Architects

Capability Brown
1715 - 1783
English landscape architect

Born in Kirkharle, Northumberland, Lancelot (Capability) Brown became the leading landscape gardener of his time, he is known for designing gardens with a distinctively English style of grandly picturesque, natural-appearing, and asymmetrically structured landscapes replete with groves of trees, meandering streams, expansive lawns and sylvan lakes. Brown began as a young gardener to the gentry and, working at the famous gardens at Stowe during the 1740s, became a disciple of William Kent . In 1749 he became a consulting gardener and earned his nickname by often telling clients that their properties had "capabilities." Brown created many of the most important gardens of the 18th century, including those at Petworth House, Kew, Blenheim Palace, Ashburnham Place, and Warwick Castle. He also designed several country houses. .

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Sir Norman Foster
b. Manchester, England 1935

Sir Norman Foster was born in Manchester, England in 1935.
He has designed some of the highest profile buildings in the World often winning projects against fierce competition from local architects.
His work includes the Hong Kong and Shanghai Bank, the New German Parliament, the Chek Lap Kok International Airport, Daewoo HQ in South Korea, the Sainsbury Centre for visual arts in the U.K and Century Tower in Japan.

Foster was awarded the RIBA Royal Gold Medal in 1983, and in 1990 the RIBA Trustees Medal was made for the Willis Faber Dumas building. He was knighted in 1990, and recieved the Gold Medal of the AIA in 1994. On June 7, 1999, Sir Norman received the Pritzer Architecture Prize.

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Sir Joseph Paxton
1801 -1865
English architect.

He was also garden superintendent to the Duke of Devonshire from 1826. He designed the Great Exhibition building 1851 (the Crystal Palace), which was revolutionary in its structural use of glass and iron. Knighted 1851.

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Gilbert (George) Scott
1811-1878
English architect.

As the leading practical architect of the mid -19th century Gothic Revival in England, Scott was responsible for the building or restoration of many public buildings and monuments, including the Albert Memorial (1863-72), the Foreign Office in Whitehall (1862-73), and the St Pancras Station Hotel (1868-74), all in London.
Scott was born at Gawcott, Buckinghamshire. He was a follower of A W N Pugin in his early career. He was articled to James Edmeston in 1827, and practised with W B Moffat 1834-45, their commissions being mainly workhouses. In 1840 he won the competition for the Martyr's Memorial, Oxford, and also began his first church restorations, at Chesterfield and Stafford. In 1844 he won the competition for the church of St Nicholas at Hamburg. Scott established himself as a restoration architect, an aspect of his career that began in earnest with his work on Ely Cathedral (1847); this was followed by many other restorations, in all some 40 cathedrals and `minsters´.

He was severely criticised by William Morris for the drastic manner of his restorations, but he saved far more than he ever spoiled. The enormous list of his new buildings includes St Giles, Camberwell (1844); Glasgow University; Leeds Infirmary; the Great Hall of Bombay University; and the chapels of Exeter College (Oxford 1856-59), and St John's College, Cambridge (1863-69).

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Sir Christopher Wren
1632 - 1723
English architect, scientist, and mathematician

Wren was born in East Knoyle, Wiltshire, on October 20, 1632, the son of a clergyman. He was a precocious child with remarkable talent for science and mathematics and had already invented numerous scientific devices before the age of 14, when he was admitted to Wadham College, University of Oxford. While still a student, he made several original contributions in mathematics, winning immediate acclaim. In 1657, after serving as a fellow of All Souls College at Oxford, he was appointed professor of astronomy at Gresham College in London. Three years later he returned to Oxford to accept the post of Savilian professor of astronomy.

Already famous as a scientist and mathematician, Wren started his career as an architect at the age of 29. Until then he had displayed no practical interest in architecture, but his reputation brought him an unsolicited court appointment as assistant to the surveyor general in charge of the repair and upkeep of public buildings. Thereafter Wren devoted himself to the study of architecture with increasing enthusiasm. His earliest work included designs for several new structures at Oxford and at Cambridge.

The fire of 1666 burned the oldest part of London. Within a few days Wren submitted a brilliant plan for rebuilding the area. The plan anticipated many of the features of modern city planning, but it was rejected because of property disputes. In 1667 he was appointed deputy surveyor general for the reconstruction of Saint Paul's Cathedral, numerous parish churches, and other buildings destroyed by the fire. Two years later he received the coveted post of surveyor of the royal works, a position that gave him control of all government building in Britain. He held this position for the following 50 years.

Wren's designs for St. Paul's Cathedral were accepted in 1675, and he superintended the building of the vast baroque structure until its completion in 1710. It ranks as one of the world's most imposing domed edifices. He also designed more than 50 churches, many of them, such as Saint Mary-le-Bow (1671-77) in London, famous for their towers and graceful spires. They include Saint Stephen's, Walbrook; Saint Clement Dane's, the Strand; and Saint James's, Picadilly. Among his secular buildings still in existence are the Sheldonian Theatre at Oxford (1664-69), the Trinity College library at Cambridge (1677-92), and the facade for Hampton Court Palace (1689-94). He also built the Chelsea Hospital (1682), the Greenwich Observatory (1675), and the Greenwich Hospital (1696).

Wren's architectural achievements have obscured his extraordinary contributions in science. Among his inventions were a weather clock comparable to the modern barometer and new methods of engraving and etching. His biological experiments, in which he injected fluids into the veins of animals, were important in developing blood transfusion.

Wren was knighted in 1673; he subsequently served for many years as a member of Parliament. One of the founders of the Royal Society of London for Improving Natural Knowledge, he became its president in 1680. He died in London, on February 25, 1723, and was buried in St. Paul's Cathedral. Near his tomb is a tablet inscribed with his epitaph, which ends with the following famous words: Si monumentum requiris, circumspice ("If you seek his monument, look about you").He is considered England’s foremost architect. His work, in a simple version of the baroque style, displayed great inventiveness in design and engineering. The Wren style strongly influenced English architecture in the Georgian period and its colonial version in America.

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