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MODERN]
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ARCHITECTURE

classic at its best, besides being, like most modern German theatres, very well planned (fig. 114). Hamburg has had its new municipal buildings (Grotjan), a florid Renaissance building with a central tower, showing in its general effect and grouping a good deal of Gothic feeling. Mention may also be made of the Imperial law courts (Reichsgerichtsgebäude) at Leipzig, designed by Ludwig Hoffmann (b. 1852) and finished in 1895, a building with no more charm about it, externally, than the Berlin Parliament Houses, but with some good interior effects. The new post offices in Germany have been an important undertaking, and are, at all events, buildings of more mark than those in England. There has also been a great deal of new development in street architecture, which shows an immense variety, and a constantly evident determination to do something striking, but we find in it neither the dignity of Parisian street architecture nor the refinement of modern London work; there is an element of the bombastic about it.


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Fig. 111.—Cathedral at Berlin. (Raschdorff.)



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Fig. 112.—Plan of Cathedral at Berlin.



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Fig. 113.—Lessing Theatre, Berlin. (Von der Hude and Hennicke.)

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Fig. 114.—Plan of Lessing Theatre, Berlin.

No modern building on the European continent is more remarkable than the Brussels law courts (Plate XI., fig. 121) from the designs of Joseph Poelaert (1816-1879), an original genius in architecture, who had the good fortune to be appreciated and given a free hand by his government. The design is based on classic architecture, but with a treatment so completely Other countries. individual as to remove it almost entirely from the category of imitative or revival architecture; somewhat fantastic it may be, but as an original architectural creation it stands almost alone among modern public buildings. In Vienna the scholastic classic style has been retained with much more purity and refinement than in the German capital, and the Parliament Houses (Plate IX., fig. 116), by Theophil Hansen (1813-1891), if they show no originality of detail, have the merit of original and very effective grouping. Budapest, on the other hand, which has almost sprung into existence since 1875 as the rival of the Austrian capital, has erected a great Parliament building of florid character (Plate IX., fig. 115), in a style in which the Gothic element is prevalent, though the central feature is a dome. The plan (see fig. 92) is obviously based on that of the Westminster building, the exterior design, however, has the merit of clearly indicating the position of the two Chambers as part of the architectural design, the want of which is the one serious defect of Barry’s noble structure. In Italy modern architecture is at a very low ebb; the one great work of this period was the building of the façade to the Duomo at Florence, from the design of de Fabris, who did not live to see its completion. As the completion in modern times of a building of world-wide fame, it is a work of considerable interest, and, on the whole, not unworthy of its position; that it should harmonize quite satisfactorily with the ancient structure was hardly to be expected. It was probably the completion of this façade which led the city of Milan to start a great architectural competition, in the early ’eighties, for the erection of a new façade to its celebrated cathedral, not because the façade had never been completed, but because it had been spoiled and patched with bad 18th-century work. The ambition was a legitimate one, and the competition, open to all the world, excited the greatest interest; but the young Italian architect, Brentano, to whom the first premium