George Aitchison: Leighton's Architect Revealed

RIBA Library Drawings Collection' (3).jpg
RIBA Library Drawings Collection
An exhibition dedicated to the architect of Leighton House, George Aitchison (1825-1910). Aitchison designed numerous buildings, including warehouses, schools, offices and a bank, and was responsible for the early Cabmen's Shelters, as well as completing interiors for Princess Louise at Kensington Palace. In the 1850s Aitchison travelled on the continent and, in Rome, befriended the group of English artists and architects that included Frederic Leighton. In 1864 Leighton commissioned him to start work designing a studio-house on the edge of Holland Park. Aitchison continued to work on the house for the next 30 years, completing all the subsequent extensions, refining the decoration and designing furniture for the interiors. His work for Leighton was the catalyst for a series of other interior commissions, including decoration on the staircase of No 1 Grosvenor Crescent for the Liberal politician Sir Wilfred Lawson, and the London home of the banker James Stewart Hodgson in South Audley Street. Only fragments of these interior schemes remain but Aitchison's designs, held by the collections of RIBA and the V&A, are on show, along with portraits of his clients and supporting photographs.


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