Kenwood House, Hampstead, London: service wing exterior elements [architectural paint research]

Crick-Smith, Michael, Crick-Smith, Ian, Faulding, Rachel and Croft, Paul (2010) Kenwood House, Hampstead, London: service wing exterior elements [architectural paint research]. [Artefact]

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This forms a later phase of a larger research project that Crick Smith have been undertaking
on the accumulated historic painted decoration and surface finishes of Kenwood House as
consultants to English Heritage since1995.
This focused on identifying the decorations undertaken at significant points of the building's
history, which related to noted architects, occupants and visitors. Very little information was
known of the buildings decorative history. The extent of survival of Robert Adam’s original
schemes and how they compared to the surviving original plans and proposals was unknown.
This was particularly relevant to the Adam Library, which despite its high status and
significance had not been researched previously.
This extensive investigation has led to a complete re-appraisal and understanding of the
discrepancies between Adam’s design intentions and the schemes actually executed at
Kenwood. In addition, it has revealed previously unknown complex decorations and high
status interiors within other areas of the house, for example the Etruscan scheme within the
The research used cross-sectional analysis of paint samples in association with archival
research. Where specialist finishes were identified these were revealed on site through the
removal of overlying paint layers. Monitored colour correction of the aged paint finishes was
undertaken and the treatments recorded using a calibrated spectrophotometer.
Analysis of the samples was undertaken by optical microscopy using a variety of different
lighting techniques to reveal the chemical make up within the build up of individual paint
layers. Due to the unique nature of original paint layers from this period further in-depth
material analysis using FTIR, RAMAN, GC, SEM & EDX was undertaken.

Keywords:historical buildings
Subjects:K Architecture, Building and Planning > K250 Conservation of Buildings
Divisions:College of Arts > School of History & Heritage > School of History & Heritage (Heritage)
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ID Code:9645
Deposited On:29 May 2013 09:18

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