Some of the UK's Most Outstanding Buildings

14/08/2017

Durham Cathedral
The building of Durham Cathedral is of outstanding beauty and was listed by Architectural historian, Dan Cruickshank, as one of his choices as Britain’s Best Buildings, it was also featured in the Harry Potter films as Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry.

The architecture of Durham Cathedral revolutionised the construction of cathedrals throughout the world, the nave is believed to be the world’s first structural pointed arch. The cathedral is a Norman building constructed between 1093 and 1133, and it is the only cathedral in England to retain almost all of its Norman craftsmanship.  It was designed by William of Calais who was appointed by William the Conqueror. It was an important breakthrough for builders because the ribbed vaults meant masons could reach a much greater height and height is a significant feature when constructing a cathedral.

St Pancras Renaissance Hotel London
The St Pancras Renaissance Hotel opened on 14th March 2011, but the original opening was 1873, it is one of London’s most stunning buildings, its clock tower stands at 82m in height.

The hotel reflects creative design and stylish accomplishment, it was in 1865 that the Midland Railway Company, held a competition for the design of a hotel to be constructed next to the railway station of St Pancras – it was won by Sir George Gilbert Scott, who was the winner of the Gold Medal from the Royal Institute of British Architects in 1859, for his outstanding architectural designs.  The award of the Gold Medal is still awarded and celebrated today – it was established in 1848 by the Royal Institute of British Architects.

Royal Liver Building Liverpool
The building was known as Britain’s first skyscraper and is unique in England to this day, and in fact it is basically doing the same job as it did 100 years ago, the construction was one of the first in the world to be built using reinforced concrete (the structure utilised an early form of industrialised building with sand, cement and aggregate).  Construction of the building began in 1907 and opened 3 years later - 19th July 1911, with the centenary celebrated in 2011. The Liver Buildings stand at 90 m (300 ft.) tall with 13 floors and the clock faces are larger in size than those of the Houses of Parliament.

The Royal Liver Building was designed by Walter Aubrey Thomas for the Royal Liver Friendly Society (founded in Liverpool in 1850), it is a Grade I listed and its 2 companion buildings are the Port of Liverpool (1905) and the Cunard Building (1918) collectively they are known as Liverpool’s ‘Three Graces’.

King’s College Chapel Cambridge
King’s College Chapel is considered the most outstanding example of medieval English architecture in the whole country, it was built in phases by a succession of Kings from 1441 to 1515, being founded by Henry VI in 1441 but his plans were disrupted by the Wars of the Roses and little progress was made until 1508 with Henry VII taking an interest in the building and was finished during the reign of King Henry VIII.

The interior is composed of 12 bays making it the largest in the world covered with fan vaulting and with its early Renaissance rood screen separating the nave and the chapel (erected in 1532-36) it has been regarded as the most exquisite piece of Italian decoration surviving in England. The architect of the chapel is disputed, Reginald Ely was commissioned in 1444 as the head press mason but Nicholas Close was recorded as being the surveyor.  The Chapel has a total length of 289 feet and the width of the main vault is 40 feet.  The interior height is 80 feet and the exterior height is 94 feet.

The Royal Pavilion in Brighton
King George IV, first visited Brighton in 1783, at the age of 21, it was a favourite location for the then prince, who rented a superior farmhouse from a local landowner and subsequently commissioned architect Henry Hollande to transform the farmhouse.  In 1787 Henry Hollande extended the building into a neo-classical building known as the Marine Pavilion and the transformation of the Marine Pavilion began in 1815, it took seven years to complete and Hollande chose architect John Nash (architect of the Houses of Parliament) – from a simple farmhouse it grew into a spectacular palace.

It is one of the most outstanding buildings in the world and is an interpretation of Indian and Persian architecture, also the interior design of the Pavilion was significantly influenced by Chinese and Indian fashion.  The grand terraces and squares ranging for several miles along the sea front capture the essence of the architecture.  (During the First World War the Pavilion was transformed into a military hospital.)

Beetham Tower Manchester
Beetham Tower in Manchester is the city’s highest building and is the tallest residential building in Europe, with its architect, Ian Simpson, living in the top floor penthouse. The project was submitted in July 2003, was approved in October and construction began in February 2004. It is the 7th largest building in England and was constructed at a cost of £150 million and was completed in 2006.  It has received numerous awards for its outstanding architecture.

The structure is one of the thinnest skyscrapers in the world with a height to width ratio of 10:1 on the east-west façade but is significantly wider on the north-south façade. The tower was built by Carillion using post-tensioned flat slab concrete construction techniques.  The tower is situated on Deansgate and has two postal addresses with apartments falling under 301 Deansgate and the hotel under 303 Deansgate.

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