Lutyens’ early career was heavily linked to the Arts and Crafts movement but he soon started incorporating more classical elements to his designs. Due to Gertrude Jekyll’s influence, his designs placed great emphasis on practicality and usefulness which he punctuated with his own inventiveness and wit. He was able to adapt a number of architectural styles and imbibe them with his own sense of humour to create timeless yet practical designs.
Martin Fuller’s article The Charms Of Edwin Lutyens published New York Review of Books in December 4th 2014 states, “Lutyens worked in four successive but frequently overlapping (and sometimes recurrent) stylistic modes: Arts and Crafts, Art Nouveau, Neo-Georgian, and High Classical. To all of them he brought the antic vivacity that was his most characteristic quality. His vernacular version of Arts and Crafts, familiarly known as the Surrey Style, featured traditional regional motifs including prominent redbrick chimneys, large multiple gables, overhanging red tile roofs, small-paned casement windows, and elevations clad in varying combinations of brick, stucco, tile, clapboard, half-timbering, or sandstone. Asymmetrical massing suggested additions accreted over time, typical of old country houses.
Always attuned to shifts in taste and eager to give clients what they wanted, Lutyens was more accommodating than his hugely talented contemporaries C.F.A. Voysey and C.R. Ashbee, whose careers foundered as they clung to Arts and Crafts principles long after they’d gone out of fashion. Lutyens next had a brief Art Nouveau phase, seen in houses such as Le Bois des Moutiers of 1898 in Normandy, with its exaggeratedly steep roofs and elongated oriel windows in the manner of Charles Rennie Mackintosh.”
The house at 8 Little College Street combines classicism with the Palladian style of the Edwardian Baroque, a mixture of 18th century French design with that of Sir Christopher Wren from the 17th century (a combination which prompted Lutyens to term it the ‘Wrenaissance’) which grew out of the Arts and Crafts movement concurrently with Art Nouveau. It contains classical decorative elements.
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