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Brian Austen

(Hicks)

(b ?Sheffield, 1785; d Port of Spain, Trinidad, Nov 1846).

English sculptor, designer and architect. In 1810 he exhibited at the first Liverpool Academy Exhibition and showed models and drawings there in 1811, 1812 and 1814. These included designs for the restoration of the screen in Sefton church, Merseyside, and for a chimney-piece for Speke Hall, Liverpool, and two drawings of Joseph Ridgway’s house at Ridgmont, Horwich, Lancs. Bridgens designed furniture and furnishings in Gothic and Elizabethan styles for George Bullock. In 1814 he moved to London with Bullock, using his address at 4 Tenterden Street, Hanover Square, and prepared designs for Sir Godfrey Vassal Webster (1789–1836) for improvements to Battle Abbey, E. Sussex, and similarly for Sir Walter Scott’s home, Abbotsford House, at Melrose on the Borders. Two chair designs for Battle Abbey were published in Rudolph Ackermann’s Repository of Arts in September 1817, and Bridgens was also involved in the design of chairs supplied to Abbotsford House in ...

Article

Mónica Martí Cotarelo

(José)

(b Sauceda, Zacatecas, Sept 2, 1862; d Aguascalientes, 1945).

Mexican architect and sculptor. He was self-taught and studied engravings, photographs, and the treatises of Vitruvius and Jacopo Vignola. His artistic production was consequently highly original and fitted into the pattern of contemporary eclecticism and Mexican neo-Baroque. In 1876–81 he worked on the railways of Zacatecas, where he learnt to calculate the resistance of materials and came to appreciate the architectural potential of iron. His interest in traditional Mexican architecture, its conservation and interpretation, is evident in his design (1919), which was only partly constructed, for the completion of the 18th-century façade and the towers of the sanctuary of Guadalupe in Aguascalientes. This harmonizes successfully with the building as a whole and the imaginative qualities of Mexican Baroque. The church of San Antonio (1908) in Aguascalientes exemplifies Reyes’s spontaneously eclectic architecture. The dome of the crossing is the most complex feature, where Reyes achieved a disconcerting feeling of weightlessness. It has a double circular drum, with the lower part, of smaller diameter, composed solely of a triple row of supporting Doric columns. He had a considerable practice in Aguascalientes, where he built the Banco Nacional de México (...