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When the greatest part of the architectural past is destroyed, as it was over the last two centuries of Edinburgh's development, we become totally dependant on the image left to us by contemporary descriptions. But how reliable is the evidence of the town's mid-eighteenth-century form? That is...
This paper tells the story behind the construction of Duddingston House, designed by Sir William Chambers in 1763 for James Hamilton, 8th Earl of Abercorn. Regular reportsfrom Chambers' clerk of works to the Earl provide a fascinating account of the practical progress of building work – from the...
The west wing of Arniston House, severely damaged by dry rot in the late 1950s, has been undergoing extensive restoration in recent years. The plaster ceiling in the Drawing Room has now been re-installed. Over the decades, as the identity of the plasterer has continued to elude architectural...
John Ruskin was the first critic to recognise the imprint of Islam on the architecture of Venice and to explore its context and meaning. This essay investigates how, without ever having seen an Islamic building, he recognised this strain in Venice's townscape. To justify his intuitive sympathy...
The recent acquisition, by the Royal Commission on the Ancient and Historical Monuments of Scotland, of Sir Robert Lorimer's office papers relating to the Thistle Chapel at St Giles' Cathedral in Edinburgh, has allowed a reassessment of some aspects if its construction.
Patrick Geddes (l854–1932) is today best known for his renewal work in Edinburgh's Old Town, which relied on, and reinforced, the romantic image of Edinburgh's historic centre. Accordingly, it is often assumed now that Geddes rejected the rational planning principles of Edinburgh's New Town, but...
Although best known Jot his designs of the 1938 Empire Exhibition, Thomas Tait is still one of Scotland's least recognised twentieth century architects. In the 1930s, Tait focused his attention on Scottish commissions and produced one of the most important Scottish public buildings built this...
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