Wednesday, 15 April 2009
Getting It Right
Aside from the really fine detail and high tolerance work, I've always reckoned a good rule of thumb in engineering would be - if it looks right it probably is. Our friend Mr Lutyens had a real understanding of engineering and wasn't afraid to let its principals speak for themselves. No need here to try and hide the clever stuff behind some fancy decorative embellishments. Drogo was built for Lutyens' client Mr Julius Drewe on that spectacular promontory at Drewsteignton in Devon using the two great tools of mass and gravity to great effect. Started in 1910 it wasn't truly completed until 1931. A halt to work forced by the Great War hasn't detracted from the result and the job wasn't watered down by lack of enthusiasm as could so easily have happened at that time. Detail of outstanding quality can be found all over this place, from the massive cantilevered granite fish sink in the subterranean gun room (what planning) to the thoughtfully designed bronze casement windows. On the subject of fenestration, I took this shot about twenty five years ago lying on my back on the grass. Typical bit of Lutyens drama is in the fact that the walls are built at a slight batter, increasing the visual impact and giving the masons a good head-ache. I am also particularly pleased with the bare granite interior, beautifully dressed and softened moderately with the fine tapestries and furniture shipped in from Drewe's previous home at Wadhurst in Sussex. Marvelous. MORE DESIGN !