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Simpson, John Anthony

Simpson, John Anthony (1954– ). English architect. Having rejected International Modernism he sought to show how the Classical language of architecture could be used in new buildings. His work is derived largely from late-Georgian sources, and he made his name with Ashfold House, West Sussex (1985–8), influenced by Soane's architecture. Simpson had considerable influence in making the public aware of the New Classicism in the 1980s, especially with the exhibition Real Architecture at the Building Centre, London (1987). His works at Gonville and Caius College, Cambridge (1993–8), including a dining-hall and reading-rooms for the Fellows, demonstrated his mastery of detail and colour. In 2000 his Market Building, the first public building at the Prince of Wales's village of Poundbury, Dorset, was completed, and that year also saw the opening of the new Church Hall at St Mary's Old Church, Chelsea, London. In 1999 his firm won the competition to redevelop the Queen's Gallery and Kitchens at Buckingham Palace, London, which was opened in 2002 to coincide with the Queen's Golden Jubilee. The gallery has a Greek Doric entrance-portico, and the entrance-hall features two great Homeric friezes by Stoddart, who also sculpted the panels of the Patron Saints and the two graceful winged Genii atop two columns derived from Paestum Doric. Simpson has been influential in Urban Design, first coming into prominence with his proposals for Paternoster Square, the area around St Paul's Cathedral in the City of London. Subsequently, he masterminded several developments, basing his proposals on traditional patterns of urban blocks containing a mix of uses, something he promotes as the most sustainable form of development: his scheme for Coldharbour Farm, Hartwell House Estate, near Aylesbury, Bucks., is perhaps the most notable of these.

Bibliography

Kalman (1994);
John & and D. Watkin (2002);
Powers (ed.) (1987)

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