Country Romanticism

Edwin Landseer Lutyens (1869-1944) had no formal architectural education studying buildings around his home at Thursley in Surrey. Stylistically the houses he built looked back to an English venacular tradition. They were modified in response to the differing requirements of his affluent clients. Each house was a complex, sometimes eclectic enterprise built of local materials like Le Bois des Moutiers in France. Its geometric structure extended into a garden designed to complement it by his friend Gertrude Jekkyl. New technology was accepted but disguised. Radiators veiled behind lattice work, electric light bulbs hidden in eighteenth century style lanterns or disguised as candles. Cupboards opened to reveal wash basins of the latest design. The only rooms where technology was let loose were the kitchens and bathrooms. The motor car was placed in a garage disguised as a barn because the ethos of country romanticism he subscribed to didn’t have a solution from the past to surmount the problem.

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