Survey of London Monograph 17, County Hall. Originally published by Guild & School of Handicraft, London, 1991.
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APPENDIX I. County Hall: Terms of the Competition as set out in Instructions to Competing Architects and Replies to Competing Architects
These documents, which were issued to would-be competitors by the LCC, are reproduced in Alexander Koch's book, London County Council Hall Final Competition, a Special Number of British Competitions in Architecture, 1908. The following selection from the Instructions, and the Replies which amplified them, are here reproduced from Koch.
Instructions to Competing Architects
The London County Council, being desirous of erecting a new County Hall and Offices, has determined to invite architects to submit designs for the building which it is proposed to erect on a site bounded by the River Thames, Belvedere Road, Westminster Bridge, and the Council's works department offices and depot as shown on the accompanying block plan. (See Mr. Riley's suggested plan... [included in the Instructions, see fig.4 on page 21].)
2. In the preliminary stage the professional assessors will select in private not less than ten, nor more than fifteen designs. The authors ... together with eight architects invited by the Council, will compete in the final stage.
7. [Deals with the appointment of a third assessor to act only in the final stage] ... This assessor, who will be nominated by the competitors in the final stage ... will be required to give an undertaking that he did not participate in the preliminary stage....
8. It is the intention of the Council to assign to the author of the design placed first ... the work of carrying out his design, and the Council has decided that Mr. W. E. Riley, the official architect, shall have discretionary power in all matters relating to internal economy, building construction, and stability. The successful architect shall obtain all the information he requires upon the site, making the necessary estimates, preparing all the necessary sketches, working drawings, detail drawings and specifications, subject to the Council's approval in all matters which, in the opinion of the official architect, should be brought to it for decision ... [He] shall ... exercise in conjunction with the official architect, general and usual superintendence of works...
9. For these services the successful architect and the Council's official architect will be remunerated on the basis of the usual five per cent. on the total cost of the completed building ... this commission .. will be divisible between the two architects in the proportion of nine-tenths to the successful architect, and one-tenth to the Council's official architect.
12. A clerk of works or clerks of works will be employed to superintend the work at the expense of the Council. [W. H. Hookham was appointed clerk of works, assisted by A. H. Castle and W. B. Johnson.]
16. The drawings submitted in the preliminary stage ... will be returned under seal to their respective authors after the award, and, with the exception of the assessors, no one else (pending the final award) will be permitted to see the drawings ... during the time they are in the keeping of the Council.
18. Three calendar months will be allowed from the date the drawings are dispatched to the successful architects in which to complete their matured schemes, at the end of which time both the eight ... invited architects and those ... [successful] in the preliminary competition must deposit their final designs....
24. The land edged green on block plan will be reclaimed foreshore. An embankment wall will be constructed by the Council ... Competitors will be required to include in their schemes a design for the superstructure of this embankment wall which is to be of granite....
27. A sketch plan of the proposed first floor is attached, which shows a suggested arrangement of the accommodation ... but it is to be regarded as merely a suggestion which competitors may modify in any way they desire.
28. A schedule of provisional requirements is included, giving the several departments to be accommodated, their approximate positions in the general scheme, the names and numbers of the rooms, etc., and their approximate areas....
30. In considering the designs, the greatest importance will be attached to simple and convenient planning, and it is essential that all parts of the building should be amply lighted. The construction is to be of fire-resisting material throughout.
38. Open fire-places are to be provided in the principal rooms, in addition to which the whole of the building is to be heated by radiators. A system of mechanical ventilation is also to be provided....
42. Each design must be accompanied by a declaration, signed by the competitor, stating that the design is his own work, and that the drawings have been prepared under his own supervision, in his own offices, and by his own staff.... [Declaration to be enclosed in a sealed envelope supplied by the Council.]
List of drawings.
The whole of the drawings in the preliminary stage of the competition are to be drawn to a scale of 16 feet to 1 inch, with the exception of the site plan showing the block plan of the new building in relation to the immediate surroundings drawn to a scale of 40 feet to an inch.
Preliminary stage of the competition.
Additional drawings for the final stage of the competition.
[A long schedule of the accommodation to be provided. As regards the Members' accommodation this is surprisingly brief and general – almost vague, but very detailed and exacting as regards departmental requirements, giving rise to the impression that the convenience of the officers rather than that of the Members was the prime consideration in planning the building. A total of 389,652 square feet was called for, of which 16,000 was for the 'general use of members'. This did not, of course, include Council Chamber, meeting rooms and offices.]
Replies to Competing Architects.
50. Is accommodation to be provided on every floor for charwomen, and if so, is such accommodation to include w.c.'s, &c.? – Yes. W.c.'s for charwomen are not required on every floor, but such provision should be made near charwomen's common room.
58. Is it necessary to provide a general dining-room or other dining-room with necessary kitchen, &c., for use of members and staff, and if so, are they to be separate? – Provision should be made to seat a maximum of approximately 500 of staff ... Any space for general use of members (dining or other) should be separate from that for the staff. It is to be provided within the 16,000 square ft. for general use of members.
60. The plans seem to imply that the main entrance for the Councillors is from Belvedere Road. Is any provision to be made for their carriages and motor-cars? – The position of the main entrance is left at this stage to the discretion of the competitors. It would be advisable to make provision for vehicular access to Main Entrance.
84. Will the new terrace formed by the reclamation of the foreshore be for the use of the public, or only for the members and employees of the County Council? – Pedestrian access for the public to the Embankment should be provided. The "Members' terrace" within the plan is intended for representatives only.
95. Is the library for reference purposes only, or will it be used as members' reading-room? – There is to be a readingroom as well as a library, and the areas at this stage are left to the discretion of the competitors....