six lavatories, two plunging and other baths-up stairs there are fourteen dormitories, with lavatories and conveniences adjoining each; also a bed-room for an officer or servant, so that no dormitory is left without proper superintendence.

The laundry is a detached building, with accommodation for 40 girls to wash, with ironing, mangling, mending and drying rooms, with drying and airing closets: adjoining, there are rooms for remaking, washing, and drying beds.

The Infirmary is an isolated building, and contains seven wards, with two day and night rooms, for nurses, kitchen, surgery, two bath rooms, wash-house, and laundry.

The buildings are warmed throughout by a hot-water apparatus, placed in the centre under the dining room, from which 4-inch castiron pipes are fixed, in large air-flues, for the circulation of hot water the whole extent of the ground-floor of the buildings; from these air-flues, vertical flues are formed in the walls to convey the warmed air into the various rooms and dormitories; the large airflues are supplied by a shaft with cold air. Ventilation is effected by the vitiated air being conveyed by vertical flues from the various rooms, &c., into a continuous chamber formed in the roofs, communicating with a shaft 120 feet high, by. which means all vitiated air is drawn out of the rooms; the smoke from the hot-water apparatus, kitchen fire, and cooking boilers, enters the shaft, and forms the motive power for ventilation.

There are large enclosed play-grounds for boys, girls, and infants, with large sheds in each, for use in wet weather; also distinct airing grounds for invalid boys and girls; likewise a pleasuregarden for the sole use of the girls.

The farm buildings, which are erected at a short distance from the main buildings, comprise a bailiff's house, wash-house, dairy, cow-house for 12 cows, root-house, barn, hay-house, tool and implement houses, stable, cart and chaise houses, slaughter-house, piggeries, and hen-houses; the cow-house and dairy are separated from the other buildings for teaching the girls dairy-work.

Adjoining the farm buildings, gas-works are erected, where gas is manufactured for lighting the whole of the buildings, by night as well as by day, this being thought essential.

About seven acres of the ground are laid out as kitchen-garden, for teaching boys gardening; and the rest of the land is to be cultivated by the boys entirely.

The northern schools for the parish of St. Martin's-in-the-Fields, designed by Mr. Wild, present a façade (part of which is shown opposite) that we cannot but regard with great pleasure as seeming to indicate an aim altogether different from, and higher than, that of the architecture of the day, an aim after no less than reality in building art, an attempt to banish all pretences, and to revive a species of design which we had thought long extinct in this country, viz., that in which the ornaments were useful, and the useful parts ornamental. We discover in it neither the mimicry of a style, nor the preposterous conceit of displaying novelty for the sake of novelty, rejecting the teaching of the past, and pitting the designer's own experience against that of the world.

[graphic][ocr errors]

The front consists of nine equal arches (on the ground floor), the extreme but one, at each end, being the entrances. The most singular feature is, the use of the pointed arch in a building not affecting mediævalism; and it certainly seems strange that if, as all admit, the introduction of this kind of arch in the 12th century, was a structural improvement, whatever reasons then led to it must have equal force now. The laws of nature are not changed. In the arrangement of the second tier of arches, however, we find a structural falsehood. One chief use of the early pointed arch in churches, was to enable a second tier to be supported, as here, twice as numerous as the first; but it did so by receiving a pillar over each pier of the lower range, and over the apex of each of its arches; whereas here the second range of piers stand over the parts least fitted to bear them. The details, however, to both ranges are most studiously and admirably designed. Everything gives almost the idea

[ocr errors]

of a finished style, or something that has grown up out of the progressive advancement of a school of artists, instead of the unaided efforts of one. There are, however, some apparently useless affectations. If we may not so designate the slightly horse-shoe form of the great arches (which, for the first time, we here perceive to be rather a grace than not) at least the jointing of the bricks composing them is a labour for which we can see no object. The joints being all drawn to one point, as in a circular arch, every brick requires to be differently cut, instead of all being alike. We have seen the same thing represented in some Eastern buildings where, the material being stone, it involved no extra labour, but yet was structurally false. The proportion of window to wall, in this building, is very small, except in the top story, which is a covered playground, opening to the front by a colonnade. It may be doubted whether this is suited to our climate and a northern aspect. There is also considerable flatness for want of a more prominent cornice or eaves, and the ornamental string-courses give the idea of pasteboard. Nearly all these defects would vanish in a more southerly climate so completely, that it seems as though the contriver had mistaken his latitude by about 20°, every fault lying so consistently in the same direction. As an apparent attempt, however, at a higher species of design than has been in use for perhaps centuries, this work is a remarkable one, and highly creditable.

The Wesleyan Normal and Practising Schools, Westminster, are an extensive range of buildings, disposed quite in the collegiate manner, round two large quadrangles. It has also playgrounds distinct from these. The style, which is called Tudor, appears to consist in the application of battlements and monsters; of which latter, though very few of them are real gargoyles, there are enough to serve that purpose, we should think, for half London. We doubt if any building ever had so large a proportion of its cost devoted to them; for they really form its sole ornaments, if we except a few mock buttresses at the entrance, and in the first quadrangle.

The Kingswood School, Bath, also built by the Wesleyans, and designed by Mr. James Wilson, F.S.A., occupies a space of 15,000 square feet, in the form of the letter H. The principal entrance in the south front of the cross bar leads into a square groined hall, with the staircase beyond it, and spacious corridors lead right and left to the other parts of the building, which include a senior schoolroom and dining-hall, in the front wings of the H, each 75 feet by 30, and 22 feet 6 inches high. In the centre of the building is a tower, 82 feet high, with pierced battlements, and in its lower part an oriel of two stories, over the entrance. On each side are other bay windows, and at the ends of the wings, others of a different form. The whole is in the richest variety of the domestic Tudor style; the windows having labels springing from carved corbels, and foliated archlets to every light. This fine school is for 150 students. It stands in a most salubrious and commanding site, on the summit of Lansdowne Hill, and is to have a series of terraced lawns before its south front.

The Scottish National Gallery, on the artificial ground called the

Mound, beneath Edinburgh Castle, is a perfectly symmetrical building, in what may be called the Germano-classic style, or that which the Germans have lately appropriated to buildings of this kind; because Göthe having casually dropped the singular remark that "columns and windows will never agree," it followed (in direct contravention of all precedent, even Athenian precedent itself) that Grecian features were inapplicable to any fabric with windows; and as a gallery of art is the only building in which these openings can be dispensed with, of course it was exclusively appropriated to Hellenism, and Hellenism to it. We cannot but think, however, that Grecian purity (as it is called) would be less violated by windows for which there is precedent, than by dressing up a plain wall with a row of pilasters, for which there is none. The pilasters, we know, are passed off by calling them antæ ; but they have no right to that designation. The difference between antæ and pilasters consists, not in their style of decoration, but in their use and position. The antæ is simply an artistic mode of correcting (without any useless addition) the unfinished appearance of a wall terminating abruptly, a case that does not occur in modern building; so that we have no real antæ, and want none.

The ornaments of the Scottish Gallery (which without them would be simply a rectangular block), consist of these ranges of pilasters, and six porticoes (a number almost unparalleled) attached to the four angles and the centres of the long sides. The two latter are hexastyle, the others tetrastyle, and on a smaller scale. The order throughout is Ionic (with the substitution, of course, of plain surfaces for the sculptured ones, or zophorsis and tympanum).


The chief event of the year, in the progress of the Palace of Parliament, has been the completion of the intended permanent House of Commons; and though (from its failure to satisfy expectation as regards hearing) it is now undergoing a radical change, and a chapter on "public improvements" cannot be said to have any business with architectural still-births, yet the uncommon splendour and doubtless well-studied design of this untimely production renders some account of it necessary, if only to introduce and explain the appearance it may finally assume. It bore so much resemblance to the House of Lords, that (the latter being described in the Companion for 1848') it will be sufficient to record the chief differences therefrom. The three arches forming each end of the room, instead of containing spaces for fresco-painting, were fitted like windows, with mullions and " perpendicular" tracery, invisibly closed by plate glass, and having behind them two galleries for strangers; one level with the sill, and another with the transom. Within the House are shallow galleries projecting from the sides and Speaker's end, but a very deep one (of six rows of seats) at the bar end; and this rising with a considerable slope, reduced the three window-like openings above it to a much shorter proportion than the corresponding frescoes at the House of Lords. The side windows are twice as numerous as at that building,

each severy or

compartment (marked out by the beams of the ceiling) containing two windows, side by side, of two lights each, instead of one of five lights. This gave greater richness, intricacy, and grace to the sides, but at the expense of unity and harmony in the whole; for the end apertures being so broad, and the side windows so tall and slender, gave two such opposite characters to the side and end, that they could not appear of a piece, as they do at the House of Lords, where the repetition of equal severies round the whole gives a degree of classic simplicity and unity. The ceiling was similar to those of all the other large apartments, but having no polychromy, and the light hue of new oak, its mouldings (as well as those of the stonework, also left bare) displayed all their native grace, which particoloured ornament quite disguises and supersedes. This splendid edifice being found unsatisfactory for hearing, a temporary ceiling, several feet below the first, and similar to that of Dr. Reid's house, was tried with success, and is now being replaced by a permanent and decorative one. This, of course, must involve an entire re-arrangement of the general design (all intended for a room of different proportions), and however well patched up, this hall can never now be called a complete work. After all, the Commons will never again have a meeting place, either so convenient, graceful, or noble, as that which they enjoyed for the first three centuries of their history, in Henry III's "Capitulum incomparabile," the Abbey Chapter-House.

Of the Victoria Tower the third story (or first containing windows) is completed by a cornice similar to that finishing the other stories; and the fourth begun by a course of panelling in squares, the same as that with which the others commenced. The three arched windows of each face now produce somewhat of the grand effect which they always do in such a situation (of which the west tower at Ely is an instance), but are too shallow to have all the effect that highly shaded drawings and engravings led us to expect. The central tower begins to appear, the first story being a light octagon lantern, rising from a stone pyramidal roof (like that of the Abbey kitchen at Glastonbury), which forms the exterior of the very massive groined cupola of the central hall. The south side of "St. Stephen's Porch" is now complete, and its upper parts (the lower being still concealed) give promise of a singular composition, more varied and piquant than the rest of the exterior. The vast opening of the window (brought forward from the south end of the hall) seems to have suggested that, for harmony sake, the wings also should have more opening than now, and they present tiers of open arches, which (if they can but remain as at present, unglazed) will be very effective.

The new buildings now finished in the Tower of London have been erected in the most massive and fire-proof manner, iron beams, joists, &c., replacing the science of ancient and the timber of modern builders. The exterior is entirely of stone, and in general form has great boldness and breadth ; but all this is, of course, sadly broken in upon by vulgar modern necessities (for the building is in part a barrack), especially the numerous windows, which being alike and equal

« ElőzőTovább »