The iron duke’s West Indian barracks

Guedes, Pedro (2002). The iron duke’s West Indian barracks. In: J. P. Macarthur and A. Moulis, Additions to architectural history : Nineteenth annual conference of the Society of Architectural Historians, Australia and New Zealand. Additions to Architectural History, XIXth Conference of the Society of Architectural Historians, Australia and New Zealand, Brisbane, Australia, (72-94). 4-7 October 2002.

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Author Guedes, Pedro
Title of paper The iron duke’s West Indian barracks
Conference name Additions to Architectural History, XIXth Conference of the Society of Architectural Historians, Australia and New Zealand
Conference location Brisbane, Australia
Conference dates 4-7 October 2002
Proceedings title Additions to architectural history : Nineteenth annual conference of the Society of Architectural Historians, Australia and New Zealand
Place of Publication Brisbane, Australia
Publisher Society of Architectural Historians, Australia and New Zealand
Publication Year 2002
Year available 2002
Sub-type Fully published paper
ISBN 1864996471
Editor J. P. Macarthur
A. Moulis
Start page 72
End page 94
Total pages 23
Language eng
Formatted Abstract/Summary
Wellington’s Uniform Barrack System crystallized a complex vision, imprinting an 1820s type on generations of military builders for over a century.

Vernacular forms of Caribbean building with deep verandahs had influenced the design of 18th century barracks and hospitals. Lord Combermere used his authority as Commander-in-Chief, Leeward Islands to highlight certain features of this tradition, giving them official blessing. He also mused upon the economies of using iron and called upon medical opinion for scientific backing.

The use of galleries was mandated for all Caribbean military buildings by a circular from the Secretary for War and the Colonies, Lord Bathurst, narrowing the options for fine judgements in design further still.

Wellington as Master General of the Ordnance saw the use of iron for colonial military buildings as a method of imposing absolute uniformity and central control. Under the influence of Combermere and Bathurst, Colonel Sir Charles Smith provided the dimensional templates.

Edward Holl’s ideas embodied in naval buildings were plagiarised for ideas and solutions. These were translated into building components by Lieut. Brandreth’s collaboration with ironfounder William Bailey, under the watchful eye of General Gother Mann, Inspector General of Fortifications.

Buildings could henceforth be issued instead of designed, implemented rather than built. Iron castings, multiplying identical assemblies, would remove the uncertainties and waste of thinking through similar problems again and again. The norm replaced the specific or ideal response with the assurance that not all solutions to a problem could be equally satisfactory.
Subjects 310101 Architecture
310105 History of the Built Environment
310106 Interior and Environmental Design
Keyword Modern Architecture
19th Century Architecture
Iron Architecture
West Indies
Caribbean
Prefabrication
Globalization
Military buildings
Duke of Wellington
Q-Index Code E1
Q-Index Status Provisional Code
Institutional Status Unknown

 
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Created: Fri, 14 Dec 2007, 20:41:47 EST by Laura McTaggart on behalf of Research Management Office