Madox Brown, Philip Webb, Charles James Faulkner, and Peter Paul Marshall, a surveyor. The Red House housed the firm’s workshops, and they continued to design and manufacture all the types of artifacts that had been produced for it. In November 1865 Morris, because of lack of money (the firm was mismanaged), moved his family to new Queen Square, Bloomsbury, London, to share premises with the firm. The Red House was sold.

It was owned as of 2001 by Mrs. Doris Hollamby. She and her architect husband Edward (died 1999) bought it in 1952, after it had been used for offices of the National Assistance Board during World War II. The Hollambys undertook to accurately restore the house, which is now open to the public. An association known as the Friends of Red House has been formed to support the Red House Trust, in order to physically maintain the house, its garden, and orchard, and secure its “long-term future.”

Further reading

Bradley, Ian. 1978. William Morris and His World. London: Thames and Hudson.

Hollamby, Edward, and Charlotte Wood. 1991. Red House: Bexley Heath, 1859. New York: Van Nostrand Reinhold.

MacCarthy, Fiona. 1995. William Morris: A Life for Our Time. New York: Knopf.

Muthesius, Hermann. 1979. The English House. London: Crosby Lock wood Staples.


Berlin, Germany

The restored Reichstag in Berlin, designed by the London architectural firm of Foster and Partners, epitomizes a new kind of architecture—one that respects the physical and cultural environment and takes account of the past while assuming responsibility for the future.

The institution known as the Reichstag was set up in 1867 by the German Chancellor Otto von Bismarck to allow the bourgeoisie to have a role in the politics of the new empire, a confederation of princely states under the King of Prussia. From 1871 the Reichstag met in a disused factory until a neo-Renaissance building (1882–1894) was created for it by the Frankfurt architect Paul Wallot. After the reunification in 1990, the new Germany’s Parliament, comprising the two houses known as the Bundestag and Bundestat, made Berlin the capital of the Federal Republic of Germany in June 1991. It also voted, by a small majority, to move its own seat from Bonn to Berlin, locating it in the historic building.

The monument was in a sorry state and held memories of the failure of the Weimar Republic and the disastrous Third Reich. Before the notorious Berlin Wall came down, it was cut off from the old center, just outside the boundary; now it is in the middle of the city. The Reichstag building had been patched up in the cold war years, and the facades and the interior underwent desultory restoration in the 1960s. It was used as a historical museum between 1958 and 1972, and spasmodically for meetings of the West German Parliament. In June 1992 an international architectural competition was held to restore the Reichstag, and eighty architects submitted proposals.

Following some debate and a second stage of the competition among the three shortlisted entries, Foster and Partners were awarded the commission in July 1993. The consulting engineers were Leonhardt Andra and Partner, the Ove Arup Partnership, and Schlaich Bergermann and Partner. The Foster partnership originally proposed a huge mesh canopy supported on columns to enclose Wallot’s building and extend it into the Platz der Republik. Axel Schultes and Charlotte Frank’s urban plan for the Spreebogen district of Berlin, the result of a contemporary competition, set the framework for new buildings and called for a rebriefing and consequent changes to the design. Building work began in July 1995 and the new Reichstag was opened in April 1999; it cost DM 600 million (approximately U.S.$330 million).

According to the architects, their final design was constrained by four factors: the history of the Reichstag, which in its earliest days had symbolized liberty; the day-to-day processes of the Parliament; questions of ecology and energy: and (naturally) the economics of the project. Because Wallot’s building was to be preserved as far as possible, the Reichstag is a living historical museum that frankly shows the scars of its past—pockmarks caused by shells, charred timber, and Russian graffiti from the post–World War