1905 - Aston Webb (1849-1930)

Buckingham Palace, London

Designer: Webb, Sir Aston (1849-1930)
Copyright: Pawel Libera/RIBA Library Photographs Collection (2002)

The son of an engraver and water colourist of some distinction, Aston Webb trained in the office of Banks & Barry and won the Pugin scholarship for the study of English medieval architecture in 1873. It was after this prize, that Webb established his own practice. After 1882, all his work was completed with his business partner, E Ingress Bell.


Together, Webb and Ingress Bell won the competition for the Assize Courts at Birmingham (1886), considered to be his greatest work. Webb also went on to design other university buildings at Birmingham (1901) and Christ’s Hospital School in Horsham (1893-1902). Other work by Webb included three buildings in London’s South Kensington: the Victoria & Albert Museum (1899-1909); the Royal College of Science (from 1909) and the Royal School of Mines (1909); as well as Britannia Naval College at Dartmouth (1899-1905).


Design for Admiralty Arch, London

Designer: Webb, Sir Aston (1849-1930)
Copyright: Robert Atkinson/RIBA British Architectural Library Drawings Collection (1909)

Webb also changed the architectural character of royalty in London, by formlising the avenue of approach with the Mall (1901-11), the ceremonial archway of Admiralty Arch (1903-10) and the remodeling of the east façade of Buckingham Palace (1913).


Publicity named as Waterhouse's 'spiritual successor', in reality Webb was not so spirited, although after his funeral, he was named as the most distinguished architect of his generation. 


'The turn having come round for the Royal Gold Medal to be offered to an English architect, no other choice could well have been entertained.'