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Description: The Broadway Comprehensive School
Date Listed: 8 July 1982
English Heritage Building ID: 217806
OS Grid Reference: SP0744489681
OS Grid Coordinates: 407444, 289681
Latitude/Longitude: 52.5050, -1.8917
SP 08 NE 7/91
A very richly modelled design for a Board School. Principally buff terracotta
with red brick, combining English Baroque theme with Art Nouveau rather than
Birmingham Arts and Crafts, decorative sculptural detailing. The main block,
the central hall, is of 5 bays on a tall basement flanked by Girls and Boys
entrances bridging the area. Extending out behind are 2 storey and basement
wings with 3 storey octagonal towers. The hall block has a steeply pitched
hipped slate roof with small mannered Baroque oeuil de boeuf dormers. A giant
Roman Doric order, all of terracotta, articulates the hall elevation. Engaged
columns in antis with projecting double columned centrepiece surmounted by
segmental pediment. Blocking to lower parts of column shafts. Ornate console
bracketed terracotta eaves cornice. Behind the pediment is a bland terracotta
attic crowned by octagonal, columned cupola. Rusticated terracotta is carried
down into basement. Tall windows occupy virtually the full width of the inter
columniations with thin terracotta architraves, south work in friezes and moulded
cornices topped by small round vents. Centre has larger archivolt arched window.
Partially encroaching on this elevation are the 2 entrance arches, far more Art
Nouveau in design, all of terracotta with entasised corner turrets blending into
gables over deep voussoired archways, their surrounds merging in turn into the
parapets bridging the area and flanking the steps. The arch drip moulds flow from
"Rococo" cartouches, on turrets, vested by 3 very naturalistically modelled
children's heads in high relief. The drip moulds rise to delicate female head
keystones, the hair flowing out to form cartouches and crests. The set back
wings of red brick have terracotta banding. The 3 storey octagonal turrets have
lavish terracotta dressings to top stage with Art Nouveau consoles to the angles
below eaves of shallow lead dormers crowned by bellcots. Plain brick terracotta
banded side elevations have large Diocletian windows below approximately central
gables. The basement level on west side has side entrance with heavy terracotta
arched cornice hood encasing egg shaped light above remarkable shallow relief
modelling of semi-circular archway with head keystone, the pair merging once
again into free flowing cartouche. The rear elevation principally brick with
terracotta dressings and distinguished from front by a series of gables, the
theme of ogee Diocletians being repeated from sides. A small but distinctive
detail are the Art Nouveau terracotta brick vents pierced by ovoid "bone"
framed apertures. The siting of the school across the tangent between 2 streets
heightens the tension of the composition.
Listing NGR: SP0744489681
This text is a legacy record and has not been updated since the building was originally listed. Details of the building may have changed in the intervening time. You should not rely on this listing as an accurate description of the building.
Source: English Heritage
Listed building text is © Crown Copyright. Reproduced under licence.