Ripples from far-off countries and the morality of doing up pubs …

October 1935

Nippon stucco in Manchuria

When Japan decided to make Mr Pu Yi emperor of Manchuria it also decided to make Hsinking a stately capital. For two or three years now architects and builders have been at work with that object in view. Critics have also been busy. The Kwantung army headquarters have come in for favourable notice, both for their architecture and honest work, while the buildings for the Ministry of Education and of Foreign Affairs have received somewhat less flattering attention.

It is, however, the residential sections of Hsinking where the most elaborate efforts are being made. A recent visitor says that it is bewildering in its variety of individual tastes. The general effect is of modern Chicago generously mixed with Gothic. “Nippon stucco” is another school intruding on the traveller’s attention.

Licensed to do no harm

The opinion expressed recently by a high dignitary of the church that the improvement of licensed premises is to be encouraged is one that will be shared by most people in the building industry. It represents a broader view, and avoids the inconsistency of regarding such premises as the homes of licensed wickedness. Premises for the sale of intoxicating liquor are licensed not because they carry on an undesirable trade but in order to control privileges that can easily be abused, and to assist in their orderly conduct.

When this aspect of the question has been grasped it is obviously good sense to see that a licence to sell strong drink should carry with it an implied guarantee that accommodation for its consumption is clean, sanitary and capacious.

The Abyssinian affaire

The current issue of the Building Industries’ Survey assesses the possible harmful effects of the Italo-Abyssinian war on the building trade. It notes: “Uncertainty as to the outcome has a depressing influence on general business activity and the possibility, canvassed in some quarters, that a large defence loan will be floated, which may in present circumstances, raise the rate of interest on long term borrowing. It will be recalled that the increase in building activity has been based on cheap money.

Vulgar Americana

There is a popular opinion in this country that the skyscraper is an ugly and undesirable feature of American architecture. Now this judgment is a little unfair, and I venture to think that it is often given by people who have never seen skyscrapers except in indifferent photographs and in those movies where the hero balances precariously on the edges of high cornices, in danger of being cascaded to the busy street below.

that Her majesty the Queen will perform the opening ceremony at Calder Hall on the 17th of this month by connecting the already working plant to the grid.

The significance of this act is that this station is the first full-scale atomic power station to be put into operation in this country; it employs a graphite moderated reactor.

It is not within our scope to expound the intimate details technicaliteis of nuclear reactors; it is sufficient to state that their importance upon the future of the world is comprehended.

Already great engineering and civil engineering problems in this field have been met and solved.