September 29: the sultan of stone, the maven of mortar, the baron of brick …
2012/09/29 § Leave a comment
On this day in 1838 Henry Hobson Richardson was born.
Some architects are really good in the close-up, or the far-away, or the middle-view. It’s a rare, too-rare architect, who gets everything right, at every vantage, at every angle. Richardson could do that. His buildings have an interesting-but-not-busy profile, perfect compositions in plan and elevation, brilliant arrangement of a material palette that is beguilingly simple. His buildings mark compelling silhouettes, packed with details for anyone who wants to bother to look up. Your eyes will wear out long before you exhaust the delight of a Richardson building.
Richardson died at just forty-eight years old, already with a tremendous legacy behind him, yet with so much unused talent buried along with him. Surely you want to read the Matters of Taste post on this great, lost hero.
Image: the basement windows at Trinity Church Rectory. How many architects make stupid windows into the dumb basement a moment of bricky thrill? Not nearly enough, that’s how many. HHR shows us how it’s done. (Clio’s)