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Mr Aston Webb

Who was Sir Aston Webb?

Sir Aston Webb (1849–1930) was a prominent British architect renowned for his contributions to the architectural landscape of the United Kingdom. Born on May 22, 1849, in Clapham, London, Webb displayed an early passion for design and architecture, leading him to pursue formal training at the Royal Academy Schools. His architectural career spanned several decades and encompassed various styles, earning him a reputation as a versatile and talented architect.

Life and Work;

Webb's career flourished during the late 19th and early 20th centuries. He gained recognition for his architectural prowess, becoming a leading figure in the profession. Webb's architectural style evolved over time, initially influenced by classicism and later embracing the Arts and Crafts movement, Gothic Revival, and Edwardian Baroque.

One of Webb's most significant achievements was his collaboration with Ingress Bell on the Victoria Law Courts in Birmingham, completed in 1881. This project showcased his adeptness in blending classical design elements with a contemporary approach, earning him widespread acclaim. Webb was the architect of many important London buildings around the turn of the century. He designed the Imperial College of Science (only the tower survives), and the Cromwell Road frontage of the Victoria and Albert Museum. His also is the Metropolitan Life Assurance building, Moorgate. One of his most impressive works (again with Ingress Bell) outside London was the brightly coloured Victoria Law Courts in Birmingham.

Webb's crowning achievement, however, was his design of the principal facade of Buckingham Palace in 1913 and the creation of the Queen Victoria Memorial in front of the palace. His work on the facade transformed the palace's appearance, giving it a more unified and imposing presence, while the memorial became a celebrated London landmark. He rose to become PRIBA in 1902-4, during which last year he was knighted. In 1919, at the age of 70, he was elected President of the Royal Academy. During his time as PRA, the Summer Exhibitions were entrusted to Selection and Hanging Committees (previously the full Council). The Academy argued strongly for the preservation of London churches, and Webb also presided over a change in the balance of power of the Tate Gallery and the Royal Academy regarding the Chantrey Bequest. During Webb's period of office, the Academy hatched the idea of a Royal Fine Art Commission to advise the Government on the design of new monuments and buildings, and on other artistic matters. Webb was PRA until 1924, when he was succeeded by Frank Dicksee

His expertise extended beyond public buildings; Webb also left his mark on private residences. Notably, he designed the Redland Court in Bristol and Admiralty Arch in London, the latter marking the ceremonial entrance to the Mall and Buckingham Palace.

In addition to his architectural endeavors, Webb contributed significantly to the profession. He served as the President of the Royal Institute of British Architects (RIBA) from 1902 to 1904 and was knighted in 1904 for his services to architecture. Webb's influence extended internationally, and he was elected as an associate of the Royal Academy in 1903 and later became a full member in 1921.

His legacy lives on through his architectural masterpieces, which continue to be celebrated for their elegance, innovation, and contribution to the built environment. Aston Webb passed away on August 21, 1930, leaving behind a rich architectural legacy that continues to inspire architects and enthusiasts worldwide.


  1. "Sir Aston Webb." The Royal Institute of British Architects (RIBA).
  2. "Aston Webb." Encyclopaedia Britannica.
  3. Curl, James Stevens. "A Dictionary of Architecture and Landscape Architecture." Oxford University Press, 2006.
  4. Hitchcock, Henry-Russell. "Architecture: Nineteenth and Twentieth Centuries." Yale University Press, 1989.

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