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Nicholas Hawksmoor

Rebuilding Ancient Wonders

Vaughan Hart


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The diverse works of architect Nicholas Hawksmoor (?1661–1736) ranged from small architectural details to ambitious urban plans, from new parish churches to work on the monument of his age, St. Paul’s Cathedral. As a young man Hawksmoor assisted Christopher Wren and John Vanbrugh, emerging from these formidable apprenticeships to design some of the most vigorous and dramatic buildings in England. In this engaging book, architectural historian Vaughan Hart presents a fresh view of Hawksmoor’s built and planned work. In addition, Hart offers the first coherent explanation of Hawksmoor’s theory of architecture.

The book explains why Hawksmoor’s buildings look the way they do, what contemporary events influenced his work, and how such ancient buildings as Solomon’s temple and Mausolus’s tomb inspired him. Underscoring the unique qualities of the architect’s accomplishments and aspirations, Hart establishes with new clarity Hawksmoor’s vital role in the development of English architecture.

Yale University Press, 9780300135404, 299pp.

Publication Date: March 14, 2008

About the Author

Vaughan Hart is professor of architecture in the Department of Architecture and Civil Engineering, University of Bath.