The Italianate style of architecture was a distinct 19th-century phase in the history of Classical architecture where the models and architectural vocabulary of 16th-century Italian Renaissance architecture, which had served as inspiration for both Palladianism and Neoclassicism, were synthesised with picturesque aesthetics. The style of architecture that was created, though also characterised as ‘Neo-Renaissance', was essentially of its own time. The Italianate style was first developed in Britain about 1802 by John Nash, with the construction of Cronkhill in Shropshire, which today is open to the public, care of the National Trust.
Thomas Cubitt, a London building contractor, incorporated simple classical lines of the Italianate style as defined by Sir Charles Barry (architect of the Palace of Westminster) into many of his London terraces. Cubitt designed Osborne House under the direction of Prince Albert of Saxe-Coburg and Gotha, and it is Cubitt's reworking of his two dimensional street architecture into this free-standing mansion which was to be the inspiration for countless Italianate villas built by the new and wealthy industrialists of the era throughout the British Empire. The Italianate style of house often features the square belvedere or signorial tower. Ipswich boasts a fine collection of such houses, their towers catching the eye of the passer-by. R.G.
[Dates refer to that of each photograph]
1. 16 Fonnereau Road 1967; 2. Stables Holywells Park 2016; 3. 90-92 Berners St, built as a school(?), later a nurses' home 1980s; 4. House behind Arthurs Terrace 1970s; 5. 12-14 Fonnereau Road 1970; 6. Bentley Tower Hotel, Norwich Road 1990s; 7. The Casino, Woodbridge Road, 1983; 8. 27-29 Tuddenham Road 1983; 9. The Custom House, Common Quay, Wet Dock 1970s.