- Colin Cunningham
(b Aigburth, Liverpool, July 19, 1830; d Yattendon, Berks, Aug 22, 1905).
English architect, furniture designer and painter. In financial terms he was probably the most successful architect of the 19th century, and his office, of a dozen or so full-time staff, was able to produce large quantities of high-quality drawings with speed and efficiency. His skill in planning was recognized at an early stage, but appreciation of his stylistic achievement has been slower. He was influenced by Ruskin and A. W. N. Pugin, as well as by the more practical approach of George Gilbert Scott, but he developed his own approach to the composition of forms and a preference for bold simple ornament to match the increasing scale of his buildings. He did not confine himself to a single style but was adept in Gothic and, later, free Renaissance styles, and he developed a preference for the neo-Romanesque. He distinguished between carved or moulded ornament on plain stone and decorative materials such as veined marble, which he generally left unornamented. His concern for hard-wearing surface materials led him to adopt terracotta as a facing material, in which he was both a pioneer and protagonist. His sensitive handling of materials approached the aims of the Arts and Crafts Movement, but he always accepted that building was an industrial process. His buildings are characterized by sound planning and bold and picturesque outline, with particular attention given to the skyline in urban buildings....