Classic Architecture

A return to Classical ideas ushered an "age of awakening" in Italy, France, and England. It is also described as the style today as ‘classical’.


Throughout the year I have visited  architectural buildings, houses and museums in London  to look at design of the building and these are mostly built in the renaissance era (1400- 1600) and Victorian period (1800s). History says during the Renaissance era architects and builders were inspired by the carefully proportioned buildings of ancient Greece and Rome. .

Digital drawing on photoshop

While looking around one thing is quite common that Generally the type of design or craft work around these buildings are hugely stone carving, pattern, wood carving, metal work and glass work. Many parts of the stone carving are just in a forms like the archways and passages. The buildings are usually surrounded by wall and lots of columns, parks and trees. Museums such as Natural history museum or Victoria and Albert in London has bars that stretch up to the ceiling to support the roof. On them I could see patterns which I could use to make some designs later on.


On other side much of London is Victorian, one can see Victorian style and design inspiration around everywhere in London, more specifically in Victorian homes. According to RIBA (Royal Institute of British Architect) the 19th century the city's population grew from under 1 million to over 7 million people. To accommodate them, pioneering architects and engineers built churches, schools, hospitals, banks, offices, theaters, mansion blocks, streets of terraced houses and townhouses, bridges, sewers, roads and railways. They built many of the iconic buildings and structures that promote London to the world.

 The Victorians had their own distinctive decorative elements which can distinguish a Victorian house.

 These include stained glass panes in the windows, ornamented ridge tiles on the roof, shapely wooden barge boards beside the roof and the odd finial.

But Classicism lies too in more modest buildings, down to the simple houses arranged in streets and squares that make up so much of London’s urban fabric. These are not usually the works of great architects but of anonymous builders. Classicism provides a foundation on which to understand construction, composition and proportion – what might be called ‘architectural good manners’. Classicism is at the core of London’s identity, but it seems likely that a lack of appreciation of classical principles will continue to erode the character of the city. It would be good, however, to end on a positive note and there are signs amongst an emerging generation that the wheel is turning. For them, Classicism no longer carries political baggage but instead seems to offer a model of a more humane, attractive and natural architecture.

The place  I have visited recently that reflects classicism include:



Palm & Temperate House, Kew Gardens, London













After a five-year-long restoration, the Royal Botanic Gardens Kew has reopened Temperate House last year in may 2018. ‘It’s been amazing watching this project architectural design unfold  since my earlier visit to Kew in 2017. The building emerged as something truly impressive to me. I believe just as unique in this way, the elegant looking silhouette of the Temperate House formed between the glass and the iron sheds shedding new perspective on the importance of nature and its fragile beauty. the interior felt like a fantasy to me in the real world. moreover reading through the paint analysis report online, it reveals that early decorative schemes had stone-coloured walls with pale blue and off-white decoration on the structure. The later blocks originally had a dark green colour scheme with polychromatic stone colours, picking out architectural details and high-level sculpture, following the paint analysis research. It definitely offered me a full and unobstructed view of the incredible metal skeleton in all its cutting edge glory

Glasshouses built in of the mid-late 1880s and have  since gained iconic status as symbols of Victorian innovation. Influenced by the then industrial revolution both the glasshouses were executed in wrought and cast iron ribs support as arched metal frames and glass roof, housing a range of tropical plants. Temperate House, the largest Victorian glasshouse in the world, is home to Kew's temperate zone plants, the glasshouse contains specimens from South Africa, the Americas, Asia, Australia, New Zealand and oceanic islands.

Zoom in image of skeleton iron bars: Temperate house architecture


Drawing on paper, 2019, Manisha Saini

Left to right-  Doric, Ionic and Composite column

I have used  columns in my painting “secret Villa” that hold up the porch roof  which might look simple, but their history is long and complicated. Some columns trace their roots to the Classical Orders of architecture, a type of "building code" from ancient Greece and Rome. Three types of columns are used first is with a plain capital and a fluted shaft, Doric is the earliest and most simple of the Classical column styles developed in ancient Greece.  I have seen these mostly on many Neoclassical London  libraries, and government buildings

Another are the Ionic Columns which usually belongs to 19th century homes of the Neoclassical or Greek Revival style at entry points of buildings. This type of column is more grand than the Doric, which flourished in larger public buildings. 

Lastly I have used the mostly intricately designed Columns in the work that were built in about the first century B.C. when the Romans combined the Ionic and the Corinthian orders of architecture to create a composite style. Composite columns are considered "Classical" because they are from ancient Rome.