Craig Hamilton Lecture: Temples and Tombs


Location: 104 Bond Hall, Notre Dame, IN 46556

To watch this lecture live on March 3rd, 2014, please visit at 4:30 PM EST.

Craig Hamilton is dedicated to a modern Classical architecture which is informed by a broad and deep understanding of the Classical tradition.  In the words of Professor Gavin Stamp: “In the superficial, polarised debate about architecture today, Hamilton would have to be labelled as a ‘traditionalist’ as he is one of those who believes that something useful and beautiful can still be said in the language of the Greeks and Romans.  But, unlike many in his camp, he is not in thrall to the cult of Palladio … Hamilton is so much wider and more intelligent in his outlook, for he is acutely aware of so many more architects in the past who have demonstrated how it is possible to be expressive, original and, yes, truly modern in Classical terms”.

Craig Hamilton’s work is inspired by those Classical architects through the centuries who have striven to re-interpret the tradition.  These include Ictinus, Schinkel and Cockerell; however, more particularly, he regards his work as a direct continuation of the 20th Century Classical tradition in Great Britain, with the work of architects such as Charles Holden, Lutyens, Giles Gilbert Scott, Vincent. E. Harris, Burnet and Tait all serving as direct inspiration for the current work of the practice.


Craig Hamilton studied Architecture at the University of Natal in Durban, South Africa, under the tutelage of Professor Barrie Biermann.  Biermann was an exceptional Scholar, Architect and Draughtsman who taught the History of Architecture as a design tool.  The discipline of keeping sketch books and recording and measuring buildings, as well as the importance of hand drawing, were all inherited from him.

Although a Modernist himself, Biermann taught the orders and instilled a deep love of the ancient Classical world; however, Craig Hamilton’s understanding of the broad world of Classical architecture has developed over the years, through dedicated study and countless journeys within the UK and abroad to view, measure and draw those buildings which have inspired his work.

In 1985 Craig Hamilton re-located to the UK and carried out an ‘apprenticeship’ with Michael Reardon in Warwickshire, Cathedral Architect to Birmingham and Hereford.

Craig Hamilton set up in practice in 1991 and since then the practice has gained a reputation for progressive new Classical architecture; both for new buildings and new buildings in the context of historic structures.

Craig Hamilton Architects is based in Radnorshire in mid-Wales; however, it undertakes projects throughout the United Kingdom and has also worked on projects in Switzerland and Russia.

A large percentage of the work of the practice has been the design of new Country Houses; however, commercial and public works have also been undertaken including the design of a significant extension to the historic town of Penrith in Cumbria, which included the design of two town squares and many of the associated buildings.

Craig Hamilton has a special interest in sacred and monumental architecture.  In 2006 his private Catholic Chapel in the north of Britain was awarded the Georgian Group Award for the best new building in the Classical tradition.  This Chapel was heralded by the New Liturgical Movement as an exemplar project.  A further private Catholic Chapel is currently on site and a private Mausoleum for an historic Cemetery in London has been recently completed.  A further example of Craig Hamilton’s dedication to modern monumental architecture is the recently completed Pool Pavilion in Gloucestershire:  Situated in the grounds of an historic Country House, this structure presents itself as a temple in the landscape.  As with the design of his Chapels, Craig Hamilton has designed every aspect of the exterior and interior of this building.  References are made on the interior to M. G. Bindesbøll’s Thorvaldsen Museum in Copenhagen and to Pompeii and Herculaneum.  The severe Classicism of the exterior owes much to the work of 20th Century Classicists such as Hack Kampmann and Charles Holden.  This building was awarded the 2012 Georgian Group first prize for the Best New Classical Building in a Georgian Context.

Essential to the understanding of Craig Hamilton’s work is the importance of the integration of Architecture and Sculpture.  C. R. Cockerell regarded Sculpture as the “voice of architecture” and this is Craig Hamilton’s own view.  Up until the Second World War, the tradition that Craig Hamilton belongs to regarded Architecture as the ‘Mother of the Arts’, with painting as its shy daughter and Sculpture as its favourite son.  In this regard Craig Hamilton has formed a close working relationship with the Sculptor Alexander Stoddart, Sculptor in ordinary to H. M. The Queen.  Stoddart and Hamilton have worked on many projects and, in particular, on the two private Chapels, the Mausoleum and the Pool Pavilion, where Stoddart has produced work of exceptional quality.

Craig Hamilton also believes in the continuation of the tradition of hand drawing in the process of the making of Architecture.  He is a distinguished Draughtsman and Water-colourist and his work is exhibited in London every two years.

Craig Hamilton has been a consultant Architect to the Duchy of Cornwall for more than 10 years.  He was commissioned by their Royal Highnesses the Prince of Wales and the Duchess of Cornwall in 2007 to create their Welsh home at Llwynywermod.


To watch this lecture live on March 3rd, 2014, please visit at 4:30 PM EST.