Edgar Buildings, Bath
This terrace house is typical of the houses in Bath. Elegant, adaptable and handsome.
It is faced with Bath stone in the form of smooth blocks called ‘ashlar’.
Often you will also find ashlar used alongside uneven block work which is called ‘rubble stone’ or which tends to be used in the less prominent positions.
The Palladian terrace house (after Andrea Palladio) has different sizes of window. The ground floor windows are of medium size.
The principal or 1st floor windows are taller with a smaller top floor, this floor is also called the ‘piano nobile’.
windows set into the Welsh slate roof which is called a ‘mansard roof’ and in these small rooms is where the servants would have slept, before getting up at 5 o’clock to lay the multiple fires ebvery morning.
Each floor would have had 4 fireplaces making a minimum of 16 maybe be even 20 in a house! In my first year of work I made Edgar Buildings, previously
known as Jane Austen’s House, Reddish House, Pucklechurch Farmhouse and Lichfield House. This model of Edgar Building was the first model I ever made but it was not quite in this form as it was hollow in form as in a ‘shell’ with no back. These earliest models are very valuable. I signed some but not all, I painted some blue and some pink and some remained rich cream almost yellow, as this was the only pigment I had. (Only later did I develop the colour you see here). The earliest had electroplated gold over brass windows which were very fine, where these are shown white. I patented my earliest my earliest method of casting as the moulds I developed allowed me to cast thin walls and not even experienced contemporaries could understand how I had done this. The house proportions have been adapted from ‘Palladian’ proportions after the Renaissance architect Andrea Palladio (1508 -1580). The whole scheme is classical and with no obvious decoration … what decoration there relates directly to the form and function of the building e.g. the small ‘peditinent’ as in a pitched temple roof forms a convenient shelter over the front door. The raise course of ‘ashler’ forming a moulding across the face. We see the 1st/2nd horizontal height also marketed in twos was but this time with a ‘pediment’ in lower relief over central ‘piano nobile’ window. The cornice line above has a series of ‘dentils’ (teeth) running across under the largest raised moulding above which the ‘parapet’ or low wall rises up in front of the roofline. The tall
chimney-breast contains all the ‘flues’ from the fireplaces and form a base for the tall hand- thrown terracotta chimney-pots. Remember one chimney-pot per fireplace. Bath was a very smoky place when the weather was down. Acid rain slowly ate away the soft Bath stone (Oolitic Limestone) effected by dilute sulphuric acid formed by the sulphur from soot combined with H2O.
Weight: 1.3 kg