Walking Melbourne

Neo-Gothic

Used extensively by William Pitt for many commercial buildings along Collins Street, this was a very new application for Gothic. Previously reserved for clerical and secular buildings, Victorian architects used the style on a much wider range of buildings. At the time it was often seen as a radical breakaway or bohemian style which rejected hundreds of years of classical styled buildings.

Inspired by theorists such as John Ruskin and Pugin, the Neo-Gothic movement was one of the most distinctive styles to emerge from the Victorian era.

Based on the principle of allowing freemasons to express their contribution to a building (as was the case for the guilds that built Gothic buildings in medieval times), these buildings became extensively ornate edifices.

Trademark Neo-Gothic features include:

Buttresses and gothic pointed arches - expressing the structural engineering upon which the style was based.

Tourelles, pinnacles, towers and spires.

Complex tracery, foils and stained glass windows.

Intricate stonework, with different treatment at each level

A profuse variety of ornament (mostly in stone), sometimes including gargoyles to ward off evil spirits and express the skills and craft of the artisans.

Fleche - slender spires rising from roof or tower, often with thorny like stone crafted protrusions and intricate detail.

  • The Rialto
  • Gothic Bank
  • Olderfleet
  • St Pauls cathedral
  • St Patricks cathedral

  • William Pitt
  • William Wardell
  • Henry Bastow
  • Joseph Reed, and;
  • Nahum Barnet

Although a large number have been destroyed, Melbourne still has one of the worlds finest collections of 19th Century Neo-Gothic buildings. Indeed Melbourne has one of the finest collections of Victorian Gothic churches in the world. Many examples of the rare commercial gothic can be found along Collins Street.

Search for buildings of this architecture style


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