Building Name

Wesleyan Methodist Hall Westminster (Architectural Competition)

1904 - 1905
Greater London, England
Competition entry

In 1904, a competition was launched for a new Wesleyan Methodist church in Westminster to be constructed on the site of the old Royal Aquarium. This was intended to be a major statement on behalf of the Wesleyan Methodists, and the resulting building was to be of a size and dignity to stand alongside Westminster Abbey and the Houses of Parliament. 132 entries were received, and out of these nine were selected as being of outstanding merit, each receiving an honorarium of £100. Waddington and Dunkerley submitted this design which reached the shortlist, and there was an enthusiastic review in the Building News for 21 June 1905:

“The excellence of this pen-and-ink drawing, showing the design submitted by Messrs Waddington, Son and Dunkerley, adds much to the interest of the illustration as well as to the attractiveness of the scheme, which, as the accompanying plans show, no doubt has several good qualities. Sir Aston Webb, RA, the referee, would not have chosen it from the many very excellent schemes which were excluded to give this one a place, had not the monumental character and other merits of the design impressed him. Certainly the dome over the crush-hall would enable the building to hold its own ‘midst big competitors in the vicinity, and the popularity of such a feature may be relied on as well recognising the chances of proper approval by being handsome. There is no doubt either as to the positions of the main entrances in the main facades, while the plans aimed cleverly at dignity of effect and gave ample proportions to the chief departments and big hall.” [ Building News for 21 June 1905]

Plans and drawings were published in British Competitions in Architecture 1905-1907. The design eventually selected was that of Messrs Lanchester and Rickards of London. Their building is still standing but is now known as Methodist Central Hall.

Reference    Building News for 21 June 1905   
Reference    British Competitions in Architecture 1905-1907.