CHISWICK HOUSE - PALLADIAN STRIPTEASE

Palladianism has been described by some as a progressive sect within the broad church of neoclassicism, however this 18th Century style was in fact derived from the designs of the 16th-century Italian architect - Andrea Palladio (1508-1580) who appropriated/derived inspiration from the buildings of ancient Rome. In turn, British designers drew on Palladio's work to create a Classical British style. Whilst Palladio was almost considered an architectural heretic in his day, British Palladian architecture dominated the homes of 18thC London gentry and was a regal favorite too (i.e. Nash’s Regent’s Park). Palladian architecture is distinguished by its emphasis upon symmetry, perspective and ornamental austerity. Chiswick House - a reinterpretation of Palladio's Villa Capra - was designed by William Kent and Richard Boyle, 3rd Earl of Burlington in 1729.

For our first assignment we were divided in groups of 5 and every group was assigned to a room of the Chiswick House that we were required to measure, interpret and represent as a set of orthogonal/measured drawings. My group had the Blue Velvet Room. It happens to be one of my favourite rooms in the house, but I think it is also the most difficult one to draw, because it has loads of ornaments. After analysing and measuring the room I was actually very intrigued and passionate about the flocked wallpaper. It was specially made in France for Lord Burlington’s study room. I dived a bit into the history of flocked wallpaper and found out that it was actually a replacement for hanging textiles.

The other inspiring thing is the 3D layering that’s going on on the wallpaper. To enhance that feeling I stripped the flocked wallpaper apart in 3 layers and hung them in front of each other, in front of the wall to bring back the idea of the hanging textiles. If you stand in front of the hanging textiles, they become one again.