Alfred W. S. Cross

Front elevation of the buildingAlfred Cross (1858–1932) won more than twenty-six national competitions and achieved a considerable reputation for designing municipal buildings. He designed numerous public baths, public libraries, schools and laboratories: baths at Dulwich, Hoxton and Hampstead, the Technical College at Manchester (1890), schools at Poplar, Finchley, Kentish Town and Gospel Oak, the Gosport Free Library, Hampshire (1900), the restoration of Shoreditch Town Hall after a fire (1906) and additions to St John's College, Cambridge. He was first articled to his father's practice, Cross and Wells, in Hastings and London starting his own firm in Weston-Super-Mare in 1882. From 1889 he was a partner of Henry Spalding in London for ten years until 1899 when he set up on his own once again.

In 1905 Cross submitted two alternative designs for the proposed new chemical laboratories. Scheme A was approved at a special meeting of the College Council at 3pm Friday 28th April to endorse the recommendations made earlier that day of the special committee appointed to consider and report upon the designs for the new laboratories. With David Davies in the chair, Sir John Williams, D.C. Roberts and Principal T.F. Roberts considered designs submitted by W.C. Marshall and Alfred Cross and were unanimously in favour of Cross' proposals. H. Willcock & Co. of Wolverhampton were contracted to build the laboratories and its interior fittings under the supervision of the architect. The eventual cost of £23,000 was met in total by the Davies family.

Plans and elevations are available in our photo gallery.