Astoft

Kew Gardens

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Notes in italics from London 2: South by Bridget Cherry and Nikolaus Pevsner (1983)
Yale University Press, New Haven and London.



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KEW PALACE, or the DUTCH HOUSE, built in 1631 by Samuel Fortrey (a London merchant of Dutch descent) as a country house close to the river ...The palace is of brick, laid with supreme skill and artistry in Flemish not English bond, something of an innovation at the time. Three storeys, with to the main fronts three gables with double-curved sides and crowning pediments alternately triangular and segmental - also still an innovation in 1630. The windows originally had brick crosses of a mullion and a transom, and that was a relatively novel motif too. ...
One of the most characteristic features of the house is the evident delight in play with brickwork, such as the rustication round all windows. The centre bay is enriched by super-imposed pilasters and, on the top floor, by columns - the pilasters on the ground floor have been removed - and by arched windows. ... The delightful formal garden on the river side of Kew Palace was laid out in C17 style in 1975.


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ORANGERY, built by Sir William Chambers and dated 1761 (although built in 1757), for a long time England's  largest hothouse. ... It is seven bays long with rusticated walls and arched openings, the first and last bays pedimented, of brick, still stuccoed with Chambers's secret form of stucco.


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The PALM HOUSE, one of the boldest pieces of C19 functionalism in existence ... was designed by Decimus Burton, with Richard Turner the engineer. ... Building took from 1844 to 1848. ... (it) consists entirely of iron and glass and has curved roofs throughout. The rise of the roofs up the wings and then up the centre is unforgettable. The vertical walls and the vertical strip at the foot of the centre roof are too low to interfere with the strong rhythm of the identical curves. 



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