But were the houses, sometimes in rows, really new and thus a modernising phenomenon? Christopher Wren used baroque ideas with classical restraint. In addition to many important mathematical theories, Sir Christopher: "A time will come when men will stretch out their eyes. built a transparent beehive to help study bees, invented an instrument for writing in the dark, developed improvements in the telescope and the microscope, experimented with injecting fluids into the veins of animals, laying the groundwork for successful blood transfusion. The four types of house were all from plans which had existed before the Fire. The Great Fire laid waste to much of medieval London and prompted a transformation in the layout and appearance of the streets. "Architecture & Buildings." This page has been archived and is no longer updated. In 1669, King Charles II hired Wren to oversee the reconstruction of all the royal works (government buildings). Their variety and beauty comes not only from his inventive genius and a close study of classical architecture, but also from an essential pragmatism about the ruins facing him. If you seek his memorial, look about you.". London Bridge was not affected, as a previous fire of 1633 had cleared an area at its north end which stopped the flames of 1666 spreading. The livery companies like the Mercers and Merchant Taylors rebuilt their halls with ornate stone doorways. Inside the City, if we could have walked down a street like Fenchurch Street in 1675, we would have seen an abrupt change from the brick buildings of the new city to the timber and plaster frontages of the pre-Fire city, at the point where the Fire was stopped. The first foundations, at the east end, were dug in 1675. Quotes Attributed to Sir Christopher Wren, Architecture for our Spirit and Soul - Sacred Buildings, Biography of Robert Hooke, the Man Who Discovered Cells. As an astronomer, the future architect developed exceptional skills working with models and diagrams, experimenting with creative ideas, and engaging in scientific reasoning. As far as the outsides of the houses is concerned, there were also only a few new decorative ideas from France or Holland. 40 – the number of days after the great fire ended that the drought also ended, with a major downpour that started on 10 October 1666 … An earlier Act, the Fire of London Disputes Act 1666, had set up a court to settle disputes arising from buildings destroyed by the Fire. Some of the designs may be by Robert Hooke (St Martin Ludgate), but it is clear that Wren only had a general overall control of all these projects. According to the author John Schofield, a former archaeologist at the Museum of London, historians have exaggerated how much actually changed in the rebuilding of the capital after the great fire. £10 – the amount she actually received from the fund. Sickly as a child, Christopher Wren began his education at home with his father and a tutor. Christopher Wren proposed an ambitious plan that would rebuild London with wide streets radiating from a central hub. Schofield, John. There would have been far more sash windows now (the origin of the sash window is obscure, but it may have come from Holland about 20 years before the Fire), but still many sideways opening windows or casements. Classical: Christopher Wren was familiar with the 1st Century Roman architect Vitruvius and the Renaissance thinker Giacomo da Vignola, who outlined Vitruvius's ideas in "The Five Orders of Architecture." 12 pence – the tax (one shilling) payable on each ‘tun’ of coal brought into London. ", "Architecture has its political Use; public buildings being the ornament of a country; it establishes a nation, draws people and commerce; makes the people love their native country, which passion is the origin of all great actions in a Commonwealth...architecture aims at eternity. But in many ways, they were only the medieval or Tudor houses reclothed in brick. Within the area of the fire no buildings survived intact above ground, though churches of stone, and especially their towers, were only partly destroyed and now stood as gaunt and smoking ruins. The great majority of buildings after the Fire had the same functions as before.
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