modern architecture – Kenneth Frampton

Crystal Palace and Hot Houses

pg 33 – The fully glazed structure,whose environmental attributes were exhaustively discussed by J.C Loudon in his “Remarks on Hot Houses” (1817), had little chance of having a more application, at least England, until the repeal of the excise duty on glass in 1845. Richard Turner and Decimus Burton’s Palm House at Kew Gardens, built in 1845-1848, was one of the first structures to take advantage of the sudden availability of sheet glass.

pg 34 – 35 – … For where the issues of cultural context could scarcely arise the engineer reigned supreme. This was never more so than in the case of the Crystal Palace in London, built for the Great Exhibition of 1851 …  developed through a rigorous application of Loudon’s hot house principles… A revised scheme had to be prepared in order to retain a group of mature trees. Since the remaining public opposition to the Great Exhibition of 1851 turned on this question of tree preservation, Paxton was quick to realize that these troublesome items could easily be accommodated by a central transept with a high curved roof and thus the double symmetry of the final form emerged


Books to look at:

P.Beaver , The Crystal Palace – 1851 – 1936 (1970)


S. KoppelKamm , Glasshouse & winter gardens of the 19th Century, (1981)

J.C Loudon, Remarks on Hot Houses (1817)

H. Schaefer, 19th Century modern (1970)




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