Philip Webb

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Philip Webb was an English architect working in the second half of the 19th century and early 20th century. Philip Webb was also known as the ‘father of the Arts & Crafts Movement’. He worked with William Morris, the textile designer, and his company Morris, Marshall, Faulkner & Co. His work influenced the design of interiors, furniture and craftwork such as wood carving. He also went on to set up the Society for the Protection of Ancient Buildings with Morris and others in 1877.

Webb’s aim was to create a rigorous approach to architecture with strong principles and firm guidelines while allowing some freedom for individual flair. He was reacting to the administering of architecture in the previous century with the Palladian style. This consisted of buildings being designed on paper according to the conventions of the past without regard for the local surroundings and materials available. His philosophy he hoped would produce inventive building, with attention to small details but also utilise new deserved technology. His buildings were designed to blend into the landscape rather than perch upon it. He was a great advocate of traditional crafts and handwork.

Notable buildings designed by Webb: Red House in Bexley Heath, Kent (1858-9),1 Palace Green (1868), West House, Chelsea (1869-70), Joldwynds (1872 – 74), Nether Hall (1876), Clouds (1886) & Standen (1894).

With regard to his input for furniture and interiors, he designed fireplaces and fire grates for many of the houses he created. A most notable piece is the open grate of iron with turned and knobbed posts which he designed for 26 Queen Anne Square, London, the Morris’ home. Gibilaro Design have been fortunate to have acquired several of these pillar grates in iron and brass over the last 20 years, with design drawings of the piece in the V & A Collections.

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