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MODERN]
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ARCHITECTURE

There can only be further enumerated a few of the more important buildings erected in England during the later years of the 19th century, and mention made of the general course which architecture has taken in regard to special classes of buildings. The Natural History Museum (Plate XI., fig. 120), completed in 1881 by Alfred Waterhouse, may stand as a type of the taste for the employment of terra-cotta, with all its dangerous facilities in ornamental detail, of which that architect specially set the example. Detail is certainly overdone here, but the building is strikingly original; a point not to be overlooked in these days of architectural copying. The Imperial Institute, the result of a competition among six selected architects, represents also a type of architecture which its architect, T. E. Collcutt, maybe said to have matured for himself, and which has been extensively imitated; a refined variety of free classic, always quiet and delicate in detail, though perhaps rather wanting in architectonic force. The next great architectural competition was that for the completion of the South Kensington Museum, the bare brick exterior of which, waiting for architectural completion, had long been a national disgrace. The competition produced some fine and striking designs, some of them perhaps more so than the selected one by Sir Aston Webb, whose fine plan, however, justified the selection. Another competition which excited general interest was that in 1894, for the rebuilding on a country site of Christ’s Hospital schools, also gained by Aston Webb (in collaboration with Ingress Bell), by a design which, in its arrangement of schoolhouses in detached blocks (fig. 101), but in a symmetrical grouping, opened up a new idea in public-school planning, and struck a blow at the picturesque but insanitary quadrangle system. Among notable public buildings of the period ought to be mentioned Norman Shaw’s New Scotland Yard, built in a style neither classic nor Gothic, but partaking of the elements of both (Plate X., fig. 119). A competition in 1908 for the design of the new county hall for the London County Council, to be “English Renaissance” in style, was won by a young architect, till then unknown, Mr Ralph Knott.


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Fig. 101.—Plan of a Master’s House, New Christ’s Hospital. (Webb and Bell.)



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Fig. 102.—Sheffield Town Hall. (Mountford.)



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Fig. 103.—Oxford Town Hall. (Hare.)


In recent years there has been a great movement for building town halls; towns rather vying with each other in this way. Of late nearly all of these have been carried out in some variety of free classic. Among the more important in point of scale is that of Sheffield, by E. W. Mountford (1856-1908) (fig. 102); among smaller ones, those of Oxford, by H. T. Hare (fig. 103); and Colchester, by John Belcher, are particularly good examples of recent architecture of this class, the former distinguished also by an exceptionally good plan. The merit of excellent planning also belongs to Aston Webb and Ingress Bell’s Birmingham law courts, one of the modern terra-cotta buildings of somewhat too florid detail, though picturesque as a whole. Among public halls the M‘Ewan Hall at Edinburgh, completed in 1898 from the designs of Sir Rowand Anderson, deserves mention as one of the most original and most carefully designed of recent buildings in Great Britain.

The various new buildings erected in connexion with the university of Oxford, those by T. G. Jackson (b. 1835) especially, form an important incident in modern English architecture. Mr Jackson succeeded to a remarkable degree in designing new buildings which are in harmony with the old architecture of the university city; sometimes perhaps a little too imitative of it, but at any rate he has the credit of having added rather