William Alexander Harvey
|William Alexander Harvey|
|Education||Birmingham Municipal School of Art|
|Known for||Contributions to the Bournville model village|
William Alexander Harvey (1874-1951) was an English architect. He is most notable for his design of Bournville, the model 'garden suburb' built by Cadburys to house their chocolate-making workforce to the south of Birmingham.
Cadbury's objectives in Bournville were the construction of decent quality homes at prices affordable to industrial workers. The particulars stated that it was: "intended to make it easy for working men to own houses with large gardens, secure from the dangers of being spoilt either by factories, or by the interference with the enjoyment of sun, light and air".
Influenced by the Arts and Crafts Movement, many of Harvey's designs incorporated arty features such as stepped gables, small Venetian windows over canted bays, timber corner porches below dormers with very concave little leaded roofs. Houses at 10-12 Sycamore Road, Bournville, are typical. The village was a low rise development with a good provision of public and private open space.
From 1900, development of the village became the responsibility of the Bournville Village Trust. Harvey remained in the Trust's employment until 1904 when he set up his own architectural practice. From 1914 until at least 1935 his firm, Harvey and Wicks, was based at 5 Bennetts Hill, an important commercial street in central Birmingham. He continued to design public buildings in the village, but also designed houses, estates, municipal buildings and churches elsewhere in Birmingham and further afield. His 1906 book on model villages helped establish him as an expert on low cost housing and his schemes were employed by several English local authorities. From 1918 he also sat on the Executive Council of The Birmingham Civic Society.
From 2006 onwards a section of the Lightmoor development at Milton Keynes was led by the Trust, recognising the longevity of the social and aesthetic principles demonstrated at Bournville and in other English garden suburbs.
In Bournville Harvey designed
- St Francis' Church (1925) Grade II,
- the parish hall (1913) Grade II,
- the Rest House (1914) Grade II,
- the Bournville Junior School (1902-5) Grade II,
- the adjoining Ruskin Hall (1903) Grade II,
- the Infants' School (1910) Grade II,
- the Friends' Meeting House (1905) Grade II Grade II.
In Selly Oak he designed Kingsmead College (1905), Westhill College (1907), and Carey Hall (1912).
- The Model Village and its Cottages: Bournville (1906)
- Images of England - Bournville and Weoley Castle, Martin Hampson, 2001, Tempus Publishing, ISBN 0-7524-2443-2
- Birmingham's Victorian and Edwardian Architects Harrison, Michael, 2009, Phillada Ballard. ed. Oblong. ISBN 978-0-9556576-2-7. http://www.victoriansociety.org.uk/news/new-book-celebrates-birminghams-victorian-and-edwardian-architects/.