For many British people St Paul’s cathedral is the most iconic and important of our buildings. With the existing design dating to the late 17th Century this makes for a fascinating and intricate subject for architectural wall art. With Wren’s plans clearly showing how the structure of the building work, there is something beautiful, functional and technical about the building that has affected so many people’s lives.
Somehow surviving the Blitz during WW2, the image of St Paul’s towering over London amidst extensive bombing fires gave the whole of the country hope during desperate times.
With the 365ft (111m) high dome being inspired by St Peter’s, Rome and being built in the English Baroque style it remains Britain’s second largest church after Liverpool Cathedral. Wren went through five major design developments before settling on the current guise and even had a 13ft high timber model of design no. 2 built at a cost of over £500 (£32, 000 nowadays). Bearing in mind the final cost of the building was just over a million (£146, 000, 000 now) it was small potatoes!
The now famous double skin dome supports a stone lantern and also holds the Whispering Gallery. Wren’s extensive team of experts included his young pretender Nicholas Hawksmoor, who many say went on to better Wren’s achievements. Much of this team helped him realise a remarkable building that plays many visual tricks to achieve the balance and proportion that are so important in Classicism and neo Classicism – try studying the eight spans of the dome supportive arches to see how he has managed to make them appear equal.
To get tongues wagging about how the crypt, arches, domes, transepts and buttresses were built, place this on your wall in Stone Grey or how about a modern splash of colour to lighten the mood?