Swales, Francis S.

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Swales, Francis S. (1878–1962). American architect. Educated in the USA and at the Atelier Jean-Louis Pascal and the École des Beaux-Arts, he was imbued with a sound training in the Classicism promoted in Chicago and Paris. He set up in practice in Chiswick, London, in 1906. His best-known work (carried out with R. F. Atkinson with Burnham as consultant) is Selfridges' Store, Oxford Street, London (1907–9), a massive essay in Beaux-Arts Neo-Classicism, much influenced by Franco-American architecture, and with a Giant Ionic Order rising from a massive plinth to carry an entablature in which windows are inserted in the frieze. Swales provided the original drawing. The Order is derived from Philibert de L' Orme's Palais des Tuileries, Paris, but with angular capitals. The building was constructed on a steel frame designed by the Swedish engineer Sven Bylander (1877–1943), who also designed the steel frames for Mewès & Davis's RAC Club, Pall Mall, and their Ritz Hotel, both in London, and both firmly in French Beaux-Arts Classical styles. Other buildings by Swales included works at le Touquet, Paris Plage, and Boulogne, a hotel in Sandwich, Kent, and the His Master's Voice Pavilion for the Gramophone Company at the Franco-British Exhibition, White City (1908). He settled in Canada shortly afterwards, where he worked for the Canadian Pacific Railway, notably on the Hotel Vancouver, Canada (1912–16—demolished), with Walter S. Painter (1877–1957).


A. S. Gray (1985);
Kalman (1994)