London squares

A study in landscape

Autori e curatori
Contributi
Attilio Petruccioli
Livello
Studi, ricerche
Dati
pp. 200,      1a edizione  2019   (Codice editore 1098.2.54)
Peer reviewed content
Peer Reviewed Content

London squares. A study in landscape
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Tipologia: E-book (ePub) per PC, Mac, Tablet
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In breve

Why a book about London squares today? The answer is complex, brings together life experiences, fragments of research and interests built up over time, a long connection with the English capital and a research path around the themes of the city, its “tissues”, its public spaces and its architecture started for almost twenty years. A journey that finds a great moment of synthesis in this incredible fragment of urban landscape.

Presentazione del volume

The measure of any great civilization is in its towns and cities and the measure of a city's greatness is to be found in the quality of its public spaces, its parks and squares. John Ruskin

Here children could safely play and be watched from the windows of the house. Elderly people could sit in peace and privacy a few yards from home. And the householder was relieved of the cares of garden upkeep, for he paid a subscription into a common fund and the garden was run by a residents committee. Anne Scott-James and Osbert Lancaster

A Londres, le peu de hauteur des maisons, la largeur des rues, la plupart longues et droits, fait qu'on s'oriente aisement: à chaque distance de rues il y a des places spacieuses, les unes ont au milieu une statue, dans un boulingrin, ou un pièce d'eau, ou des bosquets, le tout bien entretenu et qui sert de promenade aux gens de la place; ces places sont immenses et de toute beauté: il y en a à chaques distance; elies sont innombrables. L'on ne batit aucun nouveau quartier que par places, qui forme quatre ailes de maisons. Louis-Sébastien Mercier.


Why write a book about London squares today? The answer is complex, brings together life experiences, fragments of research and interests built up over time, a long connection with the English capital and a research path around the themes of the city, its "tissues", its public spaces and its architecture started for almost twenty years. A journey that finds a great moment of synthesis in this incredible fragment of urban landscape.
What is a square then? It is a large public space, a huge collective space, a refined garden, a piece of urban fabric, which right around it finds its identity, a brilliant example of real estate speculation, an effective socio-building neighborhood model, a place in which, for almost four hundred years, the London civitas has been mirrored despite its radical changes. London square is all these things together, but above all, perhaps, it is what the London Society describes in 1927 as "the pride of London Planning".
Indeed, what is striking when studying the square theme is its resilience value. The fabric has been replaced, transformed, demolished, its inhabitants have changed radically several times, society has changed inexorably, while the scientific-technical progress has redefined the idea of the city, yet, the London garden squares have maintained, despite everything, their social and spatial integrity, their urban role, so much so as to become one of the places where London's identity manifests itself with greater strength and evidence, a real settlement model for the sustainable city of the 21 st century.

Marco Maretto Associate Professor in Architecture and Urban Design at the University of Parma, he focuses his research on the interpretation of urban form as a basis for urban design: urban morphology, sustainability and urban design can be considered the key words of his work.

Indice

Attilio Petruccioli, Presentation
Introduction
Morphology of an Urban Landscape
Improving Common Fields. From Covent Garden to
Soho Square
(Covent Garden; Urban Enclosures: Soho Square)
London Squares. Creation of an Urban Landscape
(Thomas Fairchild: "Squares in the rural Manner"; Birth of Modern Gardening in Squares)
Squares and Great Estates
(Squares, Crescent and Circuses: John Nash; Belgravia and the "New London Towns")
Conclusion
Index of illustrations
Appendix
Select List of London Squares
Stanford's Library Map of London and its
Suburbs (1863)
Select bibliography
Specific bibliography: Botany and Architecture of
Gardens
Cartography