1988-2002

Duchy of Cornwall

Leon Krier

Height to Length Ratio (B): 1 to 4.7

Height to Width Ratio (B): 1 to 4.8

Green: None

Ratio Width to Length (Face to Face): 1:1

Face to Face: Width: 167.5 ft. (51.1 m)

Face to Face: Length: 165 ft. (50.3 m)

Height A: 30 ft. (9.1 m)

Height B: 35 ft. (10.7 m)

Pummery Square

Pummery Square is the creation of Leon Krier and Prince Charles. The overall vision of what should be and could be – for Poundbury, for England, for Europe and the United States, dwarfs most other efforts of the late 20th century. When I faxed Leon Krier a type written request for his pick of the day, he responded in a clear handwritten script that he was not enthusiastic about the formality of Belgravia, and had left his pre 1980 visions aside for the greater complexity of the non-symmetrical.  Since that letter, I have gained a better understanding of Leo’s approach to classical and vernacular planning and architectural design. In many ways, one could view Pummery Square and Poundbury as a whole as an outworking of his overall theory – the best of all worlds where the vernacular plan is enriched by vernacular buildings and the occasional classical building.

Pummery Square with Broward Hall on right

“Urban space is a void, a structured and structuring void; it has a hierarchy, it has dimensions and character, it cannot be just a left-over between haphazard building operations. Too much of it is a waste, a false luxury; too little of it, a false economy. All buildings have a public facade, acting positively or negatively on public space, enriching or impoverishing it. Streets, squares, and their numerous declinations are the optimum forms of collective space. Neither public nor private enterprise produce public space naturally as a mere by-product of their activities. Public space, the public realm in general, its beauty and harmony, its aesthetic quality and socializing power, never result from accident, but from a civilizing vision, and will.” Contemporary Perspectives by LÉON KRIER Published in: “Building Cities”, Edited by Norman Crowe, Richard Economakis, and Michael Lykoudis, Artmedia Press, London, 1999, pages 40-41.

Pummery Square western flank with the Poet Laureate pub on the right

Pummery Square, as one might anticipate, is complex, and unlike most Belgravian squares, mixed use with shops, hotel, pub, residential and civic – all along its short boundaries. There is no green – only a softly rising hardscape that increases the awareness of the shape of the square and heightens the enclosure when one approaches from the primary direction. Every flank is carefully articulated – what Leo would call the fine turning of settlement, like a rare violin. The pub Poet Laureate and its associated small hotel sit at the northwest corner and are flanked by shops with an arcade and one or two full floors above. The northern range is a combination of two and three stories. Broward Hall in a sort of medieval classicism dominates the eastern edge, tilted to the northwest. A classically columned arcade fronts the small grocery on the south flank, with one and a half residential stories above. Finally, the southeast corner is set off with a fine office building with a clipped corner.

The "clipped corner" office building on the SE corner.

Grocery building on south. Photo by Richard Ivey

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