HAWKSMOOR, Nicholas
(b. 1661, London, d. 1736, London)

Biography

English architect. He was trained in the 1680s as architect under Sir Christopher Wren, whom he assisted later (from 1696 personally, and 1698 officially) in designing Greenwich Hospital (now the Royal Naval College). He collaborated with Sir John Vanbrugh on Castle Howard (first design: 1699) and Blenheim Palace (begun 1705). He was appointed clerk of works at Kensington Palace in 1689. He was replaced by Henry Jones in 1715, but received the senior clerkship to the palaces of Whitehall, Westminster, and Saint James's in the same year.

Hawksmoor was appointed, with John James (c. 1642-1746), surveyor or executive architect to the Fifty Churches Commission, from 1711 until the termination of the scheme in 1733. This project consisted of rebuilding, mostly in the new suburbs of London and Westminster, the churches destroyed in the Great Fire of 1666. A dozen of these churches were realised; Hawksmoor designed six of them plus two more in collaboration with John James. He designed the north quadrangle of All Souls College (1716-1735), Oxford University.

John Vanbrugh and Nicholas Hawksmoor expanded Wren's style to more monumental dimensions, but also into a fundamentally more picturesque idiom.