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Grand Designs and Great Houses

The Paul Mellon Centre, 16 Bedford Square, London WC1B 3JA
Date and Time
23 March 2022
6:30pm - 8:00pm
Free (booking required)

The Paul Mellon Centre is hosting a series of talks in Spring 2022 by authors of their recently published books. Each author will give a glimpse into their project, sharing insights about the process of researching, writing, and publishing their book. There will be two talks of around 20 minutes each, followed by a discussion and Q&A session.

In the fifth and final of these events, Adriano Aymonino & Manolo Guerci will come together to discuss discoveries made in writing their books about ambitious architectural commissions. They will consider the possibilities and the losses of the archive, issues around writing about designs of great scale (both extant and destroyed), and how to research campaigns of design, patronage and collecting stretching over a number of decades. The conversation will be chaired by Kate Retford.

London’s ‘Golden Mile’: The Great Houses of the Strand, 1550–1650 by Manolo Guerci

This book reconstructs the so-called ‘Strand palaces’—eleven great houses that once stood along the Strand in London. Between 1550 and 1650, this was the capital’s ‘Golden Mile’: home to a unique concentration of patrons and artists, and where England’s early modern and post-Reformation elites jostled to establish themselves by building and furnishing new, secular cathedrals. Their inventive, eclectic, and yet carefully crafted mix of vernacular and continental features not only shaped some of the greatest country houses of the day, but also the image of English power on the world stage. It also gave rise to a distinctly English style, which was to become the symbol of a unique architectural period. The product of almost two decades of research, and benefitting from close archival investigation, this book brings together an incredible array of unpublished sources that sheds new light on one of the most important chapters in London’s architectural history, and on English architecture more broadly.

Event organiser is The Paul Mellon Centre.

Disclaimer: All information was correct when the listing was prepared. Any questions about the event should be directed to the event organiser.