The focus of the trip to England was to see the work of the new guard of classical architects in England.
We spent several hours with Ben looking at one of his most spectacular classical residences in the UK that he completed recently and another large ongoing project which I will get to a little later on.
Happily, this new breed of phenomenally talented young, classical architects is fueling a passion for the classical architecture in Great Britain.
It’s not that it ever completely left, but there were the dark ages of the post-war period where it fell out of favor. That is, except for a precious few architects that are still practicing today.
When we talk of classical architecture, we mean a clear attention to scale, proportion, the classical orders, mouldings, symmetry, balance. In short, what I feel is the most pleasing to the eye. At least, I and others think so.
I’m a woman of my word and this post is about Ben Pentreath and his contemporaries, but strictly speaking, I should’ve done this post about the likes of John Simpson and Quinlan Terry— the established predecessors to the new breed of classical architects. They are the link that has kept the movement going, thank God!
But, it’s okay. We can come back to them and others at a later time.
Our first meeting with Ben was at one of his most beautiful residential projects.
It is exquisite and you can see a couple of images here.
However, we were not allowed to take photos inside the house, and after we had taken photos outside, there was some question if even that was okay. Therefore, I need to err on the side of caution and not post anything (that I took) that would identify the home.
I hope this makes up for it. ;]
Please let me make it clear that it was no easy feat to not only get a straight image (a happy accident in this case), but a quick click without Ben even realizing that his handsome, boyish countenance was being captured for millions of blog readers. haha
The next day bright and early was an entire morning with Ben at a most interesting place, the village of Poundbury in Dorchester, Dorset.
For those of you who don’t know and count me amongst them, Poundbury is the brainchild of Prince Charles who owns the land as he is also the Duchy (Duke?) of Cornwall. Or something like that.
Quite frankly, I cannot keep up with all of the Duchies, Dukes and Duchesses, princes, princesses, etc.
No intent to offend, but it’s not high on the list.
We arrived rather late at night and had dinner at our hotel. At the time, I didn’t realize that we were staying in a new building! I didn’t know anything about Poundbury until the next day.
This is a photo I took the following morning at the start of our walking tour of Poundbury. The hotel is named after Prince Charles’ late grandmother, The Duchess of Cornwall (Inn).
Ben is one of the principal architects today, in Poundbury which began about 30 years ago. The hotel was designed by Quinlan Terry and his son Francis who is also a renowned classical architect.
Rounding out this amazing pool of classical architectural talent is another brilliant young, classical architect, George Saumarez Smith of Adam Architecture. We will be looking at some of George’s gorgeous work very soon.
Also, please check out my instagram as I have posted some images not on the blog.
Let’s take a look around Poundbury, the planned community of classical architecture.
Yes, I know… it doesn’t look quite real, does it? It’s almost a little Truman Show-esque in that it looks like a painted backdrop, but I do believe those are real houses and real grass in the distance.
This image was taken perched high up on the construction site of a luxury apartment building which should be done in several months I believe.
This is a computer generated version of the luxury apartment building named The Royal Pavilion, Poundbury, Dorchester.
But the building is well underway.
Donning hard hats, we went up to a very large four-floor apartment. Just gorgeous with giant windows and beautiful architectural detailing.
The arch under construction
The classical cupola under construction.
After we took off our hard-hats Ben continued with his tour of other parts of the town. I thought it was very kind of him to wear a scarf which matches my orange Michael Kors handbag. It will be making a guest appearance shortly. ;]
We saw many varied entrance doors and building materials.
Much of what we saw was described to us as a “believable fake.” Here is one example as the facade is only a thin veneer.
I noticed this immediately. Yep. A mistake!!! Ben pointed it out and said that it’s coming down. The capital is way out of proportion. It looks even worse, in person. Cartoonish, actually.
A building from one of the older sections of Poundbury. I believe that this was designed by John Simpson, but am not positive about that.
After a time, we had built up quite an appetite.
And soon we were on the bus again for the short drive to Little Bredy, Dorset.
One of the most difficult aspects of the trip was taking photos. And the reason for that, was my trip-mates who of course, were looking at things and some trying to get their own images.
A few other goals needed to be accomplished.
- Avoid saying something stupid and/or embarrassing (My muzzle was not available as someone else needed to borrow it) ;]
- Be mindful of lettuce caught in my teeth
- Not lose anything
- Try not to spill like I did the other day all over the Aubusson rug!
- Get a photo of Ben and Charlie and then the three of us together. Massive challenges, for sure!
And sadly at least one of those, I definitely did not accomplish. The answer will be forthcoming.
I did manage to get some nice images of the house without a ton of people milling around. It is not a large place so this was an extra-super challenge.
Please enjoy Ben and Charlie’s super charming home!
Love the fireplace and everything on and around it!
It felt so welcoming to arrive to this textbook crackling fire.
The chair had a broken card on it, but I removed it for the photos and remembered to put the card back!
The floor covering underneath the runner is wall-to-wall seagrass. I have a feeling they did that to cover up something not-so-great. But this definitely looks wonderful!
I love this part of the house where the side entrance is.
Charlie has a Sheila Maid, but he did not have anything hanging from it while we were there.
There’s my orange Micahel Kors bag looking quite at home, I must say!
And yes, the walls are this bright, bright yellow. They looked AMAZING!
BTW, if you’re lovein’ the paint colors. I did a follow-up post where I made my attempt to “Crack The Ben Pentreath Paint Color Code.” You can check it out here.
So, did you get the photo Laurel???
Well, I went into the living room and working the dimples said as sweetly as possible: “I have this little blog and my readers will not let me come home (awwww shame) ;] unless I produce a photo of you guys with me.”
I guess they needed to get rid of me, because they hopped right to it. lol
Phew! That worked!
Surprised that my face didn’t crack open with that super goofy but happy, happy smile.
In fact, I was so happy, that I didn’t (completely) freak out when on the bus… realized that indeed I had lost something.
My cell phone charger!
While gallivanting through the garden and up the hill to get the best views, it must’ve fallen out of my bag; maybe not at Ben’s, but sometime that morning. Fortunately, the clerk at the hotel had one I could borrow for the remaining two days. Phew again!
Oh, how I hated to say good-bye to this heavenly place.
This is just outside Ben’s yard; don’t know if this property belongs to the house or not, but no matter. I believe I mentioned before that the house is a rental.
I know… It’s pretty freakin’ sick isn’t it?
However, it was a gentle re-entry.
And that’s because we weren’t through with Ben. Nope.
We had one more incredible stop with him to view another classical architect’s home.
It’s the most amazing English country house ever!
Please click on the link above to check it out.
PPS: and if interested, there are some amazing Columbus Day sales. Serena and Lily has put their ENTIRE LINE ON SALE @20% off and that’s going until 10/16.
And all Williams Sonoma Brands are also on sale. For more info, please click here. Lots of beautiful items, I’ve collected in my obsessively curated widgets.