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Article

George Tibbits

(b Bendigo, Victoria, Aug 16, 1865; d Melbourne, June 22, 1933).

Australian architect. He served articles with William Salway (1844–1902) in Melbourne and practised alone from the late 1880s to the early 1930s, with a circle of clients and friends drawn from varying levels of Melbourne society. As well as a commitment to the ideals of the Arts and Crafts movement, he aimed to create an Australian idiom and saw architecture as an art rather than a profession. His talent for sketching and his flair for writing on architecture were also recognized at an early stage in local building journals.

His earliest designs show the influence of H. H. Richardson, whom he greatly admired, but the Viennese Secession may have influenced the Springthorpe Memorial in Kew cemetery, Melbourne (1897). His well-known houses at 32, 34 and 38 The Eyrie, Eaglemont (1902–3), are free and decorative adaptations of a half-timbered, roughcast and Marseilles-tiled idiom fused with an Arts and Crafts approach, which he continued to develop in examples such as the Norman Macgeorge house at Alphington (...

Article

Miles Lewis

(b Ireland, April 26, 1791; d Stanley, Tasmania, Dec 4, 1852).

Australian architect of Irish birth. He trained in the London office of the architect Charles Beazley and worked for five years for John Rennie, before spending eight years in architectural and engineering work in Ireland. In 1826 he was appointed Civil Engineer for Van Diemen’s Land (now Tasmania), and he arrived at Hobart Town in 1827. He served as colonial architect as well as civil engineer for eleven years, during the first nine of which he was responsible for all government buildings, including military and penal works. His design for the Ordnance Stores, Hobart (1834), shows the austere and megalomaniac stamp of late 18th-century Neo-classicism, but only the less important sections were built, in 1834–8. His Customs House, Hobart (now Parliament House), begun in 1835 and completed by James Blackburn, shows the influence of the Greek Revival, and his monument to Lieutenant-Governor David Collins (1837–8) is Greek in the manner of John Soane. His churches show Regency and Tudor characteristics and are less sophisticated. Archer’s finest engineering work was the bridge on the Midland Highway at Ross, designed on principles derived from Rennie’s work, and enhanced by the fantastically carved voussoirs executed by convict stonemasons....

Article

J. N. Mané-Wheoki

(b London, 1832 or 1833; d Christchurch, New Zealand, Feb 22, 1883).

New Zealand architect of English birth. In 1862, after a lengthy apprenticeship in Melbourne, Australia, Armson arrived in New Zealand. He spent two years (1862–4) in the engineering department of the Otago provincial government, Dunedin, and from 1866 to 1870 he practised in Hokitika on the West Coast. Christchurch, where he finally settled in 1870, nurtured the most productive phase of his career. Inspired by Victorian London’s palazzo-style clubs and Venetian Gothic office blocks, Armson transformed the commercial heart of Christchurch. In Hereford Street alone he designed 12 substantial buildings, but only the Fisher Building (1880), a wedge-shaped structure in Italian Gothic, survives. Elsewhere in Christchurch the former Library (1875), Boys’ High School (1879), Girls’ High School (1880), Anderson’s Shops, Borough Hotel and Butterworth’s Warehouse (1881) demonstrate his versatility in handling historicist vocabularies, while the Loan and Mercantile Company’s Store (...

Article

Peter Bridges

(b Almerclose, Scotland, Oct 17, 1827; d Sydney, Dec 17, 1904).

Australian architect of Scottish birth. He studied at the School of Design in London and emigrated to Sydney in 1854. After working for Edmund Blacket, he joined the New South Wales Colonial Architect’s Office as a clerk of works in 1860; in 1862 he was appointed Colonial Architect, responsible for all public buildings in the state except railway structures and schools. The period 1860 to 1890 was one of expansion, and under Barnet’s leadership more than 1000 new public buildings were erected. Strongly influenced by the work of Charles Robert Cockerell, Barnet developed an identifiable ‘house style’ with imposing Italianate designs that were well suited to their official status. His major works in Sydney, including the Australian Museum (1864), the arcaded General Post Office (1866–86), the Lands Department (1876–90) with an onion-domed clock–tower and the Customs House (1885) in trabeated classical style, were landmarks that changed a provincial town into a Victorian city. On a smaller scale, his court houses and post offices are still distinguished features of many country towns. An outstanding organizer, he designed and built the huge Garden Palace (...

Article

Miles Lewis

(b Upton, Essex, 1803; d Melbourne, March 3, 1854).

Australian architect of English birth. He was employed in London as an inspector for the commissioners of sewers for Holborn and Finsbury, until his transportation to Hobart Town, Van Diemen’s Land (now Tasmania), with his wife and daughter in 1835, after forging a cheque. He was immediately employed in the Department of Roads and Bridges and was responsible for a great proportion of the colony’s road building, surveying and engineering work. When the department was merged into the Department of Public Works (1839), he began designing important government buildings; he was also able to operate privately in partnership with James Thjomsonn, as both architects and building contractors.

Although his buildings show the influence of John Claudius Loudon, Blackburn was also a powerful and innovative designer in his own right and was the first major exponent of the Picturesque in the Australian colonies (e.g. the Italianate extension of Rosedale of ...

Article

Valerie A. Clack

(Thomas)

(b London, Aug 25, 1817; d Sydney, Feb 9, 1883).

Australian architect, of English birth. He was the son of James Blacket, a London cloth merchant, and he initially worked in his father’s office and in a linen mill in Yorkshire before becoming a surveyor for the Stockton and Darlington Railway, where he must have obtained a knowledge of building. Blacket also sketched and measured old buildings in his spare time. In 1842 he moved to Sydney, where he obtained an appointment as a ‘valuator’ and perhaps also as an inspector of buildings. He received his first architectural commission in 1843 (All Saints, Singleton; destr.) and went on to become one of the leading architects in New South Wales in the mid-19th century. Appointed Diocesan Architect by 1847, he is known particularly for his Gothic Revival churches, mostly traditional in manner, of which he designed more than 50. Among them are simple country churches (e.g. at Berrima, Picton, Greendale and Wollombi); elegant city buildings (e.g. at Sydney: St Philip’s, ...

Article

Betsy L. Chunko

(b Le Mans, Nov 1, 1908; d Brisbane, Australia, July 7, 1995).

French architectural historian, active also in America. Bony was educated at the Sorbonne, receiving his agregation in geography and history in 1933. In 1935, converted to art history by Henri(-Joseph) Focillon, he travelled to England under a research grant from the Sorbonne, after which time he became Assistant Master in French at Eton College (1937–9 and 1945–6). He returned to France in 1939 as an infantry lieutenant in World War II in the French Army, was taken as a prisoner of war and spent the years 1940–43 in an internment camp in Germany. After the war he returned to England, first to Eton, then as Lecturer in the History of Art at the French Institute in London (1946–61), Visiting Lecturer at the Courtauld Institute of Art (1948–58), and Slade Professor of Fine Art at St John’s College, Cambridge (1958–61). From 1961 to 1962...

Article

Rory Spence

Term apparently coined by Robin Boyd in Australia’s Home (1952) and loosely applied to highly ornate architecture in a classical idiom that was fashionable in the eastern states of Australia between the late 1870s and early 1890s. The style was made possible by, and is to some extent an expression of, the financial boom that followed the discovery of gold in 1851. The climax of the boom was in the 1880s in Victoria, where the richest goldfields were located. The buildings most commonly associated with the Boom style are the richly decorated Italianate villas and speculative terrace houses of Melbourne. The English picturesque Italianate fashion had been introduced to Australia by the early 1840s but only reached its sumptuous apogee in Victoria in the late 1880s. The architecture is characterized by asymmetrical towers, balustraded parapets, polygonal bay windows and round-arched openings and arcades, though the terrace houses often lack the more elaborate features. The buildings were usually stuccoed and enriched with mass-produced Renaissance-style elements in cast cement. They frequently incorporate cast-iron filigree verandahs, prefabricated in sections. A typical stuccoed villa is ...

Article

John Maidment

(b Pensford, Somerset, Mar 24, 1864; d Toorak, Victoria, May 31, 1949).

Australian architect of English birth. Articled in Barnstaple to Alexander Lauder (1880–84), Butler moved to J. D. Sedding’s office in London in 1885, also travelling and sketching widely in Britain and Europe. In 1888 Butler emigrated to Melbourne, initially in partnership with Beverley Ussher (1868–1908) from 1889–95 and successively George Inskip (fl 1879–1913) from 1896–1905, Ernest R. Bradshaw from 1907–16, his nephew Richard Butler from 1916–36, Marcus Martin from 1926–31 and Hugh Pettit from 1926–39. He was the most important direct link with the English Arts and Crafts movement at the time of his arrival and he soon secured many domestic commissions for wealthy clients, which comprise the major portion of his work. Notable elements of his work include prominent Dutch gables and half-timbered gables, sweeping parapets, the widespread adoption of bay windows, the use of rough cast and brick and also sweeping rooflines in Marseilles tiles; some of the plans were unconventional, with diagonally-placed wings. Later, Butler occasionally moved to a refined classicism and had a long interest in the art of landscape design and urban planning. His ‘Melbourne Mansions’ (...

Article

Peter Richardson

(b Glasgow, July 4, 1857; d Wellington, New Zealand, August 4, 1942).

New Zealand architect of Scottish birth. He served his articles in Glasgow under John Gordon (1835–1912) and arrived in New Zealand in 1882. Although he worked briefly as a draughtsman for the firm of Mason and Wales, almost his entire career was spent working for the Public Works Department, to which he was first appointed in 1883. He was promoted to draughtsman in charge of the design of government buildings in New Zealand in 1888 and held the newly created title of Government Architect in 1909, retiring in 1922. His early buildings were generally designed in the Queen Anne style, often incorporating Baroque elements; examples include his additions to the Government Printing Office (1894–6; destr.), Wellington, and his Police Station (1895–9) in Dunedin, modelled on New Scotland Yard, London. He later designed the Dunedin Law Courts (1899–1902) in Gothic Revival style with a Scottish Baronial inflection. In the early part of the 20th century Campbell established Edwardian ...

Article

David Dolan

Australian architectural partnership formed by the brothers Michael Francis Cavanagh (1860–1941) and James Charles Cavanagh (1871–1957) in 1895. Their father, John Cavangh, was an Irish-born contractor, who became Supervisor of Public Buildings for the South Australian Government. Michael Cavanagh was born at Yackandandah, Victoria and educated at nearby Beechworth. He continued his educationn in London and then Adelaide, where he worked with E. J. Woods (1837–1913). James was born in Adelaide and became articled to Michael while studying there, continuing his studies informally in Europe. Michael, who was the senior partner with higher public profile, remained permanently in Perth after 1895, while James worked in Brisbane between 1933–42, before retiring to Adelaide.

They designed ornate turreted hotels and many Federation style houses, but specialized in Roman Catholic churches and schools. Their large institutional buildings, such as Clontarf Orphanage (1900), Subiaco, all have façades with deep verandahs above rusticated flat or rounded arches. Except for some unusual, late Art Deco designs in partnership with others, their work is consistently eclectic, derivative and conventional....

Article

J. N. Mané-Wheoki

(b Norfolk Plains, Tasmania, Nov 17, 1823; d Dunedin, Aug 23, 1877).

Australian architect, also active in New Zealand. Arriving in England in 1840, he trained in architecture and engineering before returning to Tasmania in 1848. He worked in the Government Survey Office (1851–5) and then set up in private practice in Launceston. A member of the Royal Victorian Institute of Architects, Melbourne, Clayton is credited with having erected some 300 structures in Tasmania, including five churches, three banks, a Mechanics’ Institute, a theatre, three mills, breweries, mansions, villas and five bridges. St Andrew’s, Launceston (1849), St Mark’s, Deloraine (1856–60), and Chalmers Church, Launceston (1859–60), are notable examples of his religious architecture; the Public Offices, Launceston (1859–60)—built of brick with richly modelled freestone dressings and Italianate classical in style—are the most ambitious and lavish of his secular works.

In 1863 Clayton moved to Dunedin, New Zealand, where he entered into partnership with ...

Article

John W. F. Cattell

(b Walsden, Lancs, Jan 7, 1856; d Wellington, New Zealand, Aug 13, 1952).

New Zealand architect of English birth. The son of a Church of England clergyman, he worked for the church architects Edmund Evan Scott (fl 1851; d 1895) in Brighton and Robert Jewell Withers (1823–94) in London before emigrating to New Zealand, settling in Wanganui in 1877. He moved to Wellington in 1883 and was appointed architect to the Wellington Diocese of the Anglican Church. According to his obituary he designed more than 100 churches mostly in the southern half of the North Island.

Clere continued the tradition of wooden Gothic Revival churches clad with vertical boarding established by Frederick Thatcher and Benjamin Woolfield Mountfort; his buildings are successful more for their simplicity of design and fine proportioning than for their ecclesiological correctness. Working in a seismically unstable country, he was mindful of the necessity for structural strength in his buildings and experimented with the use of reinforced concrete for larger churches, such as St Matthew’s Anglican Church, Hastings (begun ...

Article

Ian Molyneux

(b London, April 20, 1881; d Perth, June 20, 1938).

Australian architect of English birth. He was articled to Thomas Lockwood and Sons at Chester, and later he worked for Guy Dawber. In 1904 he emigrated to Western Australia due to ill-health; he practised architecture in Bunbury (1906–13) and then established a partnership with Joseph Herbert Eales (b1864) in Perth. Cohen was largely instrumental in bringing the ideas of the Arts and Crafts Movement direct to Western Australia. His earliest Australian work included interpretations of the local vernacular homestead in the Arts and Crafts manner, for example Reynolds Homestead (1906), Busselton. His work was later also influenced by vernacular revivals in other countries such as South Africa, for example Kings Park Grandstand (1925) in Perth, as well as by the Georgian Revival in England, which inspired his own house (1922) in Karoo Street, South Perth. His skill as a designer made him prominent in the search for an Australian style suited to a predominantly British society living in a Mediterranean climate. Another example of his work is the Crowther House (...

Article

Betzy Dinesen

Term applied to an architectural and interior design style prevalent in the late 19th and early 20th centuries in the USA and Australia, countries formerly colonized by Britain. The style, used mostly for domestic architecture, was based on buildings of early colonial periods and had much in common with the contemporary Neo-Georgian tendency in Britain (e.g. Annie Longfellow Thorp House, 1887); later developments on the west coast of the USA drew on Spanish styles. It became popular in response to a reaction against the ornate eclecticism of late 19th-century architecture and the search for a new aesthetic: Colonial Revival was promoted as a ‘national’ style, rooted in the foundations of the nations and suited to their environment and culture. A similar stimulus produced revivals of colonial styles in other countries, such as South Africa, where the Cape Dutch style was revived in work by Herbert Baker around the end of the 19th century, and Brazil, where features of Portuguese colonial architecture appeared in the work of ...

Article

R. J. Riddel

[Smith, Robert].

(b Dunedin, New Zealand, June 9, 1868; d Sydney, July 23, 1920).

Australian architect. Educated in Brisbane, Australia, he served his articles with the architects Hay & Henderson in Edinburgh (1886–90) while also studying at the Edinburgh Architectural Association where he formed a lasting friendship with architect Robert Lorimer. From 1890 to 1894 Dods worked in several prominent London offices, including the fortifications branch of the Imperial War Office, Dunn & Watson, and in the office of Aston Webb. He was admitted to the RIBA in 1891 and in the same year travelled to Italy. He was awarded a special prize in the Tite Prize competition (1893) and a medal of merit in the Soane Medallion (1894). Dods returned to Brisbane in 1896 having won a competition for a nurses’ home at the Brisbane Hospital, and entered partnership with architect Francis Hall (1862–1939) as Hall & Dods (1896–1916). The practice enjoyed a variety of commissions from domestic work (where Dods adapted the Queensland timber vernacular in a radically new way) to commercial buildings, hospital and ecclesiastical work. Significant work by Dods in Brisbane includes the New Zealand Insurance Building (...

Article

Miles Lewis

Australian architectural partnership formed by W(illiam) H(enry) Ellerker (b Birmingham, 1837; d Melbourne, 30 March 1891) and E(dward) G(eorge) Kilburn (b Australia, 1859; d 1894), active in Melbourne from 1886 to 1891. Ellerker came to Melbourne with his parents in 1853 and in 1856 was engaged as a draughtsman by Thomas Kemp. From 1858 he worked as a draughtsman in the Railways Department and then the Public Works Department. In 1863 he went to Queensland, where his design for Parliament House was recommended by a royal commission but did not proceed. He returned to Melbourne in 1867 and established a general practice in partnership with his brother John Ellerker, which was productive but designed nothing notable. He was a considerable investor in the Melbourne land boom of the 1880s and seems to have largely withdrawn from practice. The first major city buildings pre-date the partnership and were designed in association with ...

Article

George Tibbits

(Howard)

(b Mangotsfield, nr Bristol, Nov 20, 1777; d nr East Maitland, NSW, bur Sept 26, 1837).

Australian architect of English birth. His architectural training included working for John Nash in London where he also submitted work to the Royal Academy. However, his architectural practice in the Bristol area ended when he was convicted of forgery and transported with his wife Mary in the General Hewitt to Australia in February 1814. As a result his standing was never secure, and his arrogant nature made him many enemies among those he criticized in colonial society in and around Sydney. His support and patronage in Sydney came from Governor Lachlan Macquarie (governor 1810–22), who has become a model in Australian culture of enlightened public support for architecture. Greenway’s important surviving buildings include St Matthew (1817) and the Court House (1821), both in Windsor, NSW; St Luke (1818), Liverpool, NSW; and St James (1819), Queens Square, Sydney, the adjacent Hyde Park (Convicts) Barracks (...

Article

Roslyn F. Coleman

(Joseph)

(b London, Feb 25, 1866; d Melbourne, May 16, 1929).

Australian architect, theorist and writer of English birth. He trained as an architect in London from 1881 and then worked in various architectural offices there. He emigrated to Australia in 1889 and worked in various states before settling in Melbourne in 1899. He designed a number of offices, residences, churches and other public buildings, often for other architects. Through this work and his teachings and writings, he influenced many Australian architects by his strong principles of originality and simplicity in design, harmony and balance in composition, and national sentiment. These principles were closely allied with those of English architects working in the Arts and Crafts Movement; however, his use of nature for inspiration and his relaxation of past rules of composition and decoration also place him within the Art Nouveau movement. Haddon’s designs were characterized by plain façades, the careful use of simple ornament and the positioning of elements to produce a distinctive and often delicately balanced composition. Examples of this work include his residence, Anselm (...

Article

Ian Molyneux

[Fra Jerome]

(b Richmond [now in London], Sept 7, 1876; d Florida, June 26, 1956).

Australian architect of English birth. He was articled to Edmerton and Gabriel, London, and he studied at the Architectural Association School, the Polytechnic and Central Arts and Crafts School, London (1892–6), under W. R. Lethaby and E. S. Prior. He began practice at Bognor Regis in 1897, and there built The White Tower (1898) in a style influenced by C. F. A. Voysey. Ordained an Anglican priest, he went as a curate-architect to rebuild churches after a hurricane in the Bahamas (1909–11), where he discovered Spanish Mission architecture. He then became a Franciscan priest and went as a missionary to Geraldton, Western Australia. Between 1915 and 1939 he designed a number of convents, presbyteries and churches in the region, using local materials and building much of the work with his own hands. Hawes was a romantic: based on Arts and Crafts principles and vernacular eclecticism, his work was distinguished by a powerful expressionism and interiors with mysterious lighting. The façade of his masterpiece, the Cathedral of St Francis Xavier (...