John Summerson was one of the leading British architects in the 20th century. On the other hand, Robin Middletown is a South African born architect who has shown major interest in French and British architecture. The two believe that all the credit accorded to Robert Adams and John Soane respectively comes from the interior designs. Robert Adam was a neo-classical architecture who not only shaped the neoclassic architecture but also came up with a new style-Adam style. On the other hand, John Soane was a British architecture during the neoclassical period. His masterpieces are housed in the famous John Soane’s Museum.
John Summerson and Robin Middletown were right in their proposition as the two-neo classical architects showed sheer innovativeness in their architectural designs. Unlike precedent artists, the two architects went a step further to give rise to new architectural designs that newly defined interior designs.
For instance, Robert Adams together with his brothers is remembered for their contribution in giving interior designs a new meaning (Lindeman 56). In one of their masterpieces-The Home House, Robert Adams gave the building a new interior look with an absolute agreement of all interior details of the house. He stepped out of the strict Mathematical proportions characteristic to Georgian rooms and introduced curved domes and walls and new ceiling designs with an excellent and striking mixture of color .Adam stands out as an architect who replaced the precedent rococo and baroque styles which had earlier on been used in Europe for decades. In his new style (Adam style), he aimed to replace the complex precedent styles with simpler, lighter and stylish interior styles.
John Soane showed an equal interest in interior designs. His uniqueness in interior designs is evident in the John Soane’s museum. The museum houses immaculate interior designs that were uncharacteristic to the precedent designs. In his new designs, he aimed at attaining an excellent organization of light and space. This explains why the furniture, objects and interior decorations/furnishes are aligned in a way to achieve enough lighting and space. His commitment towards introducing and implementing his new interior designs is clear as he bought three houses and reconstructed them adding his new interior styles.
The major difference between Soane’s and Robert’s designs lies in their areas of interest. For Adam his major interest was structural whereby improvements were done on interior structures such as wall, domes and ceilings. His ideas aimed at replacing the traditional styles of interior designs that advocated for strict observation of mathematical proportions with a simpler style that uses simpler proportionality rules and furthermore cheaper paints and materials. On the other hand, as earlier mentioned, John’s interest was in light and space (Soane 87). This explains why his major attention was on furnishes and decorations in order to achieve an organization that allows maximum light and space. Compared to Robert Adams, the works of John Soane are less structural -oriented.
The two artists also seem to borrow a lot from Piranesi- a Venetian architect whose contribution to the neo classical era is undisputable. However, the two show distinct interpretation of the Piranesi arts. A sizeable research has found out that among the many contacts he made, Piranesi was with Adam. This is manifested in the catalytic influence of Piranesi’s to designs that was based on fantasy that would later have a strong impact on Adam’s works in the interior designs. Adam interpreted Piranesi’s arts as work resulting from absolute imagination and fantasy.
On the other hand, the relationship between Piranesi and John is evident as John Soane’s museum houses many masterpieces by Piranesi. In his one of the most magnificent buildings is the Temple of Neptune whose interior designs were inspired by Piranesi following his visit to the site (Lindeman 67). Relative primitivism in the Doric temples is something that shocked John in Piranesi’s work as they showed massive eye catching columns coupled with powerful forms.
Soane, John, Margaret Richardson, and Mary A. Stevens. John Soane, Architect: Master of Space and Light. London: Royal Academy of Arts, 2000. Print.
Lindeman, Christina K. Setting the Stage: Giovanni Battista Piranesi's Scenographic Drawings and Robert Adam's Country Houses. , 2001. Print.