The roofs of Wren and Jones: a seventeenth-century migration of technical knowledge from Italy to England
Seventeenth-century English architecture saw the introduction of a new style, influenced by continental Europe, and driven, to a large extent, by the work of Inigo Jones and Christopher Wren. But along with the aesthetic novelty came novel building techniques; construction methods embedded within the stylistic changes showing that the continental influence was felt as much within the structures of the buildings as it was upon their façades. Focussing here on the methods used to construct wooden roofs, this paper attempts to chart some of the ways in which the influence of Italian craftsmen and architects was received and adapted by Wren and Jones, and how facts about roof construction travelled into England through technical solutions to the problems the new architecture presented.
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