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and Regent-street, the site however being enlarged. The character of the building will be sufficiently understood from the illustration which we give. Messrs. Nelson and Innes are the architects. The exterior only is completed. - Some alterations have been going forward at the Army and Navy Club.—Mr. l'Anson has lately been forming a new entrance to Merchant Tailors' Hall, and we believe is about to put a ceiling of appropriate character to the hall itself,
We were desirous to give some particulars of the Scottish National Galleries in Edinburgh, but have received no reply to the application that we made. The newspapers tell us that internally there are “two suites of rooms, with porticoes at either end." The saloons are all octagonal; the centre one, rather larger than the others, is 43 feet in diameter. The saloons are lighted wholly from the roof" by cupolas in plain coved ceilings," and communicate with each other by lofty arched openings, so that from the entrance the coup-d'ail is said to be very striking. Externally, the Ionic order is employed in the four end porticoes of four columns each, and in the two lateral porticoes of six columns each. Few windows appear in the exterior, the walls being relieved by ante resting on a stylobate of steps, and crowned with a balustrade. Mr. Playfair is the architect, and the cost of the building has been about 40,0001. The site is on the Mound, immediately behind the Royal Institution ; but it is now not considered a good one, the view of the rugged Castle rock and the vista beyond it being interrupted; whilst seen from the high ground at the head of the mound the building itself appears buried.
The Free Trade Hall at Manchester, which may be completed externally about the time that this notice comes before our readers, is a work which should rank very high in modern architecture. The plan provides a grand hall for public meetings, and a suite of rooms for concerts and similar purposes. The principal front is divisible into two main stories; the ground story forming an arcade of nine arches, with broad piers and plain archivolts, imposts, and block cornice, but having the spandril spaces filled with the arms of different towns; and the upper story, of greater height, having a range of three-quarter Ionic coupled columns, with pedestals and blocks of entablature, bearing archivolts with consoles, above which is the great entablature cornice of the building, with its frieze enriched with medallions and festoons, the whole building being terminated by a balustrade. The spandril spaces of the range of arches last-named, are enriched with wreaths and circles of red granite, and the semicircular panels in the arches, are about to be filled with alto-relievos by Mr. Thomas. Inmediately below them a narrow panel, ranging with the cornice of the order, will contain a fret. The windows have architraves, trusses, pediments, and balconies. The building derives great effect from the width of its angle-piers, which are without quoins, and undecorated except by the lines of the several horizontal impost and other mouldings. The architect is Mr. Edward Walters; and what he has done entitles him to a place with the chief professors of his noble art.
The Town Hall at Birmingham has been elaborately decorated of late. The ceiling is enriched with Raffaellesque arabesques, and has been newly lighted by " sun-lights” in the three compartments of the ceiling more than twelve hundred burners being required.
At Aldershott and Shorncliffe, the formation of the encampments has called for the erection of a large extent of hut and barrack accommodation. The huts first erected were strangely defective, as to proper construction and sanitary provisions.-Extensive barracks are being completed at Devonport; and for the militia, barracks have been erected at several places.
Since our notice of the new residence at Balmoral, the royal apartments have been occupied. At Windsor Castle, subterraneous passages beneath the quadrangle have been formed, for greater freedom of communication.
The new ball-room at Buckingham Palace, designed by Mr. Pennethorne (scarcely up to the mark of his usual skill), is, we hear, being decorated after a fashion which fills us with apprehension. Extensive surfaces loaded with smalt, and other heavy colours; ornaments on the organ and elsewhere, poor in design, or tawdry, the genius of commonplace in the art, and that of the paint-pot in the decoration : is this all that we English people can present in our palaces, and where we have not the usual excuse as to cost ? We doubt it-much as we have yet to learn in chromatic decoration. Mr. Grüner, who has the direction of these works, has been thrust forward as a sort of autocrat in England. Really we must either doubt the need of this, or-what we are less likely to do the value altogether of German art. The old story about the sculptor who was told that, not being able to make his Venus beautiful, he had made her fine, seems to get its exact modern application in this present case. The consistent character of a ball-room, and what is more, the highest quality of art, require means apart from expenditure of money, which here seems to have been mistaken for—what however cannot be dispensed with-the expenditure of thought.
6.-BUILDINGS,—EDUCATIONAL, SCIENTIFIC, &c. The Crystal Palace at Sydenham during the last twelve months has been progressing as to internal effect. The trees and plants, with the sculpture, contribute to form a beautiful vista in the length of the building. The Hall of the Abencerrages in the Alhambra Court has been completed by Mr. Owen Jones, and realizes an effect of wonderful beauty. The power of harmonious colour was never more remarkable. The fountains inside have been completed and set to work, and the two bronze fountains in the northern basin, by Monti, with figures of the four quarters of the globe, are perhaps the finest works of the kind ever executed. The industrial courts have been com
pleted, but have not succeeded as to their intended object; indeed · the whole industrial department is in an unsatisfactory state. A
collection of raw produce has, however, been commenced in the north wing, and some machinery has been placed in the basement, and in the former there is much inatter for instruction. A gallery of inventions also has been commenced. The management of the refreshment department is improved. Outside the buildings, the fountains on the terrace have been playing regularly at stated times, and realize what was expected from them. The works in the grounds have been proceeded with; the “ temples" at the head of the cascades have been finished, and are painted rather gaudily; and various bronze tazzas and other ornaments have been placed at the sides of the cascades. Some doubt has been felt as to the strength of the water-pipes, and it would seem that the means of examining them are not adequate. It has been necessary to suspend the execution of some of the works from financial reasons,-the geological department in the grounds, and one division of the Alhambra Court, being amongst the works not complete. The building itself may be regarded as finished; and the water-towers, which had been taken down from doubts as to their safety, have been re-erected on larger areas of base. The railway station has been finished, and the ascent of steps is well planned for effect. The inconvenience of the communication, and the expense of visits, still interfere with the beneficial results of the undertaking, as regards a large class. The railway from the west of London is far advanced.
One or two new rooms devoted to Greco-Roman antiquities have been opened at the British Museum ; and a portion of the basement, not originally intended for such purposes, has had to be turned to account. The decorations accord in style with those of other rooms. The new Reading-room now in progress in the inner quadrangle, will meet a want which has been long pressing. By the adoption of the circular form in combination with the other features in the new arrangement, the light in the old part is not interfered with ; an effective interior will be secured ; apparently ample elbow-room will be afforded to readers; and there will be a great increase of book space. Lavatories and a refreshment-room are still wanted. The entrance for readers will be through the main entrance-hall, in place of the roundabout back-way. The reading-room, or hall, will be in diameter 140 feet; and the height to the top of the central skylight will be 108 feet, taking the measurements in the clear, and before the fixing of book-cases. The dimensions nearly equal those of the Pantheon at Rome ; a building between 'which and that we are noticing, there are points of resemblance--whilst we believe the modern work goes far beyond the ancient example, if not beyond. all examples of domed structures, in the amount of skill and contrivance brought to its execution. We refer here to the manner of forming the vault itself-providing the requisite channels for ventilation, and guarding against the spread of fire from external buildings to the interior of the hall, and vice versâ; to the securing abundant light; taking up the minimum of space for supports, so as to give the utmost space for books; and providing the requisite counteraction to the thrust of the dome without cross-ties, or counterforts—which here would be in the way. The ingenious and elaborate structural contrivances by which all these objects are worked out, will be concealed when the work is complete; and as they really form what is of chief interest, we regret we cannot explain their nature by the required large illustrations. We may say, however,