Page 1

Inigo Jones is one of the leading exponents of the English Classicism. Can you list his most important buildings in London, select one example and discuss it’s internal configuration as enshrined in the “code of the age” when it was created. What is the relevance of such a code in contemporary society? Why and how would designers use a code like this?

Decoding beauty of the age – Inspirations from Inigo Jones buildings Inigo Jones is one of the leading exponents of the English Classicism. He was born 1573, Smithfield, London. He was the first Architect that introduced the classic architecture of Rome England. His greatest contribution in English Classicism included the Queen’s House at Greenwich, the Banqueting House at Whitehall, and the St. Paul’s Church at Covent Garden.[1] Inigo Jones travelled through Italy, studying buildings and working under the famous architect Andrea Palladio who had been influenced by Ancient Roman and Greek architecture. Later he carried forward the Palladian architecture style to England. That’s why we call Jones the father of the English Palladian style. The Queen’s House is my favourite building of Inigo Jones’ buildings because it is the only building left from the 16th and 17th Century complex of Greenwich and the first classical building in the country. Until now I still remember supervises of the Queen’s House visiting. The English exquisite details in architecture, it gives a different feeling to the splendid Italian Renaissance style. Jones designed the iconic Tulip staircase and the perfect cube Great Hall in the Queen’s House. The Tulip staircase is designed based on the Golden Ratio, and it was the first self-supporting staircase in England. It has a kind of romantic and wonderful spiral shape, which seems like it is flowing. Another great scenery is the Great Hall, which built up by a 12m by 12m cube shape, and the distinctive floor coved by black and white geometry pattern marbles. It is also reflects the Italian Renaissance classic mathematic harmony theory. The cube is a six-sided axiom, and was one of simplest solids to hold presenting in our life, and it is one of solids of Platonic Solid theory [2] in three-Dimensional space. It is why the classical elements were based on the Platonic Solids in ancient Rome and Greece. Plato also wrote about solids in the dialogue Timaeus c.360 B.C. in which he associated each of the four classical elements (earth, air, water, and fire) with a regular solid, and earth was associated with the cube. Later on “ the father of geometry” Euclid mathematically and completely described the Platonic solids in the Elements and devoted to their properties. [3]


Marcus Vitruvius Pollio [4] and Andrea Palladio[5] are the representative architects of applying Euclidean geometry theory into their design. Inigo Jones also uses the Euclidean Geometry into the design of the Queen’s House. The cube shape is not only presents a solid image, but also shows the sovereign power of Royal family by enshrining the “code of the age” through form. Inigo Jones wanted to build an authoritarian building that connected to ancient Rome and Greece, a symbolic of the patriarchal power-whilst also inheriting the great culture, history, philosophy and art from the ancient time.

People create so many things coded from the past. It is also a kind of presentation of “code of the age”. It has become a system, a machine. We use this kind of ideological code to project and create a symbolic world. The architecture style of The Grand Central Station in New York City influenced by ancient Greece, Classic Rome and Revolution England. The painted ceiling of the hall is a reminder to people of the European church, the high ceiling and light which falls through has been designed to make people feel holy and emotional. It is a Fantasy that we believed to the environment the designer built up by coding past, It is to signify the symbolic world through the building.


There are many other successful examples, how we use age coding into contemporary society. French architect, Le Corbusier fascinated with aesthetic of the Golden Ratio. He has constantly challenged – on the level of form – the egalitarian ideal of a total, and even totalitarian, ”harmony” that Le Corbusier persistently postulated on social and urbanity level (at least in the early years). [6] And then Le Corbusier devised The Modular proportion system, which combines the “module” as the basic principle in building with the idea of the Golden Section. De Stijl, Dada, Russian constructivist and Bauhaus artists [7] all attended to a thematic thread that the relation of both space and time from non-Euclidean geometry [8] advanced thinking. The decoding is also appearing in our daily life, the computer keyboard design was based on the harmony geometry theory. The logo design of Mac computer inspired from the Golden Section. However, that are also many negative cases how people use wrong code of the prototype. In Macedonian today or maybe in other countries, they tried to recover to their heritage, so every public building is built to the classical style. Because they lost, they don’t know what to do. Today, designers try to decode the age from the past. We are not only want to coding the authoritarian and the patriarchal of time period, but also we like to represent the beauty and memorable past just as Inigo Jones referenced the Ancient world in his time. But we should understand the history and background of the code and not just copy them without thinking. Understanding the code and referencing past mathematical theories can redevelop design concepts, as does many designers have done recently in the modern age.

Reference: 1.RIBA Collection. Architecture.com. Inigo Jones. Available at https://www.architecture.com/Explore/Architects/InigoJones.aspx [Accessed 29 Dec2016] 2. Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia. Platonic Solid. Available at


https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Platonic_solid

[Accessed 29 Dec2016]

3. Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia. Euclid geometry. Available at https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Euclid https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Euclidean_geometry [Accessed 29 Dec2016] 4. John Bold (2016). English Classicism Note Marcus Vitruvius Pollio (1st century Roman, rediscovered 1414) 5. John Bold (2016).. English Classicism Note. Andrea Palladio (1508-80), San Giorgio Maggiore, Venice (1564-80), Monastery of Santa Maria della Carita (1560-70), Villa Almerico, La Rotonda (1565/6-9), Villa Badoer (1550s) (note John Webb’s remark in the back of his copy of Serlio that unlike Palladio, the author did not publish houses with projecting porticoes: Palladio perhaps guilty of special pleading for the derivation of the (surviving) temple portico from the (lost) private house) Quattro Libri dell’Architettura (1570) (English edition: R Tavernor and R Schofield 1997 Villa Thiene and Villa Godi). 6. Stainslaus von Moos (1979). Le Corbusier Elements of a synthesis. The MIT Press, p308 7. Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia. De Stijl. Available at https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/De_Stijl Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia. Dada. Available at https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dada Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia. Russian constructivist. Available at https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Constructivism_(art) Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia. Bauhaus. Available at https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bauhaus [Accessed 29 Dec2016] 8. Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia. non-Euclidean geometry. Available at https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Non-Euclidean_geometry [Accessed 29 Dec2016]

Decoding beauty of the age  
Decoding beauty of the age  
Advertisement