University of Cambridge > Talks.cam > Martin Centre Research Seminar Series - 41st Annual Series of Lunchtime Lectures > Simulating Historic Landscapes - Beckford's Ride

Simulating Historic Landscapes - Beckford's Ride

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Abstract: When the eccentric and reclusive connoisseur William Beckford (1760-1844), having exhausted the largest inherited fortune in England, finally abandoned his doomed architectural extravaganza at Fonthill Abbey, he retired to Bath. His enthusiasm for tower-building soon revived, and with the help of his trusted gardener Vincent and an able young architect Henry Goodrich he set about making a linear landscape garden stretching from his home in Lansdown Crescent to the hilltop 100m above. Though the terminal buildings survive, everything in between is now lost beneath more recent development. Our project has been to recover the design and planting of “Beckford’s Ride” from written accounts, contemporary drawings, and a few vestiges on the ground. This evidence we use to make an interactive computer reconstruction using the very latest video-game technology (from Crytek in Germany). It will eventually become a permanent installation at the Beckford’s Tower museum.

Biography: Paul Richens studied architecture at Cambridge, and then joined Applied Research of Cambridge, founded by Lionel March, Marcial Echenique and other members of the Department, where he developed some of the earliest architectural CAD software. He later returned to the Martin Centre, and was its Director from 1992 to 2002 and sometime Vice Master of Churchill College. He has been Professor of Architectural Computing at the University of Bath since 2005.

This talk is part of the Martin Centre Research Seminar Series - 41st Annual Series of Lunchtime Lectures series.

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