Architect: Lee & Smith
From The Architect, November 6, 1875: The design illustrated in the present number is one of two submitted by Messrs. Lee & Smith in the recent competition. The arrangements will be seen from the plans. It was proposed to build the walls of the local hard blue stone and Portland stone, with terra cotta dressings generally. The floors would be in parts paved with encaustic tiles purposely designed (except in large hall, which would be parquete’rie), the walls of entrance halls, inner halls, staircases, landings, corridors, and lavatories being lined with the same material up to a height of about 4 feet. The ceilings of halls and corridors would, be formed with Pether’s ornamental bricks, from designs.
The roof of the large hall, which is of the hammer beam construction, would have a ceiling to render the acoustic properties successful. Below it would be the hammer beams, so as to give a picturesque appearance. The flat port of the ceiling, on a level with the beams, would be formed into deeply sunk coffers, filled in with richly ornamental perforated iron panels, which would act as ventilators. The spandrels of the hammer beams would be filled in with similar ironwork.
For warming the building, hot-water boilers would be provided, from which hot-water pipes would traverse the corridors, forming the mains to feed the coils of pipes where required. Pure air would be admitted from outside behind the coils. All the rooms would be warmed by these pipes, in addition to the fireplaces.