Housing the city
Tradition and innovation in the urban terrace
in The birth of modern London
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This chapter seeks to identify the characteristics of the house, to assess how novel it was, and to place it within the existing context of housing in the capital. John Summerson's approach typifies the problems of accommodating the late seventeenth century within a traditional architectural chronology. Summerson's elevation in Georgian London gives an over-regularized view of the house using almost eighteenth-century proportions and including a basement which was not always standard at the time, so that the house truly looks like a less sophisticated version of the Georgian house. Joseph Moxon in Mechanick Exercises discussed the problems of incorporating the traditional central position of the staircase within the essentially linear plan of the urban terrace house, which deprived it of light, and offered top-lighting as a solution.

The birth of modern London

The development and design of the city 1660–1720


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