Archive for 29/07/2014


Old School Gardener

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curiosity corner gfw

 ‘Curiosity Corner’ – a garden I (with help), created for under 5’s to explore at Gressenhall Farm and Workhouse, Norfolk

Old School Gardener

not at home

The Villa Ephrussi Rothschild is surrounded by nine magnificent gardens decorated with patios, waterfalls, ornamental ponds, flowerbeds, shady paths and rare species of trees.

The gardens took seven years to complete, from 1905 to 1912. The site chosen for the Villa, with all the grandeur of its dual aspects, was not however particularly conducive to the establishment of a garden. In fact, the creation of a landscaped park on this rocky promontory covered in trees and battered by gusts of wind would be an amazing feat. But that was no obstacle!

All they had to do was to dynamite the ground and bring in enormous quantities of earth to make it flat. Hundreds of Italian workers were hired for these colossal excavation works. In 1912, on the day the Villa was inaugurated, the four hectares of garden were still not completely landscaped:  Béatrice Ephrussi gave priority to the areas that were…

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Municipal Dreams

Municipal Dreams is back on its travels with this follow-up post by Ben Austwick to his account of pioneering social housing in Amsterdam published last week. You can read Ben’s other writings on art and architecture at his blog: http://doilum.blogspot.co.uk/

In the previous post, I looked at the Amsterdam School’s early work in the north of the city where Michel de Klerk laid a radical blueprint for a new kind of working-class housing at Het Schip, an experimental building that emphasised the communal and worked to socialist ideals. Here I will look at Plan Zuid, town planner Hendrik Petrus Berlage’s rebuilding of south Amsterdam from 1917 where the Amsterdam School’s philosophy was writ large in a grand slum clearance project.

A bird's-eye view of the new Plan Zuid as envisaged by Berlage © Wikimedia Commons A bird’s eye view of the new Plan Zuid as drawn by Berlage

Plan Zuid levelled south Amsterdam to be rebuilt on Berlage’s principles. Avenues are bordered by estates of Amsterdam School…

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The Girl Who Had Wanderlust

On the 24th we took a trip up to Hughenden Manor for the day to take a look around the estate.

We were aiming for the Manor first but we grabbed a tea first at the Stable’s restaurant, and they had awesome fruit teas. I had the Raspberry and Vanilla, which was amazing.

Then we went to the Manor, which was the old Prime Minister of England Benjamin Disraeli’s house in the times of Queen Victoria. To be brutally honest, I didn’t know that he existed until that day but now I know quite a bit. The house was beautiful, decorated in full Victorian style but downstairs in the cellars it was set up as it was in World War Two, because the house was used as a place to produce maps in the war.

We picniced in the apple orchards and looked at the gardens and the walled garden where…

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