The gorgeous Gothic Bank, a William Wardell triumph.

The #GothicBank chamber in all its glory; proof that Victorian interiors weren’t all gloomy (though plenty were). Lots of #goldleaf and #eaudenil (a pale aqua). Important to note that it’s now double the width it was originally; in 1887 it was a fairly intimate thing only three bays wide, with counters either side and no skylight; in 1923 when the bank bought the Stock Exchange next door they copied all the details and extended by 3 bays ! Must’ve really loved it, which is fair enough.

They still do, having sold everything incl the 1993 tower to GPT group (for only $275mill) while keeping the #GothicBank itself (not sure if leased or subdivided) – the 2009 Docklands HQ and it’s new extension are pretty dull, a far cry from the artistic triumph of 140 years ago. Also, here’s my latest idea re the alterations – can we sacrifice a bay of the 1923 copy of the chamber so that a copy of the 1890 entry to the Stock Exchange can be built ? I’d say yes, no one would notice one bay less, and if done well, the recreated entrance would solve some problems and make a better complement to the Cathedral Room.

The #GothicBank chamber details are just amazing; each capital is finely sculpted ‘fruits of Australia’ (in beaten copper ) each one different (I like the ferns, and there’s figs and wheat too), and there’s coats of arms for all the bits of the uk, eg the #harpofireland, and that great internal entry door-box-thing. Its not only delightful, but ‘proto-modern’- the #castiron and #wrought iron structure is clearly visible, posts and beams, even the #rivets are picked out in #goldleaf ! I guess the angled struts / #pointedarch things arnt that structural, but they’re great. #WilliamWardell was a genius, or possibly it was bank chair #SirGeorgeVerdon who is often credited as co-designer who cane up with that detail. Very #Ruskinian.

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