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Federation Romanesque c. 1890—c. 1915 (see also Victorian Romanesque)

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  07 Queen Victoria Building  017 Shelbourne Hotel 2 Martin Place
002 Bank of Australasia (former)
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  350 George Street
013 former
Societe Generale  Building
013 Sydney Tech 014 Westpac Bank
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  016 Flatiron Building 12 Leichhardt Public School 02 St. Andrew’s Presbyterian Church Manly
 
Undoubtedly the most admired and influential American architect to practise in the second half of the nineteenth century was Henry Hobson Richardson. Trained at L’Ecole des Beaux-Arts in Paris and influenced by the early medieval architecture of southern France and Spain, Richardson evolved his own simplified distillation of the Romanesque style in the early 187os and attracted a host of American disciples in the following decades. The Richardson-derived Romanesque style gained its strength more from its general qualities of simplicity and weighty robustness than from its fairly restrained use of early medieval motif. It was essentially a masonry style, featuring massive walls of squared, rock-faced stone blocks. The round-headed arch was used over openings; the entrance to a building was often defined by a big single arch with very large voussoirs. Ornament, when used, was chunky and strong.
It must be admitted that the thick walls and small windows associated with Romanesque architecture were not ideally suited to the temperate climate of most Australian cities. The Richardsonian Romanesque style undoubtedly had a strong influence on the design of many Australian warehouses and wool stores at the turn of the century (see FEDERATION WAREHOUSE), but the fully developed style made relatively small inroads in this country into the territory firmly held by the long-established Gothic. Nevertheless, the strong association in people’s minds between early European medieval architecture and the Christian church resulted in the occasional use of the Romanesque style for turn-of-the-century churches.
It was almost by chance that the Queen Victoria Building in Sydney became one of the major monuments of the Federation Romanesque style. The architect, George McRae, provided the city fathers with designs in three other styles as well as in the rather Venetian brand of Romanesque finally selected. Atypically, the QVB was built of smooth-faced sandstone rather than the rugged, rock-faced stonework usually featured in this style.


Sociéte Generale (former Equitable) Building, George Street, Sydney, NSW. Edward Raht, architect, c. 1892. An early example of the influence of American Romanesque.

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Former Bank of New South Wales (now Westpac), Broadway, Chippendale, NSW. Varney Parkes, architect, from 1894. A carefully exuberant ensemble of round arches and clustered piers.
   
  Quoted from:
"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.
 
  Our Lady of the Victories Basilica. Camberwell, Victoria. Completed in 1918.
 
  Melbourne Magistrates' Court. Corner of La Trobe and Russell Streets, Melbourne. Completed in 1914
 
  Swanston and Flinders St intersection 1927
 
  In 1882 the government decided to build a new central passenger station to replace the existing ad-hoc construction. A world-wide design competition was held in 1899, with 17 entries received. The £500 first prize went to railway employees J. W. Fawcett and H. P. C. Ashworth, whose design included a giant dome and clock tower. Work began in 1901 and ended in 1910.
Rumours persist that the design for Flinders Street Station was originally designated for Chhatrapati Shivaji Terminus in Mumbai (Victoria Terminus Bombay), India. However, no convincing evidence, other than architectural similarities to other buildings in their respective cities, has been produced to support the rumour.
 
 
 
  Victoria Terminus Bombay

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