NASH, John
(b. 1752, London, d. 1835, East Cowes, Isle of Wight)

Cumberland Terrace

Regent's Park, London

Around Regent's Part, a new park established as part of the development of London's West End, Nash built homogenous rows of houses in longitudinal blocks called terraces. They are up to 300 m long, and each block is different from the other. Generally the terraces have four stories: a plinth level (mostly rusticated), two upper floors (often decorated with giant pilasters or detached columns), and an attic above the entablature. To break up the great length, Nash uses temple projections, bay windows or pedimented porticos. In some places the terraces are linked by open arches on the model of triumphal arches. Behind the lavish, palatial language of these façades is a series of ordinary terrace houses and apartment blocks. But each resident enjoyed an undisturbed prospect on the park landscape as if he were living in the middle of his own estates and not in a city.

With their monumental colonnades and occasional theatrical flourishes, Nash's terraces around Regent's Park are among the great townscape achievements of neoclassicism, as yet they consist, like a stage set, only of plaster and stucco on plain brick structures.