In 1666, a dreadful fire ripped through the heart of London burning houses, churches and other buildings. Sir Christopher Wren was given the job of re-developing many churches. One of them, St Paul’s Cathedral is celebrating its 300th anniversary.
- I am often asked what I regard as amazing. One of the factors is that a beautiful creation like St Paul’s can survive for such a long period. It is a testimony to its designer. He started his great work when he was in his sixties and live to see it completed 36 years later. Of course, there were no computers, no electronic lifting gear, no lorries to bring in materials, no steel scaffolding and no advanced tools to do the work.
So,both the design and the skills of the workers that built it is what I regard as amazing. My biographical interview with Christopher Wren appears in the book Amazing People of London. I found it interesting to note that before his work as an architect, he was an astronomer and mathematacian at Oxford University. He was certainly an amazing man and lived till the age of 90. If only modern architects would learn toavoid building square nasty objects and follow the curves that Wren built into St Paul’s. He set an example, but modern architects have too many computers and not enough imagination.