Robert Hooke and Holland: Dutch influence on his architecture


  • Allison Stoesser-Johnston




This paper describes briefly the development of classicism in England and the Netherlands, the cross-fertilization which took place between the two countries in the 17th century and the introduction of Dutch classicism into England with Hugh May's Eltham Lodge.

After considering Robert Hooke's career as a scientist, surveyor and architect and his contacts with the Netherlands, his plan for the City of London, based on Simon Stevin's city plan, and his architecture are discussed, with particular attention to his extensive use of Dutch models taken from designs by Jacob van Campen, Pieter Post, Daniel Stalpaert and Philips Vingboons.

The thesis that he only used Dutch designs for detail while his conception is intrinsically French is disputed. His application of Dutch models in facades, plans, ornament and use of orders is analysed and, where appropriate, French and Italian influence recognized. His introduction of a new topos for mental hospitals is also considered.

Designs by Hooke discussed under the headings of Institutional Buildings, Town and Country Houses and Churches are the Royal College of Physicians, Bethlehem Hospital, Montagu House, Escot House, and lastly, St. Edmund the King and Martyr.

The conclusion reviews which elements he extracted from Dutch architects, how he applied these and combined them in some cases with ideas taken from French models.

Biografie auteur

Allison Stoesser-Johnston

Alison Stoesser-Johnston, born in Farnborough, England in 1939, was educated at schools in Scotland and England. In the 1960s she gained degrees in Commerce and subsequently Library Science from McGill University. Montreal, Canada. After working for ten years in university and special libraries in the U.S., Canada, the U.K. and Switzerland, she spent fourteen years with her husband in Brazil. Indonesia and South Africa. In 1997 she graduated ‘cum laude’ in Architectural History from Utrecht University with the master's thesis on which this paper is based.




Stoesser-Johnston, A. (2000). Robert Hooke and Holland: Dutch influence on his architecture. Bulletin KNOB, 99(4), 121–137.