Warwick, Septimus

WARWICK, Septimus (1881-1953) was born in England and served an apprenticeship under the London architect Arthur Vernon from 1895 until 1898. After working as an assistant in the offices of W.A. Pite and R. Frank Atkinson he began to practise in 1905 in partnership with Herbert A. Hall. They won a series of architectural competitions for the Lambeth Town Hall (1906-08), the Holborn Town Hall (1906) and the Berkshire County Hall, Reading (1909). Warwick came to Canada in 1913 to assist Frank Simon of Liverpool, England with the construction and supervision of his prize winning scheme for the Legislative Buildings at Winnipeg, Manitoba. After 1915 he moved to Montreal and during the next five years executed a number of decidedly Edwardian residential and commercial commissions for prosperous clients in that city. Formally arranged in both plan and elevation, Warwick lavished attention on the refined detailing and siting of these buildings which were fitted with all the accoutrements to be expected in a sumptuous Edwardian design. His sense of theatricality and style is strongly evident in the interiors of the A.J. Wood residence in Westmount, where the design of the sun room is celebrated as a piece of scenographic art.
Warwick's business connections in Canada were to prove invaluable when he returned to England in 1920; both the Canada Life Assurance Company and later the Sun Life Assurance Company commissioned him to design new London offices within the shell of existing eighteenth century Georgian buildings, and the Canadian Government asked him to radically alter the Union Club (1820, by Sidney Smirke) to create Canada House, Trafalgar Square. His skillfully rendered presentation drawing for this work is now held at the National Archives of Canada (Picture Coll., C 111260).
Warwick maintained a successful practice in London until after 1940, and died there on 27 October 1953 (obituary in the Builder [London], clxxxv, 6 Nov. 1953, 701; biography in A.S. Gray, Edwardian Architecture-A Biographical Dictionary, 1985, 371; Who's Who in Architecture, 1923, 260; R.I.B.A., Directory of British Architects 1834-1914, 2001, ii, 922-3). A photographic portrait of Warwick, together with a feature article on the work of Warwick & Hall, was published in The Architects' & Builders' Journal [London], xxxv, 3 April 1912, 337-38, 342-49, 356-57, illus. & descrip..

(works in Montreal unless noted)

WESTMOUNT, residence for Lorne C. Webster, Edgehill Road at Westmount Boulevard, 1916 (Const., x, May 1917, 162-4, illus. & descrip.; Canadian Builder & Carpenter [Toronto], viii, Aug. 1918, 6-7, illus. & descrip.; Architects' Journal [London], lvii, 14 March 1923, 473-76, illus. & descrip.)
WESTMOUNT, residence for Alexander J. Wood, The Boulevard, 1917-18 (Const., xi, June 1918, 202-04; xii, June 1919, 182-85, illus. & descrip.)
WESLEY METHODIST CHURCH, Cote St. Antoine Road at Draper Street, new Sunday School, 1918 (C.R., xxxii, 6 Nov. 1918, 37)
PHILLIPS SQUARE, Victory Loan Arch, 1918 (Const., xi, Dec. 1918, 393, illus. & descrip.)
ST. JAMES METHODIST CHURCH, Ste. Catherine Street West at St. Alexander Street, Soldier's Club, exterior stairs and alterations, 1917 (Const., xii, April 1919, 115-17, illus. & descrip.; Montreal, Les Eglises, 1981, 240-45, illus.)
ST. JOHNS, QUE., factory for the Belding-Corticelli Co., c. 1920 (Anglin Norcross Contracting Co., Canadian Buildings, 1930)
MAYOR STREET, The Albee Building, c. 1920 (Anglin Norcross Contracting Co., Canadian Buildings, 1930)
DORVAL, QUE., residence for J.J. McGill, St. Joseph Street, c.1920 (Architects' Journal [London], lvii, 14 March 1923, 477-81, illus.)
LONDON, ENGLAND, Canada Life Assurance Co., St. James Square, 1923 (Architects' Journal [London], lix, 14 May 1924, 826-7, illus. & descrip.)
LONDON, ENGLAND, Canada House, Trafalgar Square, 1924-25 (R.A.I.C. Journal, ii, Sept.-Oct. 1925, 167, 169, 180-2, illus. & descrip.; Architect's Journal [London], lxii, 1 July 1925, 7-21, illus. & descrip.; dwgs. at NAC, Picture Collection, C 111260)
(with Arthur J.C. Paine) LONDON, ENGLAND, Sun Life Assurance Co. of Canada, Cockspur Street,1927-28 (Saturday Night [Toronto], 12 June 1926, 16, illus. & descrip.; Const., xx, July 1927, 218; Architect & Building News [London], cxix, 8 June 1928, 834-5, illus. & descrip.)
LONDON, ENGLAND, Ontario Government House, The Strand, 1930-31 (Nanaimo Free Press, 29 Jan. 1930, 4, illus. & descrip.; Architect's Journal [London], lxxiii, 6 May 1931, 651-2, illus. & descrip.; dwgs. at OA, "D" Collection, D 1740)

COMPETITIONS

LONDON, ENG., Marlyebone Town Hall, 1911. Fresh from his success at winning the competitions for town halls in Lambeth, in Hoborn, and in Reading, Warwick submitted an entry in the competition for the town hall in Marlyebone. From over 120 entries Warwick was ranked in Fourth Place (Building News [London], ci, 1 Dec. 1911, 749, descrip.). The First Premium was awarded to the London architect Edwin Cooper, FRIBA.