Boom Mannerism: The Architectural Practice of Gerard Wight and William Lucas from 1885 to 1894
AffiliationArchitecture, Building and Planning
Document TypeMasters Coursework thesis
Access StatusOpen Access
© 2020 Jennifer Fowler
To date there has been no thorough research into the architectural practice of Wight and Lucas with only a few of their buildings referred to with brevity in histories and articles dealing with late nineteenth-century Melbourne architecture. The Boom era firm of Wight and Lucas from 1885 to 1894 will therefore be investigated in order to expand their catalogue of works based upon primary research and field work. Their designs will be analysed in the context of the historiography of the Boom Style outlined in various secondary sources. The practice designed numerous branches for the Melbourne Savings Bank in the metropolitan area and collaborated with other Melbourne architects when designing a couple of large commercial premises in the City of Melbourne. These Mannerist inspired classical buildings fit the general secondary descriptions of what has been termed the Boom Style of the 1880s and early 1890s. However, Wight and Lucas’ commercial work will be assessed in terms of its style, potential overseas influences and be compared to similar contemporary Melbourne architecture to firstly reveal their design methods and secondly, to attempt to give some clarity to the overall definition of Melbourne’s Boom era architecture and the firm’ place within this period. Wight and Lucas’ other building types such as residences and churches will also be discussed to offer a balanced view of their practice as a whole. Research into the architecture of Wight and Lucas is intended to shed light upon the heritage significance of the firms’ existing body of work.
KeywordsBoom Style; Melbourne nineteenth-century architecture; Victorian Melbourne architecture; Gerard Wight; William Lucas; Mannerism
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