HC Deb 16 March 1891 vol 351 cc1050-1
MR. BARTLEY (Islington, N.)

I beg to ask the First Commissioner of Works when he will be prepared to give the names of the judges and assessor of the South Kensington Museum completion competition; whether he is aware that the plans and elevations supplied to the competing architects contain no drawing or indication of the Central Quadrangle, with its important surrounding façades, which furnish the keynote of the style of the present buildings which the proposed competition is to complete, and whether he would be willing to arrange for all the competing architects to be taken over the present buildings and have the details explained to them, especially the exterior terra cotta enrichments and earthenware mosaics, by the officials of the Board of Works and of the Science and Art Department?


A course somewhat similar to that adopted in the case of the last important competition for Government buildings will probably be adopted in that for the South Kensington Museum competition; in that case the judges were for the most part Members of the Government of the Day, chosen for the purpose, and were assisted by professional assessors. Mr. Waterhouse. President of the Royal Institute of British Architects, has undertaken to act as assessor on this occasion. No competing architects have bean invited to visit and inspect the existing buildings, and of course every facility will be afforded them in obtaining any information they may require. In Class 3 of the Conditions and Instructions which we have issued to the architects it is laid down that the designs shall "pay regard so far as may be necessary to the style of the existing buildings," and beyond this it would, in my opinion, be very unwise to fetter the competitors.