Friday, February 17, 2006

Meet John Nash

John Nash was the royal architect for George IV. He left his mark on the city by designing Regent's Park and creating a grand boulevard on Regent Street, a project that, A Traveler's History of London says, "required the demolition of 700 small shops and houses."

Nash, the history says, was not formally educated in architecture, nor had he traveled extensively to study the great buildings of the world, but he was "in many was as vulgar, flashy, and affected as his royal master, (and) was similarly a man of vision and bravura style."

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This church, All Souls, is a Nash-designed edifice on Langham Place where Regent Street curves into Portland Place. It's a bit of a running joke among architects for its jarring jumble of styles--the pointed spire on top of a Roman-style portico. The traveler's history quotes Prince Puckler-Muskau making observations about All Soul's:
The church, for instance, which serves as point de vue to Regent St, ends in a ridiculous spire ... It is a strange architectural monster.


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3:46 AM  

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