PUGIN, Edward Welby
(b. 1834, London, d. 1875, London)

Biography

English architect, son of A. W. N. Pugin. He studied with his father and was thrust into professional and family responsibilities by the latter's early death. Initially he followed his father's Decorated Gothic style and 14th-century English church plans, but at the church of St Vincent de Paul (1856-57), Liverpool, he adopted the Geometric Gothic style, with a well-lit interior and a shallow chancel. The church of Our Lady of Reconciliation (1859-60), Liverpool, continued these stylistic and planning developments with cheaper, simplified Early French detail in contrasting stone polychromy, with a widely spaced arcade and large apsed east end, not only countering the widespread Roman Catholic criticism of Gothic Revival planning but establishing a formula for church design that was as influential among Catholics as those of his father. Sts Peter and Paul in Cork, Ireland, is a church with lavish interior; one of his largest churches is the St Colman's Cathedral (1859-1919), Cobh, Ireland. He built also several convents and colleges.

Pugin lived a life of frenetic employment and controversy not unlike his father's. He waged a pamphlet war with Alfred Barry, a son of Charles Barry, over their fathers' respective contributions to the design of the Palace of Westminster. He maintained offices at Ramsgate, London, Liverpool and Dublin, with numerous partnerships, the longest being with his brother-in-law George C(oppinger) Ashlin (1837-1921), one of his many pupils. His prolific practice involved him in bankruptcy in 1873 over the vast Granville Hotel (1869-70; partly destroyed), Ramsgate. Like his father, he designed both church and domestic furnishings, mostly executed by Hardman & Co. of Birmingham, the firm established by his father's collaborator John Hardman (1811-1867).

A nervous drawing style and elaborate detail are characteristic of Pugin's mature style, which may be seen particularly in constructional polychromy and elaborate church roof structures. During his lifetime he was regarded as the leading Catholic church architect of the High Victorian period. After his death his large practice was continued in England and Scotland by his brother Peter Paul Pugin (1851-1904) and in Ireland from 1869 by Ashlin.