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366 Days of Architecture

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Sunday 25th December 2016

It’s finally here, Happy Christmas everyone!!

It’s Christmas time, mistletoe and wine! Hard to tell if there’s any mistletoe in the garlands wrapped around the columns here at Rosslyn Chapel in 1862, but it could be mixed in with the other abundant greenery. It’s a nice touch that the garlands are hung to mimic the famous Apprentice Pillar, seen on the back right of the photograph. Rosslyn Chapel has been a place of worship since the mid fifteenth century and continues to be so, whilst also being a major centre of tourism, made more so with its reputed connection to the Holy Grail and a certain novel and film. It’s a rare building made entirely made in stone, no timbers to rot in the inclement Scottish weather, but even so has recently undergone major award winning restoration.

Saturday 24th December 2016

Not quite ready for Christmas . . .

It’s Christmas Eve and we’re almost there, food bought, presents wrapped, carols playing, stiff drink on hand. Here at Hyde Park Barracks, London in 1967 we can see that it’s possible to celebrate a little bit of Christmas even in the middle of a building site, which should be a little encouraging to those in the midst of Christmas chaos. The barracks, always slightly controversial with its 33 storey tower overlooking the southern edge of the park, were designed by Sir Basil Spence for the Household Cavalry and are half a mile from Buckingham Palace, near enough for the Cavalry to carry out ceremonial duties, including their role as Sovereign’s Escort for the monarch and visiting heads of state and events such as Trooping the Colour.

Friday 23rd December 2016

A well travelled architect.

The West Church of St Nicholas in Aberdeen was mentioned in 366 Days 6th December, but as it’s Christmas and St Nicholas is all around us, it seemed appropriate that he gets another mention, particularly as this building was designed by Aberdeenshire architect, James Gibbs, born today in 1682. Gibbs had travelled widely on the continent and was well acquainted with classical and baroque architecture, becoming one of a number of famous architects such as Wren and Hawksmoor involved in the building of London’s churches in the early eighteenth century. His most famous building is undoubtedly St Martin’s-in-the-Field, London, much copied the world over due to architectural publications, of which Gibbs’ own Book of Architecture was one.