23 MAY 1840, Page 18



Jr was announced a few days ago that the design for the 'new Royal Exchange was at last fixed upon ; and having obtained a sight of the drawings, we are glad to be able to congratulate the public on the prospect of having a building that, though not without defects, will be an ornament to the City. Of the several architects who were invited to send in designs, only two, Messrs. Coeseness and TITE, responded ; and the choice of the Committee fell on Mr. 'FITE.

Mr. COCKERELL'S design was a modification of (MO (No. 46) that was rejected on the former competition, as being too expensive: it is much improved by being made less ornate ; mid its appearance in the rough model that the architect had constructed to exhibit the effect of the structure in conjunction with the serroending buildings, is stately and elegant. The principal front, timing Cheapside, is decorated with six detached Corinthian columns supporting an architrave, ornamcnte with statues, and having an attic above surmounted by the City units; the windows being decorated with sculptured bas-reliefs. The mer- chants' court is not overlooked, but is surrounded, in lieu of windou s, with a row of statues in niches, as before ; and partly enclosed by a handsome coving, leaving only the space that would be the ceiling of a hall open : the balustrading surmounting the enclosure is seen above the roof of the building ; which has four little clock-turrets at its angles. An arcade, emmnunicating with Cornhill and Threadneedle Street runs across the east end, separating Lloyd's Subscription-room from the Commercial Room. The facades facing Cornhill and the Bank are ornamented with three-quarter columus• the whole height of the build- ing. The grand entrance-front is ingenious and tasteful, though the ornamental features are perhaps too principal ; and the appearance of the merchants' area from within is handsome and hnposing. 'Flue ensemble, however, is defieient in massive gvandeur ; and the effect of the roof' or sky outlaa, is not agreeable : this is owing to a newt or symmetry. in the plan, that we can only explain by asking the reader to imagine the elect of a parallelogram » of ballustrading rising out of and above a trapezium-shaped pile ; whose unequal sides are made evident by the parallelogram, and by pepper-box turrets at the angles of the trapezium Mr. Tories design is simple, massive, and imposing; nor is it dd.- clew in richness of decoration, but the ornamental details are subser- vient to the general effect: it has no novelty of' features, however, and in point of invention does not rise above commonplace. A melee of eight Corinthian columns, with two large round-headed windows, one on each side a central arched doorway, constitutes the principal or West front looking down Cheapside ; ana a lolly clock tower rises above the East end : the North and South facades are alike, beiug enriched with pilasters the height of' the building, having arched openings closed le is it °111(11;,11.,:.:111)i:ngnillii:aLitellaci e"-

with shops iu the intercolumniations. The sty

dian,—the version of classic architecture best adapted to modern muses. The merchants' area is overlooked by the windowisie

spacious rooms of Lloyd's, and the other offices. T

turers are provided with a commodious theatre ; and the eccommoda- lions for business seem ample and complete. The effect or the portico is greatly injured by the huge Malik space of' the tympanum or its pedi- ment, which proclaims the need Of SOHIC ornamental sculpture to relieve its baldness; and by the dwarf screen for chimnies, that separates it from the main building : this last is an eyesore—it destroys the sym- metry of the portico, and its removal would he a very great improve- ment. The tower is not offensive : it only deserves this negative praise ; which, however, is something in these days of' steeple monstrosi- ties. On the whole, it is a very respectable pile, though not meriting the epithet grand. To decide between two plans, one of' them peculiar and must alto- gether a new one, was not very puzzling : in the race of emnpetition it is safer to back Jogtrot, than High-flier, especially when you know the jockey better than you understand the points of the horse. The choice of the Committee will, doubtless, be approved : end so far as the simple matter of selection between the present two designs, they have acted with perfect fairness ; but injustice has been dime to the former comptitore. Mr. Doeasosoas the author or the acknowledged best design. which was unceremoniously rejected with others on the ground at an alleged excess of cost, has the greatest reason to com- plain ; for neither were the allegations against his plans made good, nor was he permitted to prove the correctness of his estimate : more- over, the CUy has got an inferior building. We would ask, by the way, whether it has been ascertained that the chosen design tot be erected for the sum named, and that it has no " false bearinge" and other dis- qualifying defects ? We do not insinuate to the contrary. What is done is done ; but we mnst say, that in Unless to the authors of the prize and selected designs of the first competition, they might ho have been invited to send in untended plans, instead of' being, all but one, excluded from the fresh competition—if it is not a mockery of the term to apply it to a trial of skill between two architects, one of whom had the advantage or studying the ideas of the thirty-eight competitors. Or the six architects especially invited to compete, all declined but two, front motives of delicacy : this significant hint ought not to have been neglected by the Committee. Better have given the work to sopmented.00nne: distinguished architect, than put up with a mere form of coin In arraigning the justice of the Committee's proceedings, NV1t by no means question their houourable intentions: doubtless they did their best.

Since the above was in type, the choice of the Committee has been confirmeil by the Court of Common Council. Mn, Coce emit:Cs peti- tion for a reconsideration of' his plan was properly rejected : he niade out no ease, so far as this decision was concerned. One See that he stated, however, is of great significance with reference to the Milner competitiore—namely, that it WilS Up011 the evidence a/o' if Mr, Smith, their Surveyor, that the Committee refused to receive hit' mutt's drat the &sigha rejected as too costly could be erected for the prescribed sum. This reveals the mainspring of the machinery that upset the com- petitiols