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Edward McParland

(b Dromkeen, Co. Limerick, 1670; d Oldtown, Naas, Co. Kildare, Dec 18, 1730).

Irish architect. He emerged from a background of military engineering to become one of the most prominent architects in Ireland in the first two decades of the 18th century. In 1700 he succeeded William Robinson as ‘Engineer, Overseer, Surveyor & Director Generall of all…Fortifications, buildings’ etc in Ireland, a life appointment with responsibility (not always clearly defined) for erecting and maintaining most government, and some military, buildings.

Burgh’s most important works are public rather than domestic buildings, though it is difficult to tell to what extent this view depends on the uneven survival of records. His earliest building of consequence was the Royal (now Collins) Barracks, Dublin, begun shortly after 1700. Arranged around four open squares, Burgh’s ranges (partly destr.) display his characteristic astylar classicism, derived from William Robinson and from English 17th-century architects such as Roger Pratt. The elements of this style, adaptable to barracks, country houses, custom houses or hospitals, include façades of two or three storeys with central and end projections (sometimes pedimented), quoins and continuous string courses, rusticated ground-floor arcades and sometimes a top storey of dormers. This reticent, flexible, economic and undeniably prosaic formula was popularized by Burgh and dominated pre-Palladian architecture in Ireland, where there are few parallels to the work of English Baroque architects....

Article

Andor Gomme

(bapt Tettenhall, Staffs, Jan 4, 1672; d Warwick, bur April 9, 1738).

English architect, builder and mason. He was the youngest son of Francis Smith, a builder of Tettenhall, near Wolverhampton. He trained as a mason and worked in the family business in Staffordshire until c. 1695, when he moved to Warwick with his brother William (1661–1724). In the aftermath of the fire that destroyed much of the town in 1694, they rebuilt the parish church (1697–1704) to the designs of Sir William Wilson (1641–1710) and much of High Street and Sheep Street (now Northgate). William returned to Staffordshire in 1704, but Francis stayed and established himself as the leading master builder in the Midlands and one of the most successful in English history, with authenticated work in no fewer than 19 counties. His reputation and fortune were made among the Midlands aristocracy and gentry, and it is as a country-house architect that he is chiefly remembered: he was involved in the building or reconstruction of at least 60 country houses, as well as churches, public buildings and numerous lesser works. Smith owned a marble yard in Warwick where much of his detailed masonry was produced, including large, Baroque monumental tablets, well made and stylish though rarely inventive....

Article

Donata Battilotti

[ Gioseffe ]

(b Padua, ?1575–80; d Padua, 1631).

Italian theorist, architect, cartographer and painter. He was trained by his father Giulio, city architect of Padua, and at the school of Vincenzo Dotto (1572–1629), a Paduan cosmographer and architect in the Palladian tradition. Despite his vast and genuine erudition, Viola Zanini never held an important post and was beset with financial difficulties throughout his life. He worked as an architect and, by necessity, as a painter of architectural perspectives; none of his work has survived, however, apart from the Palazzo Cumano in Padua (1628–31; now Liceo Ippolito Nievo), which is generally attributed to him. His town plan of Padua, drawn in 1599, was widely imitated, and his treatise on architecture (1629) brought him fame. The organization of topics seems to have been influenced in particular by Leon Battista Alberti’s De re aedificatoria, while its architectural forms were inspired by Vitruvius and the writings and buildings of Andrea Palladio. Viola Zanini’s work differed from these sources, however, in omitting all considerations of urban planning, ethics and aesthetics. Dry, schematic in content and limited in its aspirations, his work reflects the transition from Renaissance expository writing to the purely technical works that began to appear in the 17th century....