صور الصفحة
PDF
[graphic][graphic][graphic][subsumed][graphic][subsumed][graphic][subsumed][subsumed][graphic][subsumed][subsumed][graphic]

‘ FIG. I.—\\’oolworth Building, New York. FIG. 3.—Carmclite Convent, Santa Clara, Cal. F IG. 2.—Lincoln Memorial, Washington. F IG. 4.—Nebraska State Capitol, Lincoln, Neb.

but slowly during rgro—zo. Some of the mosaics of the side chapels had been finished by 1921, but very little had been done with the pavements, for which the architect prepared many beautiful designs worked out with the most meticulous detail both of form and colour; if these designs are eventually carried out the marble mosaic floor will not sufier in comparison with the best of the older examples.

The Liverpool cathedral by G. Gilbert Scott, which was much delayed during the war, was making fair progress in 1921, and when completed will be a most interesting example of modern Gothic, and from its commanding position, it will be a striking monumental building as seen from the Mersey. That Gothic still holds its own for ecclesiastical buildings is shown by many modern churches, of which St. Mark's, Walsall, by the late Temple Moore, one of the greatest of the modern Gothicists, and a church at Gretna by Geoflry Lucas, may be taken as types.

Municipal Building:.—Among municipal buildings the enormous London County Hall on the south side of the river was approaching completion in 1921; the Marylebone town ball by Cooper and the ofiices of the Metropolitan Water Board by Austen Hall had been completed, and the large building for the Port of London ofiices occupying a commanding site on Tower Hill was well advanced.

CommerciaL—Among recent commercial buildings one of the most noteworthy is the Cunard building at Liverpool by Willink and Thieknesse. This is one of three important buildings on one of the finest sites in England, with wide spaces all round it, opposite the landing-stage, occupying the position of a small dock that had been reclaimed from the estuary and was closed in the year 1900. The Italian Renaissance style was adopted for this building, the total length of which is 330 ft., and the average breadth 183 ft., the height above the pavement being 120 feet. The building is constructed of reinforced concrete faced with portland stone rock-faced, heavily rusticated and battered up to the first-floor level and with dressed portland stone above, the first and second floors forming a piano nubile. A very heavy cornice projecting about 7 ft. from the wall face crowns the building and above this is a screen wall about 10 ft. high. It is a matter for regret that there is a lack of harmony in the elevations of the three buildings on this splendid site. Other large commercial London buildings recently completed in 1921 were the Wolseley Motor Car offices in Piccadilly, by Curtis Green; Australia House in the Strand, by Marshall Mackenzie & Son; and the Kodak building in Kingsway, by Sir John Burnet, which in its unadorned severity is an excellent example of the proper way to treat a skeleton steel structure.

Street architecture in the business centre of a town offers to the architect one of the most difficult problems with which he has to deal. It seems almost impossible to disabuse the mind of the ordinary large retail tradesman of the idée fixe that the more space he has for outside show of the articles he deals in, the better it is for his business. The consequence is that in most cases the architect has to start his design on the first floor and to all appearances to carry his structure on a thin plate of glass on the ground floor. This is of course fatal to good architecture. Fortunately the idea has been growing—though very slowly— that a more artistic and alluring display of goods can be made ‘if the various articles are framed in panels separated by bold structural piers of stone. Among the best of recent shop fronts in London treated architecturally from top to bottom may be mentioned the Selfridge building in Oxford Street, and Messrs. Heal’s premises in Tottenham Court Road. In these buildings the supports of the superstructure are carried down through the ground floor.

The decade tore—20 saw the commencement of the passing of the Regent Street which had been familiar to Londoners for over a hundred years. Whatever may be thought of stucco design in imitation of stone, there can be no doubt that Nash achieved a really fine effect in the facades of this street, which were dignified, harmonious and free from monotony, and one cannot repress a feeling of regret to see these old fronts replaced by lofty new buildings which, whatever their individual merits may be,

[graphic]

do not seem likely to group together-‘so as to give the street an effect of architectural congruity. .

Factories—The effect of their daily surroundings on the workers in factories has been the subject of careful attention. Anyone who knows the majority of the old mills and factories in the Manchester district, with their tall brick walls and square windows with no attempt to break their hideous uniformity, cannot but be impressed with the horribly depressing effect which these buildings must have upon those who are employed in them. The planning of factories now demands almost as much care as the design for a hospital. Ample light, preferably from the north, is provided and variegated glazed-brick linings are used for the walls of the work-rooms to break their monotony, the junction of the walls and floors being rounded off to avoid dust accumulating. Mess-rooms and changing-rooms are provided and in these are often placed separate lock-up clothes lockers for each female worker. Employers have begun to recognize the fact that expenditure on these refinements is well repaid by a greatly increased output from the employees.

As another example of the way in which the welfare of employees is cared for may be instanced a building recently erected in Gower Street as a hostel for the female employees of a firm of drapers. Included in this building, which contains about 350 bedrooms, are a lounge, reading-room and library and a large ball with stage for concerts and amateur theatrical performances. This marks an interesting new departure in what may be called domestic commercial buildings.

A considerable amount of discussion has taken place as to the desirability of removing the restriction laid down by the London County Council that no building shall be erected of a greater height than 80 ft. from the pavement, exclusive of two storeys in the roof, and allowing sky-scrapers on the lines of those in New York. Granted the existence of an open space of sufiicient extent on all sides, there would be no harm in erecting a building 200 or 250 ft. high, but unfortunately where high buildings are most urgently required is in the congested area of the city and here their erection would result in a complete overshadowing of the lower buildings, which would entirely destroy their amenities and practically render them unusable except by artificial light. Any general relaxation of the restrictions is to be deprecated, but in exceptional positions there is no doubt that the rules might be modified with advantage.

Domestie.—Domestic architecture, in which England has always excelled, came almost to a standstill during 1910-20, mainly owing to the enormous cost of building. Among recent examples may be mentioned Heath Lodge, Headley Common, by Dawber; a very picturesque house in Avenue Road, St. John's Wood, by Baillie Scott; a house near Goring, a typical example of Ernest Newton’s refined work; and a house at Shotton Mill, Surrey, by E. J. May.

M emorials.——War memorials are of various kinds; isolated mous uments such as crosses and obelisks; shrines or chantry chapels added to a church; mural tablets; and occasionally what may be called a utilitarian building erected as a memorial but only. indirectly associated with those whose deaths are memorialized. The number of these erected all over the United Kingdom as well as in France and Belgium is so great that it is impossible to mention more than a few. Among the isolated monuments the first place must be given to Lutyens’s Cenotaph in Whitehall, which, for dignity and simplicity combined, cannot easily be surpassed; the all-India memorial at Delhi (see DELHI) by the same architect will be one of the most important features of the new capital of India. Sir R. Blomfield has designed a number of memorial crosses, of which it may be said that the bigger the scale on which they are executed the better is their effect. A very graceful example of a memorial cross is one at King’s Lynn by O. P. Milne which stands on a large pedestal on the sides of which are engraved in panels the names of those who fell in the war.

The War Memorial Chapel in Ely cathedral by Dawber; the

memorial screen and organ designed for Merton College chapQ\ Oxford, by Sirv R. Lorimer, which shows the Gothic tradition gk-m' surviving; the Memorial Gateway at Radley College by Sir T. C. Jackson; the Lifiord Memorial Hall at Broadway, the Marlborough College Memorial Hall by Ernest Newton & Sons and the Kitchener Memorial Chapel in St. Paul's cathedral may be instanced as good examples of other types.

Mural tablets do not call for much remark; the chief things to be aimed at in these are good lettering and judicious spacing, many of these tablets being far too crowded. An ornate example of these in cast bronze enriched with precious stones is the Regimental War Memorial to the King's Own Yorkshire Light Infantry in York minster by Voysey.

Architectural Educatian.—A generation ago no systematized scheme of architectural training existed in England. In Paris an Academy of Architecture was established as long ago as 167x, and there can be little doubt that the excellence of the public buildings all over France in the 18th century was largely due to the supervision which that academy exercised over the training of young architects. The foundation of the Ecole des Beaux Arts in the beginning of the 19th century carried on the work of the academy, and the institution of the Grand Prix de Rome— the blue ribbon of the architectural student, the training for which is spread over from ten to fourteen years and the gaining of which ensured ofiicial recognition—offered an incentive to hard work and study which had most beneficial results. In Great Britain until the establishment by the Royal Institute of British Architects in 1887 under Royal Charter of a compulsory examination for all who wished to become members of that body, architectuial education was of the most haphazard kind. The new charter empowered the institute to grant certificates and diplo_ mas to those who passed its examinations, and although this policy met with some opposition at first, there can be no doubt that it laid the foundation for systematized architectural education, the full efiect of which has only been realized during the last decade. This has been brought about by the increase in the numbers of provincial universities unhampered by old traditions. These bodies, following the lead of similar institutions in the United States, have all recognized the fact that architecture, which is both an art and a science, may fitly be included in the subjects of study for a university degree. In addition to the universities several technical colleges have instituted courses of study in architecture, and there were in 1921 in the United Kingdom ten schools of architecture which were recognized by the Royal Institute and whose certificates exempt those students who gain them from its examinations. These schools are the Architectural Association, London; the universities of London, Liverpool, Sheffield, and Manchester; the Robert Gordon Technical College, Aberdeen; the Technical College, Cardiff; the Heriot Watt College, Edinburgh; and the Glasgow School of Architecture. The university of Cambridge has established a school of architectural studies, but the examination in the subjects comprised in the school curriculum is not associated at present with any diploma; the R.I.B.A., however, exempts certificated students from a certain part of its obligatory examinations.

In Liverpool a special degree in architecture (B. Arch.) has been instituted, but the other universities named include architecture as one of the subjects for an Arts degree. The Liverpool course—which may be taken as a typical one—extends over five years and comprises design in accordance with the methods of the Ecole des Beaux Arts; the history of architecture; physics; geology; sanitation and hygiene; building construction and strength of materials as demonstrated in laboratory tests; specifications, etc. Similar courses slightly varying in detail are given at the other schools. In the university of London (University College) a separate professorship of town planning has been instituted. The Architectural Association, London—which was really the pioneer in architectural education in this country—has a very comprehensive course under a complete staff of lecturers, and the studios and class-rooms in its new premises in Bedford Square are admirably equipped.

All these courses enable the young architect to acquire not only facility in design, but also the special technical knowledge now

[graphic]

required in consequence of the development of steel construction, and the fact that so many engineering problems are involved in the erection of any large building; and as all the degree courses involve the passing of a matriculation examination which ensures that the student has first obtained a good general education, one may confidently hope that the reproach so often levelled against architects of a lack of scholarly training is in a fair way of being removed.

Architectural Research—No record of recent architectural developments would be complete without reference to the researches of Mr. Jay Hambidge of New York on the scale of proportion adopted by the Greeks in the design of their most celebrated temples. These must have been designed on some plan, but-hitherto all attempts to discover any relation between length and breadth or between the size of the Cella and the whole temple had failed. Mr. Hambidge claims to have established the fact that whereas down to the first quarter of the 6th century 13.0. Greek craftsmen used a unit of measurement in which commensurability of line was an essential feature; subsequently a new proportion came into use based on commensurability of area; and this he calls “dynamic ” symmetry as opposed to static; in other words geometric and not arithmetic proportion. There is always a danger of a pet theory becoming a sort of Procrustes bed to which facts have to be strained to fit, but Mr. Hambidge has certainly taken great pains to avoid this by having

[merged small][graphic][graphic][graphic][graphic][graphic][graphic][graphic][merged small][merged small][merged small]

in the Temple of Apollo at Bassae designed by Ictinus the roporitions are based on this rectangle and its multiples and su multi—

les. In the case of the Parthenon a. more elaborate basis is adopted; lll fig. 2 a b cd is a \l 5 rectangle and if its long side be taken as unity the short side will be 0-447. If to a d the long side of this rectangle we apply a square the side of which is I we get a rectangle e b c f of which one side = l and the other 1-447. The reciprocal

[graphic][merged small]

tangle fe h g the area of which is 0-69! we shall obtain a large rectangle h b c the area of which is 2-I38, which com rises a rectangle e b cf w ose area is 1-447 and a smaller one 0 h of area 0-691. This last rectangle is in all respects similar to a 5 cf and if §Ip=gf then fg p q will be a. square and h e p g a ‘[5 rectangle.

ow whatever we may think of this somewhat elaborate basis of measurement it is remarkable in how many cases the ratios connected with the figures 2-138, 1- 7 and 0-691 fit within very small fractions actual measurements 0 the Parthenon, which, as well as the temple at Bassae, was designed by lctinus. For exam Ie the actual breadth over all of the base of the Parthenon accor ing to Penrose is r11. 41 ft. and this figure multiplied b 2-1382 gives 238-069 as the ength, the actual measurement so at‘ as can now be ascertained being 238-154, a variation of less than one inch.

Mr. l-lambid c has apphcd this theory to Greek statues and vases with—as e claims—the same results. Those who are interested in the subject may be referred to two pcrs read before the Royal Institute of British Architects on Marc 30 1920 and March 5 1921.

The prospect for-architectural development in the immediate future was not altogether a bright one in 1921. Although many building schemes both in London and the Provinces were ripe for carrying out, they were kept in abeyance owing to the enormous cost of building and uncertainty as to the action of Labour. Also official architecture was spreading. Large Government departments, which used to invite competitive designs for their new buildings with excellent results, were increasingly tending to prepare their own designs. This must lead to a stereotyped style and is not in the best interests of architecture or architects. Design—as far as plan is concerned—has undoubtedly improved immensely, but as to the style which will be adopted for future buildings prophecy would be rash. In 1830 Quartermere de Quincy, in the preface to his Biographie des plus célébres Architectes, uses these words: “ Comma nous ne récannaissons de véritablc art d’archileclure qua celui qui . . . 0 till son origine, ses progrés, ses principcs, ses lois, sa Ihéorie at so pralique aux Grccs . . . nous devons prévem'r qu'on n0 Irouvera dans nolre recueil aucunc notion d'aucun ouvrage du genre appelé Gathique.” This seems typical of much modern criticism. The author was surrounded by some of the most beautiful examples of mediaeval art, but ignored them utterly, and yet 25 years later the Gothic revival was in full swing. In 1900 Penrose said that it was impossible to find any one who took the slightest interest in Greek architecture, yet a few years later Neo-Grec and a bastard sort of classic was all the rage in England, while in America many of the finest new buildings are in the purest classic style. Now a free renaissance is in vogue, but how long it will last and what will be its developments no one can tell. The hope is that the complication of modern requirements and the exigencies of modern construction combined with wider knowledge and closer study of ancient examples may lead to the working-out of the great main principles which underlie all the old styles, so as to adapt them to modern necessities without slavish copying of their forms and features. (J. 81..)

UNITED STATES

The Centennial Exposition in Philadelphia (1876) had revealed ‘to a somewhat self-centred and self-satisfied United States the flagrant grossness of its current architecture; the Chicago World’s Fair (1893) less than 20 years later disclosed both the possibilities of architecture and the capacity of a new generation of architects. Its influence was widespread so far as the public was concerned, and gave architects themselves new ideals and greater confidence. From 1890 to 1900 the architectural product of the United States was vast in bulk and high in quality. The American Institute of Architects (founded in 1857) broadened its scope and influence, while schools of architecture associated with universities and technical institutes offered wide opportunities for architectural education. The results were evident in the first decade of the 20th century. The Boston Public Library and the Rhode Island State Capitol of McKim, Mead and White were the forerunners and inspiration of many other structures of similar nature and quality, the New York Public Library of Carrére and Hastings and the Minnesota State Capitol of Cass Gilbert being the most notable. In the same category must be ranked many of the club houses of New York, notably the Union and University, as well as sumptuous residences in the larger cities and summer resorts. The Gothic revival, largely determined by Henry Vaughn and Cram, Goodhue and Ferguson, was meanwhile taking to itself practically the whole field of church building and the larger part of college architecture. Beginning with the Episcopal Church, the adoption of Gothic of some English type (usually Perpendicular) extended throughout the Protestant denominations until within 20 years Presbyterians, Congregationalists and Unitarians were also erecting consistent and magnificent Gothic churches. From the work of Cope and Stewardson at Princeton University the same influence spread through the institutions of higher learning, until Tudor or “ Collegiate Gothic,” as it is called, usurped almost the whole field, though the '.‘ McKim Classic ” of Columbia and the revived Colonial of Harvard and many of the smaller colleges and schools still maintained themselves as potent forces and in the latter cases a growing force. The rivalry of Classic and Gothic played little part in the two fields of work where American architecture ‘achieved its most vital and original results, the “ sky-scraper ” and the private house. Steel and reinforced concrete are, as structural elements in buildings, essentially American. Used at

[graphic]

first as substitutes or hidden devices clothed with traditional architectural forms, they subsequently developed and established what may be called a “ steel frame style.” Many daring exponents led the way, including Cass Gilbert, who in the Woolworth Building produced a masterpiece. All the great cities (except Boston which prohibits “ sky-scrapers ”) possess many examples of this brilliant and original work, and in New York in particular there is an extraordinary display of towers.

By 1920, however, there were signs that the vogue of 50-storey buildings was passing, and probably would take its place in history as a brief but sensational episode that brought out some of the most daring exploits, and gave play to the most exuberant fancy, in the architectural record. At the opposite pole stood the domestic architecture of the 20th century. Between 1850 and 1880 this had fallen to the lowest depths, and the influence of H. H. Richardson, distorted after his death by incompetent imitators, was deplorable. Fortunately there came a sudden return to the Colonial models of the 18th century, together with a new study of the domestic buildings of England of the 1 5th and 16th centuries; and though at first the adaptations were crude and unintelligent, the improvement was rapid, and an extraordinary level of excellence was achieved. No one exerted a wider influence in this direction than Charles A. Platt. So vast was the architectural product of the United States during the first I years of the century, that it would be impossible to catalogue the examples of the highest excellence. Among the more distinguished public buildings, in addition to those noted, should be included Henry Bacon’s masterly Lincoln Memorial in Washington and B. G. Goodhue’s revolutionary design for the Nebraska Capitol. In this field, however, politics were apt to enter with disastrous effects, as for example in the Pennsylvania Capitol. In the work of the national Government there was a serious retrogression during rgro—zo, and Government architecture was in grave danger of slipping back to the deplorably low level of the 20 years following the Civil War. Where the political element was eliminated, public architecture achieved a high standard, particularly noticeable in art galleries, libraries and museums. Amongst the first were the Buflalo gallery by Green and Wicks, that at Minneapolis by McKim, Mead and White, and that at Boston by Guy Lowell. One of the most admirable of recent libraries was in Indianapolis, the work of Paul Cret and 2amzinger, Borie and Medary, associate architects, while the PanAmerican Building in Washington, by Albert Kelsey and Paul Cret, was an unusual example of vital and personal design. Closely allied were many fine club houses such as the Grand Army Hall in Pittsburgh by Henry Hornbostel, and the Masonic Temple of the Scottish Rite in Washington by John Russell Pope, a building of strikingly noble proportions and majesty of design. In all these buildings classical motives were general, but they were handled with suppleness and originality. Such structures as the Indianapolis library and the Scottish Rite Temple in Washington, D.C., evinced a vital and creative art. Many buildings for universities and colleges, and for schools both public and private, showed equal freedom based on penetrating knowledge of precedents, though the models were almost exclusively English Tudor or American Colonial. Cope and Stewardson initiated the vogue of the former at Princeton, continuing it at Bryn Mawr, Pa., and at Washington University, St. Louis, and it swept over the whole eastern part of the country. Cram, Goodhue, and Ferguson took up the line of development in the vast, fortress-like U.S. Military Academy at West Point and continued it at Princeton in the Graduate College, as well as in other educational institutions, north and south. Day and Klauder gave it new force in the Sage dormitories and freshman dining balls at Princeton, in the new buildings at Cornell University, and at Wellesley College, while James Gamble Rogers contributed the most magnificent exposition of the style in the enormous quadrangle nearing completion in 1920 at Yale. Colonial work achieved notable results at Harvard in the shape of new dormitoriegbj

Coolidge and Shattuck, but it was more prevalent in the Sma\\§fi¥ 0 . (3 w

colleges and preparatory schools, as for instance, Williams lege and Phillips Academy, Enter, where the architects m

« السابقةمتابعة »