New Book | A Treatise on Civil Architecture

Posted in anniversaries, books by Editor on May 6, 2023

From Rizzoli:

William Chambers, with a preface by Frank Salmon, A Treatise on Civil Architecture (Stockholm: Bokförlaget Stolpe, 2023), ISBN: 978-9189696358, $80.

book coverA gorgeous, oversize, clothbound facsimile of the classic 18th-century guide to the vocabulary of Western architecture

Sir William Chambers (1723–1796) was a Swedish British architect who designed imaginative castle buildings and luxurious interiors as well as simple and rational utilitarian architecture: some of his most famous works include the Roehampton Villa, Great Pagoda, and Somerset House (all located in London). Originally published in 1756, A Treatise on Civil Architecture is an architecture handbook in which Chambers explains the basics of the art of building, aiming “to collect into one volume what is now dispersed in a great many, and to select, from mountains of promiscuous Materials, a Series of Sound Precepts and good Designs.” The guidebook is supplemented by concise texts and beautiful illustrations of classical building types and their functions. Received with considerable acclaim upon its release, A Treatise on Civil Architecture quickly became the most popular practical work on architecture in the English language and has since been republished several times. This handsome clothbound edition is published in conjunction with the 300th anniversary of Chambers’ birth.

William Chambers (1723–1796) was an architect mainly active in and around London. Chambers was a founder member of the Royal Academy of Arts in 1768 and he published a number of both practical and theoretical books on architecture, gardening, and interior design.

Frank Salmon is Associate Professor (Senior Lecturer) in History of Art, University of Cambridge and a Fellow at St John’s College, Cambridge. Since 2021 Dr. Salmon has served as the director at the Cambridge based The Ax:son Johnson Centre for the Study of Classical Architecture.


New Book | Georgian Arcadia

Posted in books by Editor on May 6, 2023

From Yale UP:

Roger White, Georgian Arcadia: Architecture for the Park and Garden (New Haven: Yale University Press, 2023), 352 pages, ISBN: ‎ 978-0300249958, $65.

An exploration of the origins and evolution of Georgian landscape architecture, a period of innovative and diverse garden structures in which some of the era’s greatest architects experimented with form, style, and technology

The invention and evolution of the Georgian landscape garden liberated garden buildings from the corset of formality, allowing them to structure much more extensive areas of garden and park. One of the leading authorities on Georgian landscape architecture, Roger White explores a genre in which some of the era’s greatest architects experimented with different forms, styles, and new technology. Covering not just the obvious adornments of parks and gardens such as temples, summerhouses, grottoes, towers, and ‘follies’, the book also explores structures with predominantly practical functions, including mausolea, boathouses, dovecotes, stables, kennels, deer pens, barns, and cowsheds, all of which could be dressed up to make an architectural impact. White examines these structures not only architecturally but from a functional and cultural viewpoint, considering questions of stylistic origins and development. Focussing on the contributions of Britain’s leading eighteenth-century architects—Vanbrugh, Hawksmoor, Gibbs, Kent, Adam, Chambers, Wyatt, and Soane—Georgian Arcadia provides a richly illustrated account of a period of innovative and diverse garden building.

Roger White is an architectural historian specialising in the Georgian period. He is a Fellow of the Society of Antiquaries of London and has been Secretary of both the Georgian Group and the Garden History Society.

New Book | Visions of Arcadia

Posted in books by Editor on May 6, 2023

From Rizzoli:

Bernd H. Dams and Andrew Zega, Visions of Arcadia: Pavilions and Follies of the Ancien Régime (New York: Rizzoli, 2023), 280 pages, ISBN: 978-0-8478-9916-6, $85.

book coverAstonishing buildings created for casual amusements, the splendid pavilions and garden follies of prerevolutionary France are the glorious productions of an age now past—but they continue to speak to us through the dazzling artistry of Dams and Zega.

Spanning 150 years and the reigns of four kings, the pleasure pavilions, garden follies, and châteaux of Ancien Régime France are fascinating for the stories that surround their creation as well as a visual feast and a delight. Typically the realm of scholars, the subject is given extraordinary life at the hands of the authors, through whose historically accurate, meticulously rendered watercolors the reader comes to see the sometimes grand, sometimes playful, always beautiful buildings, sculpture, and ornament as they were meant to be seen. Dams and Zega have devoted much of a lifetime to rediscovering and illuminating these great treasures of world heritage, and this volume is the fruit of more than thirty years of passionate investigation. Intensive original research and devoted exploration informs the work, capturing the genius of these buildings through the medium of watercolor, which the author-artists harness to render building materials and surfaces with sensitivity and great range. From the mannerist and early baroque guard pavilions at Blérancourt to the Château de Rosay, a fantasy realized in the form of an Anglo-Chinese folly park, this volume is a revelation, sure to captivate architects, historians, landscape designers, and garden lovers.

Bernd H. Dams is an architect and architectural historian. Andrew Zega is an architectural illustrator, designer, and writer. Together, they have authored and illustrated a number of successful books, including Palaces of the Sun King, Chinoiseries, and Central Park NYC for Rizzoli.

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