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National Buildings (Selection Of Architect)

Volume 237: debated on Monday 24 March 1930

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asked the First Commissioner of Works the cases in which an architect for important national buildings has been selected by open competition; in which cases the successful design was carried into execution; whether the architect was selected by open competition in the case of the following buildings: Houses of Parliament, Board of Trade building, the Foreign Office and India Office block of buildings, the War Office, the Admiralty, and the Natural History Museum; and whether there was a more limited competition for the selection of architects for the following buildings: the Imperial Institute, the Law Courts, the National Gallery, and the Victoria and Albert Museum?

The principle of open competition was adopted in five cases, namely, Houses of Parliament, Foreign Office block, Admiralty (Horse Guards Parade block), proposed Board of Trade building on Whitehall Gardens site, and Natural History Museum. In the first case only was the successful design carried into execution, and in the last case the selected architect died and the commission was entrusted to an architect without competition. The present Board of Trade building and the War Office were not designed as a result of open competition. Apart from the Imperial Institute, which was not built under the direction of this Departmert, the answer to the last part of the question is in the affirmative.