A.W.N. Pugin and St. Augustine’s, Ramsgate : a nineteenth-century English gothic revivalist and his church Public Deposited

http://ir.library.oregonstate.edu/concern/graduate_thesis_or_dissertations/q524jr23f

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  • A. W. N. Pugin was a driving force in the Gothic Revival movement in England during the first half of the nineteenth century. He was an architect and a writer who expounded on the virtues of reviving Gothic architecture, not only for its reflection of the sacred mystery of ancient Catholic religious ritual but for its connection with morality. Using Pugin’s own church, St. Augustine’s Church in Ramsgate, England, as the focal point the purpose of this study was three-fold: to examine the structure for evidence of the architectural principles Pugin so passionately described in his writing; to determine the major influences of culture and society on the design of the church; and, to substantiate the presence of his creativity in the resultant structure. Research methods employed over the course of this study were a phenomenological, or ‘experiential’ approach, the historical method, a modified artifact analysis and a creativity model. Various primary and secondary resources were reviewed along with the structure and its fittings. It was found that Pugin closely followed his own architectural principles for the design of St. Augustine’s. From the external structure to the interior design and sacred objects housed there, the church reflects Pugin’s tenets. Religion, architectural theories and aesthetics of the period, technology, familial support, a strong personality along with exceptional artistic talent all helped shape Pugin’s life and his design work at the church. Pugin’s creativity is evidenced by his determination and strong will which allowed him to carry through with the project against an aggregate of disillusionments, his creative spirit that enabled him to see beyond the commonplace of nineteenth century ecclesiastical architecture to create a structure that reflected his own ideas, and his innate artistic abilities that permitted the introduction of fine detail to his work. St. Augustine’s Church stands today as a testament to A. W. N. Pugin’s resolve, skill and religious and moral beliefs.
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