Our Favourite Buildings – Week 6

Hampton Court Palace, UK

By Simon Cheshire

I am very fortunate to live “a stone’s throw” from Hampton Court Palace.  Best known as the home of Henry VIII, and his wives, as well as the birthplace of the Tudor dynasty, the palace was extended by William III and Mary II who commissioned Sir Christopher Wren, adding a new adjoining baroque section.

If you get a chance, it is definitely worth a visit! The palace and the grounds are amazing, the summer concerts are small enough to feel intimate yet large enough to attract some big names, and the year is finished off with outdoor ice-skating and Christmas markets.

There is also a really nice pub opposite (The Mute Swan), and the Mitre Hotel has a stunning riverside brasserie.

Cathedral of Santa Maria del Fiore, Italy

By David Craven

I first came across the Duomo Florence and the Cathedral of Santa Maria del Fiore on a university trip back in ’94.  We came around the corner from our rather low-key hotel into the Piazza del Duomo and I was immediately transfixed. I could not believe the sheer size and stunning architecture…

We first walked around the outside of the cathedral to take in the sheer magnitude and its beauty. I had an old camera with only one film, I ran out before I got halfway round!! It’s a massive building, one of the largest in medieval Europe and apparently still the fourth largest in Europe. Unsurprisingly it is a UNESCO World Heritage Site, due to its historical significance and stunning architecture full of intricate carvings, statues, and mosaic tiling.

Once inside we climbed to the top of the observation deck which afforded us stunning views across Tuscany, and a breathtaking view of the interior.  It is the third longest church behind St. Peter’s Basilica in Rome, and St. Pauls Cathedral in London. Originally dating back to the 13th Century, it took over a hundred years to complete, and the Duomo was added in the 15th Century, built without using any scaffolding.

The ceiling frescos are outstanding, with a mix of Gothic, Renaissance, and Romanesque architecture, it is a stunning building, so so much history.  Favourite location, favourite building.

York Minster, UK

By Christopher Mackenzie

The first construction of York Minster started in 627AD, nearly 1,400 years ago!  It was completed in 1472 and is one of the largest Minsters (or cathedrals) in Northern Europe.  Its architecture and sheer presence make it a very special sight. It first grabbed my attention when there was a major fire in 1984 which damaged a large part of its southern roof.  During the rebuilding process Blue Peter ran a competition to design some of the roof bosses and these now adorn the ceiling, including sculptures of a spaceman, a deep-sea diver and the Mary Rose!  Sadly, my design wasn’t chosen, but when I was 11 I was confirmed in the Minster so have a lasting memory of this amazing structure.

La Sagrada Familia, Spain

By Laura Turner

My chosen building of interest is The Sagrada Família situated in Barcelona, a city I regularly visit. I am truly fascinated, not only by the beauty and intricacy of the architecture, but also the length of time this vast church has taken to build. The construction of this Basilica began in 1882 and is still ongoin but coming into its final phase with 11 years left until completion; I will definitely be booking a trip to see it again once it’s completed.

London Science Museum, UK

By Rob Cullum

My favourite building would have to be the Science Museum in London! Ever since I went there on a school trip as a youngster, and subsequent visits with my own family, it has always been a firm favourite of mine. From the outside it looks very classic, astute, and reserved… but on the inside it’s active, fun, light, and loud. I have been privileged to recruit for them as well, it was a dream for me!

The Rosewood Hotel, London, UK

By Melanie Pye

Built in the early 1900s, this flamboyant Edwardian style building was the home to Pearl Assurance until the 1980s when the introduction of technology meant it was no longer fit for purpose. In 2000, it opened as The Chancery Court Hotel and on the 4th June 2005, the Chancery Court Hotel was the venue for my wedding reception, hence why it’s one of my favourite building. Both from the street, and when inside, the building is just breathtaking. Whilst it’s now the Rosewood Hotel, it will always be The Chancery Court Hotel to me.

 

Missed Week 1? You can read all about it here.

Missed Week 2? You can read all about it here.

Missed Week 3? You can read all about it here.

Missed Week 4? You can read all about it here.

Missed Week 5? You can read all about it here.

 

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