The Signet Library was built in 1809-1812 by Robert Reid, with a glorious neoclassical interior designed by William Stark (and finished by William Playfair after Stark’s death). The Signet never fails to take my breath away, and the seriously decadent afternoon tea served is just another reason to visit ☕️🍰
Not much is known about the early life of William Stark. He was born in Dunfermline, Scotland. There is an early architectural connection through his elder sister Sarah. She married John Craig from Glasgow - the architect to the Prince of Wales. Similar to many other Scottish masons and architects, Stark visited Russia in the late 18th century before beginning his own practice in Glasgow. He moved to Edinburgh with failing health in 1811. Although he died before seeing its completion, the Upper Signet Library - with its exquisite Corinthian columns, coffered ceiling and painted dome - was considered a triumph. George IV called it “the most beautiful room I have ever seen”. After his death, Walter Scott lamented that “more genius has died than is left behind among the collective universality of Scottish architects” and was remembered for his “taste and gentleman-like and amiable manners”.
The Upper Library is currently hosting a pop-up bar and light exhibition by Chris Levine + Saatchi for the Edinburgh Fringe Festival 2018. I really enjoyed my visit to the transformed space - it felt like a calm refuge amidst the festival madness. What do you think of modern installations in historic interiors?
Image 1 - Photo is my own;
Image 2 - Thomas H. Shepherd’s engraving of the upper library, 1820s;
Image 3 - Patrick William Adam’s atmospheric rendering;
Image 4 - Photo is my own. The Upper Library, with light installation by Chris Levine (Saatchi Gallery), August 2018.
What a beautiful example of classical ornamentation. The details that are carved into this structure, especially on the capitals are wonderful. I stopped for a while to admire this piece. It showcases so many of my favorite classical moments, from a simple silhouette within a medallion to beautifully proportioned human forms to detailed friezes. #inspiredbyartandarchitecture#classicalartandarchitecture#passionpassport
A bronze Corinthian helmet has been discovered in the burial of several 5th-century B.C. Greek warriors in southwestern Russia.
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Right beside the current @scotiabank building on Sparks is 126 Sparks, originally called the Home Bank. It’s now been integrated into a new apartment project (https://www.126sparks.com/) along with the neighbouring Hardy Arcade and others on #SparksStreet — 131 Queen.
126 Sparks Street …
unknown architect, possibly C.P. Meredith
#1919 • potential heritage building but not yet evaluated
• no City directory record found as "Home Bank"
• variety of ground floor uses, Ottawa Leather Goods (1940), etc.
• 1st floor offices of C.P. Meredith, architect (1910)
• office of Richards & Abra, architects (1920)
• symmetrical façade
• #Corinthian pilasters with entablature
• later known as "Exchange Building" (1940)”
“The Home Bank of Canada's (1919) upper stories were also re-incorporated in the 131 Queen Street development. A new ground floor on Sparks reproduced some of the bank's appearance, like the Tuscan columns. The street level had been entirely destroyed in the 1950s, and the architects worked from an historic photo.”
17.08.18 | Wie oft ertappe ich mich dabei, dass ich von anderen denke, sie tun gewisse Dinge nur, um sich selbst besser darzustellen. Um sich selbst höher zu stellen als die anderen. Sei es auf dem Weg in die Uni oder sogar in der eigenen Gemeinde. Dieses Gefühl ist so präsent, weil das bei mir selbst oft unbewusst der Fall ist. Ich mache und helfe, weil das ein guter Christ halt eben so macht. Vielleicht geht es dir genau so. Es würde gar nicht so weit kommen, wenn wir uns diesen Vers immer wieder in den Kopf rufen. Wir sollen das alles nicht tun, damit es uns besser geht, sondern damit es den anderen gut geht und wir ihnen so ein Stück von Gottes Liebe entgegen bringen können. Vielleicht schaffst du es, wenn du das nächste Mal jemandem hilfst, an den Vers zu denken. Ich werde es jedenfalls versuchen. [Florian]