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The subject of the aesthetic design of ferro-concrete is one which appears to be attracting more attention day by day. Not only has a stream of articles on this particular topic been appearing in technical journals during the last few years, but for both engineers and architects the question is one of the most profound interest. In fact; it is not too much to say that the future relations of the two professions is very largely dependent upon the degree with which it will be found possible to utilise modern methods of building construction in such a manner that not only the claims of utility but the claims of art are duly satisfied. There is evidence that structural engineers as a body are fully alive to the importance of the asthetic aspect of design, and any efforts, which may be made with the object of encouraging the artistic treatment of ferro-concrete will be generally welcome among them. Special interest will therefore attach to the first award for the Brenforce Travelling Scholarship which has recently been instituted. The Scholarship is awarded and governed by the Council of the Institution of Structural Engineers, and is devoted to the furtherance of the very purposes which have just been mentioned. The candidates were invited to prepare designs for a specified subject. In the preliminary sketch competition at which the subject was first disclosed they were given twelve hours in which to work “en loge,” and get out an “esquisse” design which they were permitted to develop
in their own homes, a period of four weeks being given to them to prepare such drawings as they would think fit to supply had they actually been commissioned to submit a design for the subject in question. The Scholarship is awarded every three years, and is of value £300. The successful candidate will be required to travel for forty-two clear days on the continent of Europe, outside the United Kingdom, in order to study the development of aesthetic design in concrete and reinforced concrete buildings, and upon his return he will be asked to submit a typewritten précis giving the results of his researches. The first award of the Scholarship has recently been made. The jury of assessors comprised Mr. H. J. Deane, President of the Institution of Structural Engineers; Mr. A . Trystan Edwards, Professor J. Husband, Lieutenant-Colonel J. Mitchell Moncrieff and Mr. H. D. Searles-Wood, and they have awarded the Scholarship and gold medal to Mr. J. Blackett, and the silver and bronze medals to Mr. S. H. Suthers and Mr. Edwin Williams respectively.
The scheme for the Channel Tunnel raises the four following problems :-
l. A geological problem.
2. A technical problem concerning the boring of the Tunnel and the working of the railway which will be installed in it.
3. A financial problem.
4. A legislative, administrative and diplomatic problem.
Mons. Yves Le Troquer
The idea of an Architects’ Defence Union originated with Mr. E. M. Wimperis, F.R.I.B.A., who submitted it to the Practice Standing Committee of the R.I.B.A. in 1913. Subsequent events and their consequences hindered progress for some years, but the idea remained and was taken up afresh in. 1925 when a scheme for the formation of a Defence Union distinct from the R.I.B.A. or any other professional body was formulated by the Practice Standing Committee and approved by the Council of the R.I.B.A. On October 18, 1926, at an open meeting of architects and surveyors the scheme was adopted, and the acting Committee was authorised to extend its scope and to complete arrangements with the Cornhill Insurance Co., Ltd., for the issue of an insurance policy covering the protection proposed to be given to its members by the Union.