Dictionary of Irish Architects 1720 - 1940

Architect, of Liverpool, for whom see Directory of British Architects 1834-1914 (RIBA 2001), II, 804-5. Arnold Thornely was a partner of Frank Gatley Briggs, who died in September 1921. In November of the same year he was invited by the British First Commissioner of Works to design the Northern Ireland Parliament House at Stormont, Belfast, having been selected from a shortlist supplied by the president of the RIBA.(1) The fact that an English architect was chosen without an open competition angered members of the profession both in Britain and Ireland and gave rise to adverse comment in the Irish Builder(2) and the Building News.(3) The Parliament House, which was begun in 1928 and opened in November 1932, was awarded the RIBA Architecture Bronze Medal for Ulster in 1933. In the same year Thornely received a knighthood for his achievement. He also designed a branch of Provincial Bank (1932) near the Massey Avenue entrance to the Parliament House.

See WORKS, for Irish work only.



References



(1) Building News 121, 25 Nov 1921, 323. The list was presumably drawn up by John W. Simpson, president from Nov 1920 until Oct 1921, rather than his successor, Paul Waterhouse.
(2) IB 63, ? Nov 1921, ?.
(3) Building News 121, 30 Sep,4,11,18,25 Nov 1921, 211,288,291,307,320,323.
(4)


2 work entries listed in chronological order for THORNELY, ARNOLD (SIR) #


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Building: CO. ANTRIM, BELFAST, NEWTOWNARDS ROAD UPR (STORMONT), NORTHERN IRELAND PARLIAMENT
Date: 1928-1932
Nature: FS laid by Duke of Abercorn, Governor of Northern Ireland, 19 May 1928. General contractors: Stewart & Partners, Belfast, Dublin and London (tender approx. £300,000). Decoration by G. Morrow & Son, Clifton St, Belfast.Opened by Prince of Wales Nov 1932.
Refs: Drawing(s) dated 1925 in NA, OPW drawings collection, Norther Ireland properties; B 124, 13 Apr 1923, 600; IB 66, 12 Jan 1924, 17; 67, 17 Sep,29 Oct,24 Dec 1927, 674, 786(illus.),955; 70, 14 Apr,7,26 May 1928, 301,431,442; 74, 4 Jun,19 Nov 1932, 512,1021.1025,1053(illus.); 77, 6 Apr 1935, 266; Architect & Building News 119, 17 Feb,25 May 1928, 279,769; 124, 15,22 Aug,5 Sep,26 Dec 1930, 222,250,290(illus.),862; 125, 9 Jan,20 Feb,6 Mar 1931, 102, ?,357; 130, 22 Apr 1932, 125; 132, 11 Nov 1932, 164-167(illus.); AJ 58, 12 Sep,3 Oct 1923, 387,499; 67, 11 Jan 1928, 122(illus.); 76, 9 Nov 1932, 580-585(illus.),574,576,579(illus.); Country Life 72, 24 Sep 1932, 356; Paul Larmour, Belfast: an illustrated architectural guide (1987), 110-111(illus.)

Building: CO. ANTRIM, BELFAST, MASSEY AVENUE (STORMONT), PROVINCIAL BANK
Date: 1932
Nature: New bank outside Massey Ave entrance to Parliament House. Builder: W.J. Stewart & Partners, Belfast.
Refs: IB 74, 7,21 May,19 Nov 1932, 431,468(illus.),1050; Paul Larmour, Belfast: an illustrated architectural guide (1987), 111.