An architectural style that emerged in the Middle Ages, Gothick has re-emerged in design movements through the years. In particularly in the early Georgian period, Gothick was merged with Rococo and Chinese Taste. The evolution in technology during the middle ages meant architecture took on a fresh and innovative guise, with progression in stonemasonry and building techniques. This development continued until the Renaissance, however it was in the late 18thcentury that architects and designers went back to the 1000 – 1600’s to this style for creativity and stimulation. Romantic themes, lacy tones and medieval imagery – Gothick centres around highly complex details and majestic structures. More commonly in church and cathedral architecture, there is a ethereal yet macabre feeling within this style. An alternative to the classical style at the time it symbolised quixotic nostalgia.
Following on from Rococo and Chinoiserie, extravagance and elaborate details were the basic factor of Gothick style. Furniture pieces featuring twists and turns, ornamental carvings and ostentatious patterns. There were architectural components including tracery, niches, pinnacles, finial, crocketts and fan or rib vault ceilings – these were often applied to religious buildings like churches and were detailed as well as visually stunning.
STRAWBERRY HILL HOUSE
Designed by an array of architects John Chute, Richard Bentley, Robert Adam and James Essex in 1749, this building was a celebrated example of Gothick style with the exterior and interior demonstrating quintessential features of this design craft. Built by Horace Walpole who published the first Gothic novel ‘The Castle of Otranto’, Strawberry Hill House was deemed his little gothic castle. Built for his eccentric client William Beckford, a theatrical and impressive structure made mostly from wood and stucco and featuring a giant 276 foot high tower. The interior featured plenty of red on the carpet, curtains and chairs, and this was teamed with the delicate pink and grey painted walls. It also featured traceried mahogany bookcases and canopied alcoves. Unfortunately due to the fact it was most made from wood, the building collapsed into a ruin after a particularly strong wind storm.
One of the most prolific architects of the time, Wyatt was a divisive and innovative figure. Many of his architectural buildings would cause debate and controversy, earning him the nickname ‘Wyatt the destroyer”. Wyatt designed many crucial Gothick buildings including Fonthill Abbey in Wiltshire between 1796 and 1812. An interior that showcases long dramatic galleries, an octagonal hallway and a considerable exterior tower. Another building of Wyatt’s that is believed to be an important Gothick structure is Lee Priory Gothick Library in Chelmsford, Essex. Built between 1746 – 1813 and modelled on the Portuguese Monastery Batalha, the roofline of this structure illustrates iconic Gothick pinnacles and crocketts.