Academy,  2 (1870–71), 372.

New Buildings at South Kensington  [1/2]

Basil Champneys


Reportage, Polemic, Serial


Engineers, Architecture, Engineering, Aesthetics, Creativity, Museums, Utilitarianism, Pollution

    In protesting against the neglect of the 'artistic element of national buildings' even in 'a quarter which we have been taught to look upon as the very centre of artistic design', complains that 'the new buildings of the South Kensington Museum itself were entrusted to a member of the Royal Engineers, a profession which is supposed to be educated in the science rather than the art of building'. Concedes, however, that 'an engineer, naturally giving full weight to utilitarian considerations, and little likely to be hampered by a superabundance of artistic resources' has produced a set of buildings with 'a certain directness of purpose—a quality which, though very essential to any high degree of success, is not usually attained in architectural works of our day'. (372)

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