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1881 – Liverpool School of Art, Lancashire

Architect: C.O. Ellison

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Second Premiated Design, perspective view including ground & 1st floor plans, published in The Building News, March 11th 1881. “The selected design in this competition was published in the Building News for Feb. 4, 1881, and to-day we are enabled to illustrate the second premiated design, the author of which is Mr. C.O. Ellison, F.R.I.B.A., architect, of Liverpool and London. Much dissatisfaction has been expressed at the result of the committee’s award, and Mr. Ellison has refused to receive the premium awarded to him, while he claims the position of selected architect, his design having been placed first by the Art-Master of the school, who, it seems, reported on the designs for the committee. Our readers will now be able to compare the two plans, and judge for themselves as to the relative merits of the two designs. Our illustration to-day is from a drawing specially made for us by Mr. Ellison, as the committee declined lo lend him the competition drawings, or, indeed, to allow any of the competitors to see either of the plans submitted.

The following is a short description of the design published to-day : — The arrangements are very simple, the entrance being placed on the level of the present buildings, from which the new school will be managed, and must have ready access, and the attendant’s room is so placed as to supervise both old and new entrances, whilst the secretary is provided with an office (instead of using the board-room, as at present) and lavatory ; w.c., &c., are provided for use of the staff. All these rooms are lilt, to 1 2ft. high, utilising the great slope of the street, whilst placing the ground-floor of the art-school on the level stipulated in the conditions. The staircase is immediately opposite the entrance, and entirely under control from the attendant’s room. The whole of the rooms required by the conditions arc provided, and in the best relative positions to each other, with an excess over specified area of over 300 super, feet, in every case lighted abundantly by largo windows, with north aspect only, and no cross-lights whatever — not even a skylight being used — vital points of art-school arrangements, the importance of which the Committee do not appear to have realised.

The cloak-rooms for the ladies and gentlemen are separated by the entire length of the building, the former being a comfortable room in which the ladies can take their lunch (a want much felt by the present students), and from which the w.c.’s are entirely shut off by a ventilation corridor, whilst the gentlemen’s w.c.’s, &c., are placed in an open court, entered from their cloak-room, so securing the best possible sanitary arrangements. Another want much felt is that of convenient places for the washing of modelling tools, boards, palettes, &c., and for the mounting of paper, a room for which has been provided on each floor, besides retiring room and w.c, out of the life classroom, for use of the life model. It is proposed to warm the premises by the use of open firestoves in the rooms, and hot- water pipes round the walls, corridors, and main hall, the flue from the furnace being an iron pipe passing up the centre of a 5ft. air- shaft, having connection with every room, so securing a certain extraction of foul air, there- from, and consequent drawing in of fresh air, through specially-prepared places ; air-shafts also being provided in connection with the flue from cash stove, rendering the ventilation certain. The exterior is designed to harmonise with the present institution, of which it is to form part ; the fronts to be of white stone, with coupled columns of polished granite to the entrance-porch, over which it is proposed to place a group of statuary, indicative of the purposes of the building.”