Banquet Hall - Inigo Jones
The Banqueting House at Whitehall, London, is an extremely grand piece of architecture which is very lucky to have survived this long - the other buildings and components of the Palace of Whitehall are long gone - either in fires or other similar incidents. This building holds particular importance for being the first of its kind in Britain - it's neo-classical, simple style was to revolutionize English architecture.
The first banquet hall at the Palace was a lot smaller, and had a much shorter life span. It was built for James I, but (like its brothers) perished in a fire at the beginning of 1619, thanks to a few workmen who thought it would be a good idea to clean up the mess from the New Years party by burning all the rubbish inside the building! Thankfully, work quickly began a erecting a new Banquet House, designed by stylish architect Inigo Jones.
Inigo Jones had spent much time in Italy, studying their architecture and renaissance style, and brought his findings and ideas back with him, to pour into the new Banquet Hall. He completely transformed the complicated, Jacobean, English style, and created a much simpler, classic, powerful design. This was quite a risky chance he took, as his design did not match at all with the designs of the adjacent buildings, but it was definitely a risk that paid off, and by 1622, when building was completed, a whole new fashion was born. Used not only for banquets, but also for royal receptions, ceremonies and musical events, the entertainment given in this Hall would have been among the finest of its time in Europe.
These days, the Banquet House is a grade I listed building, and is cared for by the 'Historic Royal Palaces' independent charity, who receive no outside funding. The public may visit and explore this magnificent building every day from 10am-5pm, for just a £5 entry fee.