March 31, 2010

New Georgian Classics

Months ago, I wrote about the Georgian Group Awards Scheme, in which many of the UK’s deteriorating Georgian country homes are being brought back to life.austen7 Each year, there are several awards given to the best of these projects. Austen1Austen Redman, who works with the firm, Francis Johnson & Partners, classic architects in England, contacted me to tell me about some of their projects, and just recently sent me a small video of their work. austen2The amazing thing is that each of the homes shown in the video is less than 20 years old! austen4 We often lament that workmanship like that done in the Georgian era is no longer available, but Austen has shown us that it is. austen5Making the visuals in this video even more wonderful is the music flowing through it. The piece is Nocturne No.1 by John Field (1782-1837), performed by Julian Savory.austen6 The video is here. I hope you will take a few minutes to watch it.


  1. Meg I love your first image, beautiful!! I will post on April Food Day Sunday night!

    Art by Karena

  2. Meg......Your anglophile friend thanks you for this posting. No matter their age, good bones are good bones. K

  3. Very nice and nary a down-light in sight. I have the one by the lake but with swans.

  4. Hi Meg!
    Always a pleasure when I can come over and see what you are up to. Looking forward to watching the video. Our American Foursquare has some Georgian always interested.

    Hope you are well!

  5. so lovely, thanks! You enjoying the sun??? :) I am out tomorrow planting flowers. YAY

  6. gorgeous video - sights and the music. Fabulous to see that true craftsmanship still exists. Thanks for sharing Meg. Happy Easter weekend to you x

  7. I loved this video, Meg. Gorgeous houses and beautiful music - perfect combo! Have a wonderful weekend. xx

  8. Bravo to the Georgian Group for working to save fine historic structures; however, I don't at all understand praise for these new houses. Were there no deteriorating originals to work with? The craftsmanship is stellar, but the cultural value as compared to the original Georgian structures is nonexistent. Verisimilitude only goes so far, and even my untrained eye could see something was amiss -- these are only a few steps shy of McMansions. Expensive and soulless, as compared with the gravitas and delicacy of proportion found in genuine examples that have weathered the last 200 years. Architecture that references the classical is certainly not dead, but each time one of these stage sets is built it dies a little.

  9. @Nick Heywwod
    Much of our work at Francis Johnson & Partners involves the renovation and alteration of listed (historic) buildings (please see our website). Our founder, Francis Johnson, was a pioneer of modern restoration techniques and worked on well known properties including Hardwick Hall and Belton House.
    The largest of the houses in the video was designed by Mr. Johnson shortly before his death in 1995 and build posthumously. I do not see that that our new houses are any more "stage sets" than those of Norman Shaw or Lutyens. Indeed the first house in the video (2nd & 3rd pictures) is probably much more refined than its model, Cronkhill in Shropshire by John Nash.
    Classical architecture will only die when there is no longer practised.

  10. Sorry - last sentance should read "when it is no longer practised".


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