Important Events in Architecture and Design

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in Architecture and Design

1603Carlo Maderno's influential façade for the Church of Santa Susanna is completed at Rome.
1606Work begins on the façade of St. Peter's Basilica at Rome along designs completed by Carlo Maderno.
1622Inigo Jones's Banqueting House is finished in Whitehall, London. The severe Palladianism of the building will continue to influence London's Baroque architecture in the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries.
1631Construction begins at Venice on the Church of Santa Maria della Salute, designed by Baldassare Longhena.
1635Work commences on François Mansart's designs for the Orléans Wing at the Château of Blois in France.
1638Francesco Borromini designs his innovative Church of San Carlo alle Quatro Fontane, or St. Charles of the Four Fountains.
1640Inigo Jones's recently completed Queens House at Greenwich sets a new standard for classical architecture in England.
1642Work begins on the Church of Sant'Ivo della Sapienza at Rome, designed by Francesco Borromini.
1652Gianlorenzo Bernini's Cornaro Chapel is completed in the Church of Santa Maria della Vittoria in Rome.
1653The Church of Sant'Agnese is begun in the Piazza Navona in Rome, according to the designs of Francesco Borromini.
1656Work begins on Gianlorenzo Bernini's designs for the Colonnade of St. Peter's at the Vatican. When completed, the massive space this structure encloses will be capable of accommodating crowds of hundreds of thousands of people.
1657Nicholas Fouquet, a commoner who rose to serve as finance minister to King Louis XIV, commences construction of his lavish Château of Vaux-le-Vicomte.
1663The Church of the Theatines, a structure heavily influenced by the Roman Baroque, is begun in the city of Munich in Germany.
1666The Great Fire destroys most of the city of London, the core of the ancient medieval city. During the coming decades Sir Christopher Wren and other English architects will design many churches and public buildings for an ambitious plan of rebuilding.
1667Guarino Guarini's completes his designs for the Chapel of the Holy Shroud within the Cathedral of Turin, and building commences. The work will include an intricate and imaginative interlacing of arches that create an imaginative web.
Work begins on a new classically-inspired façade, designed by Claude Perrault and Louis Le Vau, for the Palace of the Louvre in Paris.
1669King Louis XIV decides to move his court from Paris to his hunting lodge at Versailles. Work begins on transforming this humble structure into the grandest palace in Europe.
1675Building commences on the new Cathedral of St. Paul's in London. When completed in 1710, it will be the largest church in England and one of the largest in Europe.
1676In Paris, construction of the Church of the Invalids begins on the grounds of a military hospital. The church will be completed according to designs set down by Jules Hardouin-Mansart, and its gilded dome will be a recognizable landmark on the Parisian cityscape for centuries to follow.
1679Construction begins on Guarini's lavish façade for the Palazzo Carignano at Turin.
1687Louis XIV begins construction on the Grand Trianon, a weekend retreat constructed to replace a small porcelain decorated pavilion on the grounds of the Palace of Versailles. The new palace is designed by Jules Hardouin-Mansart.
c. 1700The taste for elegant palaces that imitate the design of the Château of Versailles, begins to spread throughout Europe.
1702Construction begins on Jakob Prandtauer's imposing designs for the Benedictine Abbey of Melk in Austria.
1705The Neoclassical Greenwich Hospital, designed by Sir Christopher Wren, is completed in England.
Work commences on John Vanbrugh's plans for the Baroque Blenheim Palace near Woodstock in England.
c. 1710The Rococo architect Daniel Pöppelmann designs Baroque structures for the electors of Saxony's capital at Dresden.
1716Johann Bernhard Fischer von Erlach designs the Karlskirche or Charles Church at Vienna.
1719In Würzburg, capital of an important German diocese, Balthasar Neumann designs a new lavish residence for the town's bishops.
1722The Upper Palace of the Belvedere is begun at Vienna according to the plans of Johann Lukas von Hildebrandt. The garden will be one of the most sumptuous in Europe.
1725The Spanish Steps are completed in Rome, an attractive promenade that connects major thoroughfares in the city and links the Church of Trinità dei Monti with the Piazza di Spagna. The Steps are designed and their construction supervised by the architect Francesco de Sanctis.
1726James Gibbs' classical Church of St. Martin's-in-the-Fields is completed in what later becomes known as Trafalgar Square in London.
1733In Munich, the architect Egid Quirin Asam begins construction on the Church of St. John Nepomuk. Asam and his brother pay for the structure, which will eventually be completed in the highly ornate style of the Rococo.
1736Filippo Juvara, designer of a number of innovative and elegant buildings in and around the Italian city of Turin, dies.
1738Archeological excavations of the ancient Greek city of Herculaneum commence in southern Italy. Excavations will follow at Paestum and Pompei, ancient towns in the same region and will foster a fashion for a purer classicism throughout Europe.
1739James Gibbs designs the circular, domed Radcliffe Library at Oxford University.
1743The Frauenkirche or Church of Our Lady is completed in Dresden, one of the grandest Rococo churches in Europe and one of the largest Protestant structures on the continent.
1745At Potsdam outside Berlin the building of the Rococo pleasure palace, Sansouci (meaning "without a care"), begins on the grounds of the Prussian king's principal country palace.
1752The fantastically ornate and elegant Cuvilliés Theater is completed for the kings of Bavaria in Munich. After this date the fashion for the ornate and fantastically decorated Rococo style will begin to fade in favor of greater naturalism and classical detail.
1757The building of the Panthéon begins at Paris according to designs set down by Germain Soufflot. The church is intended to commemorate King Louis XV's recovery from serious illness, but will eventually become a shrine to the great thinkers, artists, and authors of France.
1762Robert Adam designs a series of classical rooms for Syon House outside London that will have great impact on interior design throughout Europe and America.
The Trevi Fountain is finished in the city of Rome.
1763The Place Louis XV is laid out in Paris according to designs of Ange-Jacques Gabriel. The site will eventually become the Place de la Concorde which will serve as the place of execution of many French aristocrats and priests during the French Revolution.
1768Louis XV begins building a small retreat, the Petit Trianon, on the ground of Versailles for his mistress, Madame du Pompadour. Eventually, the relaxed atmosphere the small structure affords will make it one of Queen Marie-Antoinette's favorite retreats.
c. 1780The English taste for the "picturesque" in garden designs has become popular throughout Europe, prompting a new fashion for seemingly naturalistic garden settings with architectural focal points. In reality, these more casual surroundings are intricately planned and executed by European designers.
1789The naturalistic but grand English Garden is laid out in Munich. When completed in the early nineteenth century, the massive park will include elements of Neoclassical and oriental architecture and will provide a space that mimics the countryside within the city.
Work begins on the classical Brandenburg Gate in Berlin.