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Federation Academic Classical c. 1890—c. 1915
Colonial Secretary General
|002 Art Gallery of New South Wales||23 Church of St. Mary Immaculate and St. Charles Borromeo, Waverly|
|Throughout the nineteenth century, the
designers of most buildings that were intended to express authority, power,
wealth or culture saw themselves as the descendants of the great architects
of the Renaissance, charged with the responsibility of carrying forward the
torch of classicism. By the end of the century this classical vein had by no
means been exhausted. L’Ecole des Beaux-Arts in Paris maintained its
position as the most influential school of architecture in history and the
fountainhead of rigorous classicism. The World’s Columbian Exposition of
1893 in Chicago provided spectacular evidence of classicism’s continuing
potency. The work of Edwin Lutyens in Britain and of McKim, Mead & White in
America extended the classical tradition well into the twentieth century at
a time when modern movements in architecture were gathering strength.
In Australia, the Federation Academic Classical style encompasses those buildings which, in general terms, respect the basic disciplines of classical architecture, even if they sometimes feature elements such as dominant towers which have no precedents in antiquity or the Renaissance. The style is essentially a continuation of the VICTORIAN ACADEMIC CLASSICAL style. Many civic buildings, such as town halls, had already been built in Australian cities and towns during the Victorian period, so there were relatively few opportunities for large-scale monumental projects. Nevertheless, Federation Academic Classical was often the idiom chosen for urban commercial architecture, especially in Western Australia as it grew and prospered following the discovery of gold at Coolgardie and Kalgoorlie in the early 189os.
Federation Academic Classical buildings tend to be symmetrically disposed and usually exhibit the orders (Tuscan, Doric, Ionic, Corinthian and Composite) in the form of columns or pilasters with their appropriate entablatures and often a pediment. Façades are articulated into rectangular bays having a vertical proportion. For commercial buildings, painted stucco was often the preferred exterior material rather than the more expensive stone.
Art Gallery of New South Wales, Art Gallery Road, Sydney, NSW. W. L. Vernon, Government Architect. Completed 1909.
Masterly symmetric featuring Ionic colonnades.
"A Pictorial Guide to Identifying Austrlian Architecture; Styles and Terms from 1788 to the Present"
RICHARD APPERLY, ROBERT IRVING, PETER REYNOLDS. PHOTOGRAPHS BY SOLOMON MITCHELL.
Angus & Robertson Sydney 1995 ISBN 0207 18562 X
Copyright © 1989 by Richard Apperly, Robert Irving and Peter Reynolds.