Wednesday, 4 July 2007
No, it's The Corn Exchange in Leeds, (Yorkshire, England). In the 1970s the interior was a big open space, with the desks of the corn merchants in rows. Time moves on. Corn selling is by different means now, and this lovely building is now full of shops.
It was built in 1862, and was seen then as a stunning piece of modern architecture. The same architect, Cuthbert Broderick, designed the Leeds Town Hall, an altogether more conventional building. In the Corn Exchange, though, he excelled, using an altogether new technology to create the broad pillarless span of the roof. This was a period where Victorian engineers were creating wide arched railway stations, and also circular domes, but this, an elliptical dome, to me this is a masterwork, before its time. And if Broderick had lived to see the great airships, I think he'd have been well placed to become an aviation designer.