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Inter-War Mediterranean C. 1915—C. 1940
|07 Old Geology Building||10
Edward Ford Building
|Clearly, the Inter-War Mediterranean style is
closely related to its contemporary, the INTER-WAR SPANISH MISSION style. It
can reasonably be said that the former is an up-market version of the
The Inter-War Mediterranean style owes a great deal to one man, Professor Leslie Wilkinson, who arrived in Sydney in 1918 to take up the first chair of architecture in an Australian university. A talented Englishman who had travelled extensively in Spain and Italy, Wilkinson recognised that Sydney had a Mediterranean climate, bright sunlight and a water-oriented topography, all of which were conducive to an architecture of simple shapes, light and shade, bleached pastel colours and accents of classical detail. Wilkinson, his colleagues and the graduates of his school were often commissioned to design houses for upper- and upper-middle-class clients, as well as modest-sized commercial and institutional buildings. The Inter-War Mediterranean style established itself most strongly in the temperate belt of the Australian continent, stretching from Sydney, through Canberra, to Perth in the west.
The style avoids the more blatantly Iberian features of Spanish Mission; indeed, it often tends towards Georgian rectitude (see INTER-WAR GEORGIAN REVIVAL). Brick walls are either lightly bagged or cement-rendered smooth and then lime- washed in muted tones of cream, pink or apricot. Round arches are often used for openings and loggias. Double-hung windows are generous in size with sashes divided into small panes by slender wooden glazing bars. Windows are often provided with hinged, louvred shutters for which dark green is the favoured colour. Details are in a generally correct but simplified Renaissance mode. The result is a relatively styleless style which evokes a vaguely Mediterranean feeling without aping the architecture of a specific Latin country.
Buildings in the Inter-War Mediterranean style are often pleasant and useful elements in the built environment, and they seem to have relatively little trouble surviving the passing parade of architectural fashions.
Greenway, Wentworth Road, Vaucluse, NSW. Leslie Wilkinson, architect, 1922. The less-familiar courtyard view of this famous house.
"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.
|Sydney and Melbourne buildings, City Centre, Australian Capital Territory; commenced building 1920s|