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As we were saying

About building quality and plans and stuff. The Times has this piccie showing today’s snow etc:

That building in the foreground is The Circus. From one side it’s an architectural glory. But that view also shows you the back of the eastern side of it. Which is a hodgepodge of all sorts.

The design method was that the Adamses (think it was them, but no matter) organised the land and designed the frontage. Then the buyer of the house hired a jobbing builder to construct as they wished – as long as they accorded with the design for the frontage. Some things would be pretty much set by that frontage – height of piano nobile rooms, that sort of thing, window spacing, obviously. But other than that it’s as you wish (perhaps also worth noting that a basic design principle of the time was that the family/servants divide went vertically down the house. Basement and attic were servants, obviously, but of the other floors the back of the house was servants, the front family).

4 thoughts on “As we were saying”

  1. The thing I’m noticing when looking at the photo, other than the architecture, is which roofs don’t have snow on them. Lack of insulation and a freezing cold house.

  2. SBML, 20 years ago the melting snow or frost on the roof usually denoted poor insulation; ten years ago it was a sign that the owner was growing marijuana under heat lamps in his loft. Now it’s a sign of a crypto miner running his processors at full tilt.

    Ain’t progress grand.

  3. The specified facade but free behind was pretty common in London, as well. Why when you go into houses they often differ in floor plans. And most of those late Vic/Ed terraces people so love were built vertically divided. Although they don’t generally have a separate staircase. The ubiquitous back-addition. Usually finished to a far lower standard than the main house. Walls not skimmed & polished, smaller, plainer skirtings & architraves. Because they too were built for servants.

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