Thursday, January 7, 2016

Cast iron architecture in London

The cast iron arches of King's Cross Station, London
London was one of the epicenters of Victorian architecture. A central element in the Victorian architectural style was the extensive use of forged, wrought and cast iron.

Victorian architecture was a series of architectural revival styles that were popular in the mid-to-late 19th century.

Amongst the Victorian era styles are:
  • Jacobethan (1830–1870; the precursor to the Queen Anne style)
  • Renaissance Revival (1840–1890)
  • Romanesque Revival
  • Queen Anne Revival (1870–1910)
  • Scots Baronial (predominantly Scotland)
  • British Arts and Crafts movement (1880–1910)

Fire Stairs

Cast Iron fire stairs in London, UK, december 2015
A fire stair is has been used for emergency exits, usually mounted to the outside of a building or occasionally inside but separate from the main areas of the building. They can be made out of cast or wrought iron or steel.
The first fire escape of any type was invented in 18th-century England. In 1784, the English man Daniel Maseres, invented the fire escape, which, being fastened to the window, would enable a person to descend to the street without injury. This invention didn't look like a stair and wasn't much more than an iron rope.

As building regulation became more strict in western countries around the 20th century, fire safety became an important concern for new construction. Building owners were increasingly required to provide adequate escape routes, and at the time, fire stairs seemed to fulfill this requirement. Not only could the stairs be included in new construction at a low cost, but they could be very easily added to existing construction. 

Gates and fences

Cast iron gates were commonly made from forged iron. These iron gates are located near Buckingham Palace at the corner of Hyde Park. They are made of forged iron and are approximately 4 m high.

View towards Buckingham Palace

The English crest with the lion and the unicorn

Cast Iron Gates at Buckingham Palace 
The beautiful gates and fences at Buckingham Palace, Green Park, London are made of cast iron. The palace is from 1703 but has been enlarged since, especially in the  19th century.

The palace and the cast iron fence from Green Park

Close up at the gate

Close up at the gate

King's Cross Station

The cast iron arches of King's Cross Station, London

King's Cross station is the station where Harry Potter traveled from platform 9 3/4 to Hogwarts. It is also a fantastic cast iron construction from 1852. It is named after King George IV. The great cast iron arches were very minimalistic for there time.

Inside King's Cross station

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