The Timeless Language of Classicism

Written by the late Professor Emeritus David Watkin
Foreword by HRH The Prince of Wales




“There is no architect who understands more completely than John Simpson the implications of the fact that no new building is designed in a vacuum. His buildings are at once fresh and original yet are conceived as contributions to the classical and traditional architecture that has been at the heart of Western civilization for approaching two thousand years.” – The late David Watkin, from the Introduction

London-based architect John Simpson is one of the world’s leading practitioners of New Classicism, a contemporary architecture movement that continues the practice of classical and traditional architecture, and embraces the virtues of durability, functionality, and beauty. His design ethos revolves around the notion that architecture is a public art, where each facade forms the character and shape of the public realm—the streets, the squares, and the major civic spaces that we use—creating an architectural language that which shapes our collective cultural experience. The Architecture of John Simpson: The Timeless Language of Classicism showcases more than thirty diverse projects, each of which highlights the firm’s commitment to creating architecture and spaces that are both functional and of the moment. Simpson’s architecture is built to last, to be beautiful, and to ensure the comfort and ease of those who experience it, be it the Queen’s Gallery at Buckingham Palace or an apartment in a historic building in New York. The work shown here ranges from smallscale residential and apartment designs, to country house, town house, and large-scale institutional projects. Featured schemes include a new academic quadrangle at Eton College, the new school of architecture at the University of Notre Dame, rooms at Kensington Palace, the Stanhope Hotel renovation in New York, town houses in London’s Belgravia and Chelsea, and much more.

John Simpson studied architecture at the Bartlett School of Architecture, University College London. He has received numerous prestigious honors, including the Palladio Award, the Royal Institute of British Architects Award, The Royal Fine Arts Commission Trust Building of the Year Award, the American Institute of Architects Honor Award, and the Arthur Ross Award of the Institute of Classical Architecture, among many others.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR: The late David Watkin was Professor Emeritus of the History of Architecture at the University of Cambridge. He is the author of numerous books, including The Practice of Classical Architecture: The Architecture of Quinlan and Francis Terry, Radical Classicism, The Roman Forum, English Architecture: A Concise History, and A History of Western Architecture. HRH The Prince of Wales is heir to the British throne. He has been active in the conservation of historic buildings, and produced a book on the subject entitled A Vision of Britain: A Personal View of Architecture in 1989.

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Published: 03th May 2017