Thursday, November 28, 2013

Architecture for girls

Why is the profession of an architect so neglected by the parents of girls when wishing to select a calling? For domestic architecture, who is qualified as a woman to judge of the requirements of a home? The other day I was the guest in a cottage on the bungalow style, costing about £1000. The architect had designed fine drawing and dining rooms, but the rest of the house was sacrificed to those rooms. The bathroom and pantry were in Egyptian darkness. My hostess was bewailing the fact that she herself had not inspected the plans, but just left it to Theophilus and the architect. I know of at least one instance where a woman intervened. The reverend mother of a large convent would not accept the plans before she had made necessary alterations. The architect had made domestic conveniences a minor configuration, but she (wise woman) knew that the whole comfort of the home part of it depended on them being perfect. Now it is a perfect home in every detail. True, the entrance hall is not quite so magnificent and imposing as the original plan, but linen rooms and pantries and airy kitchens fully compensate for that.

 Money, and lots of it, is wasted by parents on girls in music who have no talent, and will never makes proficient musicians. Many quite young girls are clever at designing and drawing, and then, too, their education at an early age can be directed to the end in view - and such a fascinating occupation. There are two women architects in England, one at least earning a comfortable income. She designed a large building in Piccadilly, London. The field is such a wide one, and women architects, at least, for many kinds of buildings, we the most suited. Hospitals, nursing homes, private homes, are all crying out for improvement. Huge expensive entrance halls and small kitchens, dark pantries, and narrow passages in back premises are incongruous and unour [sic] leading institutions.

"J.E.S.," in the Sydney Mail.

 "Architecture for Girls." Evening Post, Volume LXXIV, Issue 144, 14 December 1907, Page 15