Augustus Welby Northmore Pugin (1812-1852) was an English architect involved in Gothic revival during the 19th century. Pugin was born to a French Protestant architect, named Augustin Pugin. Pugin was taught by his father to appreciate Gothic building design and at a young age he began drawing Gothic buildings. Together, Pugin and his father published several books on architectural drawings and design. Examples of Gothic Architecture and Specimens of Gothic Architecture are two of their shared works.
Pugin received his education as a young boy at Christ’s Hospital, also known as the Bluecoat School. He had a taste and talent for Gothic design and was put to work as a furniture designer at the age of 15 for Windsor Castle. By the age of 17 Pugin became an entrepreneur and opened his own business specializing in carved wood, furniture and ornamental design.
His business came to an end sometime after, but he continued to design and work as an architect. In 1835, Pugin published a book called Gothic Furniture in the Style of the Fifteenth Century. In his book, Pugin discussed and assessed medieval techniques in engineering and construction.
Pugin believed that Goth embodied true Christian forms of art and was an advocate for its use. He viewed classical designs as pagan in nature and strived to fight against it’s more modern and secular style. Pugin developed a strong Gothic Architectural style and wrote a book, called Contrasts that expressed his passion for the art.
In it, he discussed the importance of incorporating Gothic art and design into culture and architecture. According to Pugin, the integrity of art was being compromised because Gothic design was no longer being used.
By 1835 Pugin converted to Catholicism and continued his work as an architect. Pugin is known for his work on the Palace of Westminster, and for his work on churches in England, Australia and Ireland. One of the first churches he worked on was St.Mary’s church in Derby.
List of some work:
Palace of Westminster, London
St. Mary’s College, Oscott
St. Mary’s Cathedral, Killarney
St. Marie’s Grange, Salisbury