1867 – Ideas competition for villas, Great Yarmouth, Norfolk

Architect: J.S. Dodd


From The Building News, July 5th 1867: “THE drawings which have been entered for this competition have been very properly exhibited to the public in the TownhaU at Great Yarmouth, and have given very general satisfaction. Over SO competitors have produced about 150 sets of designs ; and notwithstanding that the chance of a prize for work so simple and straightforward as plans for middle-class villas has induced many young members of the profession to try their hand, Besides causing a few old sets to be dished up afresh for the occasion, yet on the whole the results are most creditable. There are obviously peculiar requirements for seaside-houses — plenty of bay windows, rooms overlooking the sea, and for villas, at least, a small observatory tower or turret is desirable. The complacency with which these and other conditions have been ignored by many of the can- dictates for honours rather amuses us as we pass through the room, e.g., square-Grecian, looking structures, without bays, verandahs, balconies, or turrets (of which we see some specimens), are scarcely suitable — but there are a few sets equal to the occasion.

The premium for the terrace lies between ” Alpha ” and ” Comnie il faut ; ” the former set being better got up, though in a rather debased French villa style, while the latter is a superior class of house and more suited to its position and circumstances. There are no other designs in this class with which sufficient pains have been taken to render them worthy of notice. Of the semi-detached villas, ” Ecce A.” and ” Ecce B.” are undoubtedly the best, both as to beauty of design and convenience of plan, while the style of drawing is perhaps the most effective in the room. After this we may mention ” Palmam qui meruit ferat,” ” Este Direite ” (pretty good), ” Suspense,” and “Valentine.” Among the single villas, ” Fiat,” seems to shine pre-eminent, for the plan fulfills all the conditions of the case, and the free Italian elevations are very pleasing. ” Apex” makes a pretty little pointed design ; then might come ” Comfort, convenience, and compactness well considered,” ” Circumspice,” ” Alpha ” again, and after these we begin to descend again into the commonplace. It has given us much pleasure to walk through the room where these drawings are hung ; and we are glad to be able to say that the general opinion seems to be that the drawings them- selves and the public exhibition of them reflect great credit on all parties concerned.