Wednesday, December 23, 2009

The Observatory and Biological Laboratory

The Star, Issue 7219, 1 March 1892, Page 4

The Committee recommends the Board to authorise the Committee to take such steps as may be necessary in the direction of obtaining designs, plans and specifications for the erection of an astronomical observatory for the reception of the telescope given by Mr Jas. Townsend to the College, as set forth in the minutes of the Board of March 23, 1891 (folios 4 and 5), and to report to the Board.

The Star, Issue 5262, 18 May 1895, Page 7
The Biological Laboratory.

The biological laboratory now being built on the grounds of Canterbury College, from the plans of Mr B. W. Mountfort, will enhance the usefulness of the institution in a very marked degree, and it is of such importance that a brief account of it will doubtless be read with interest.

The building will be situated to the east-ward of the School of Art, with a frontage to Hereford Street west. It is to be constructed of hard stone, with Oamaru stone dressing, the materials and the style of architecture being similar to those of the other buildings of the College.

It will contain two stories, with a round tower over the entrance which will open to the College quadrangle. This tower is to be used a astronomical observatory, and will accommodate the telescope presented by the late Mr James Townsend.

The upper portion of the tower will be constructed of specially made fire brick, and will be surrounded by a balcony carried on projecting corbels and enclosed with an ornamental iron railing.

The height of the tower, measured to the top of the surmounting dome, will be about 60 feet, and it will project 13 feet 6 inches from the north wall of the main building, which will cover an area of 46 feet by 34 feet.

The main roof is to be of open timber construction, all the timbers visible being wrought, and will be boarded, felted and covered with slates. The ridges will be finished with tile-ridging, with ornamental crestings.

In the lower story will be the laboratory, 42 feet in length and 17 feet wide, occupying the full length of the southern portion of the building. The entrance hall in the main building is to be 9 feet 6 inches wide. On the eastern side will be a room 14 feet 3 inches long by 12 feet wide, to be used for the preparation of specimens.

On the other side will be the senior laboratory, 16 feet 9 inches in length and 12 in width. The upper floor which is to be approached by a broad staircase in the projecting tower, will contain a lecture-room 30 foot by 26 feet, a professor's private room 17 feet 6 inches long and 15 feet in width, and a storeroom 15 feet by 12 feet.

From the top of the main staircase a smaller stair will lead to the summit of the tower, passing through two rooms which are to be used in connection with the observatory. The fittings throughout will be as complete as they can be made. In the main laboratory are to be two work-tables, with all necessary sinks and other appliances. The senior laboratory and the preparation-room will also have all necessary work-tables and fittings.

In the lecture-room will be students' seats and desks raised on the gallery principle, with tables and seats for lecturers, and large sliding blackboards and diagram frames. The requisite cupboards, bookcases, glass cases and other fittings will be of native woods. There are to be fireplaces in all the rooms in which they are necessary.

Ventilation is to be provided for on the ground floor by means of flues running the full length of the building and opening to the outside through the end walls, and on the upper floor by ventilators in the gables and by special ridge-ventilators. Ample provision is made for lighting, both by day and night.

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