le-Duc's "Unexpected" Career

00:00 - 2 December, 2014
Half of a rhombohedron. Remains of a crystal system separating the glacier of Envers Blaitière Vallée Blanche (Viollet-le-Duc). Image © Médiathèque de l’architecture & du patrimoine
Half of a rhombohedron. Remains of a crystal system separating the glacier of Envers Blaitière Vallée Blanche (Viollet-le-Duc). Image © Médiathèque de l’architecture & du patrimoine

Eugène Viollet-le-Duc, the French architect most famous for the 'restoration' of Notre-Dame de Paris, is a person we unequivocally associate with 19th century Gothic Revival. Although there is no doubt that his interpretive restorations of medieval French monuments were some of his greatest achievements, a new exhibition at Paris' Cité de l'architecture et du patrimoine seeks to uncover a "well-connected character who pursued an uninterrupted career drawing, building, teaching, restoring, and many other things."

In a review for Domus, Léa-Catherine Szacka examines this first major retrospective dedicated to the designer, theorist and artist since 1980 in celebration of the bicentennial of his birth. According to Szacka curator Jean-Michel Leniaud has, in this exhibition, shifted focus to Viollet-le-Duc's artistic output, thereby presenting "the less known and the more unexpected aspect" of his career.