Model of the Facade
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The Queen’s Theatre facade is based on architectural plans, specially the Longitudinal and Front Elevation drawings, from the Letters Patent 1951 held at the National Library (number Ms 33, 685). These architectural plans were drawn up as part of a project to modify the theatre in 1951. From measurements using these Letter Patent drawings it was determined that the facade was 81’ wide and 57’ high (on both the Facade and Longitudinal plans).
The drawing of the facade was cropped, leaving no height or margin width. That way, when the file was imported and stretched on a 81’ wide and 57’ wall in SketchUp (the vertical wall) it was effectively full sized, or had a 1:1 scale. The unit in SketchUp was changed to feet with an accuracy of one inch or in decimal 0.08’. A centre line through the main door was set because there is a slight distortion in the drawing whereby the bottom detail was square but the upper detail was inclined to the left by a couple of inches.
The relation of the facade to the interior sections modelled by Jane can be discerned from the Parterre Plan. The 81’ width incorporates the left side wall of the theatre but finishes at the inside of the right side wall (see note in Errata about missing doorway). In order to check the horizontal base line of the facade, the image was checked in Adobe Fireworks to ascertain that there was no tilt. If the angle of the facade was tilted even by a single degree, the dimensions could be considerably altered.
A number of discrepancies emerged when Tony compared the Facade Plan from the Letters Patent to a good quality photograph preserved in Artstor (the image is also available here from Archiseek). For instance, Tony speculated that if the drawings were based on the originals by architect Robert J. Stirling, why was the detail covered by the modern canopy simply blanked out (figure 1)? It is possible that the architect did not want to add in detail that might confuse the contemporary reader, but if so it is unclear why the architect then added in all of the upper facade detail for the pillars and the central ornate arched detail, all of which are completely missing from the photograph. The concreting over of this detail was perhaps due to the original masonry becoming loose and as such a safety hazard.
That the draftsperson was not looking for absolute accuracy is evident by the fact that there is clearly a line missing (figure 1) in the facade that should show the second from right doorway being recessed rather than being coincident with the facade on its left. The plan shows the third door from the right recessed about 6”. The next door is just over 1.8’, and the final door on the right just about 6’ (figure 2). These comments are intended to highlight the fact that this visualisation was derived from an edited version of the original drawings and that there are both omissions and discrepancies in these edited copies.
Nevertheless, Tony decided that it was possible to attempt to visualise a facade that bears a good resemblance to the theatre as it was when it reopened in 1909. It should be noted that this decision was made based on his aesthetic understandings of the theatre as it existed at different times. The resulting visualisation is therefore an interpretative entity, rather than a concretised one intended to demonstrate the ‘reality’ of the theatre architecturally.
This paradata post notes some of the key dimensions along with records of the various decisions that had to be made. For simplicity the measurements will be rounded to the foot if the measurements are within an inch.
Key dimensions are all in feet to two decimal points (error margin -+ 0.08 or one inch but could be up to 6 inches due to slight distortions in the drawing).
Detailed explanations of the modelling process for the facade sections are provided in the following page: