RIBA London

RIBA London

Chiswick House, London: the entrance front

Architect: Richard Boyle, Lord Burlington (1729), Photograph: Eric de Mare (c. 1960)
Copyright: Eric de Mare/RIBA Library Photographs Collection

RIBA London has some of the finest examples of Palladian architecture in the world.

As the political, economic and cultural capital of Britain, incredible energy and resources have been ploughed into its architecture over millennia. This, of course, includes the very times when Palladianism was most fashionable.

Sadly, much has been lost: London's constant evolution means that its architecture faces adaptation, restoration, and demolition. Nevertheless, much survives to help us understand exactly why Palladianism captivated so many in the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries, and now.

Primary example: Chiswick House

The principal examples of Neo-Palladianism can be found in London, championed by Lord Burlington and his circle. Chief of these is Chiswick House, Burlington's suburban retreat, one of many Neo-Palladian villas that were built near the River Thames. Burlington House, now the Royal Academy of Arts, once his West End town house also survives, though much adapted.

Interested? Find out more about this building with resources from the RIBA British Architectural Library.

Other well-known Palladian buildings in this region

Many monuments of the first wave of Palladianism survive in London, notably the works of Inigo Jones.  Acclaimed as Britain's first Palladian building, The Queen's House, Greenwich has to be regarded as London's primary example of the style. Originally designed by Inigo Jones for Queen Henrietta Maria, the wife of James I, the building survives despite its complex history.

Then there's the Banqueting House, St Paul's Church, Covent Garden and the Queen's Chapel, St James Palace: all testify to Jones' brilliance, and his fortunate positioning  as court architect to the early Stuart kings.

Many government buildings are also superlative examples of Neo-Palladianism, such as William Kent's Horse Guards. Then there's 10 Downing Street. This, and the familiar stock-brick terraces of Mayfair, Marylebone and beyond are all indebted to Palladio.    


Explore this legacy further with our Palladio and London Walking Tour, coming soon!

Why not use the resources of the RIBA British Architectural Library to better understand the legacy of Palladio and the Palladians in this region?  

Explore using our gazetteer, which lists Palladian buildings by county, and a wealth of information, including books, journals and images related to these in the RIBA Library

In addition to this, you can use our bibliography dedicated to the life, works and influence of Palladio.


RIBApix images

RIBApix, the RIBA Library's online digital database, is constantly expanding. Why not use www.ribapix.com to explore RIBA London and Palladian architecture in Britain?