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The Arts and Crafts Movement in Victoria, B.C.


Roderick Finlayson Residence

Built in 1914 for Roderick Finlayson, son of one of the founding families of Victoria, the Finlayson residence at 2391 Beach Drive had the best fronting onto Willows Beach. Considered to be one of Maclure's "most imgainative and exquisite designs", this residence is evidence of the English school influence on architect Samuel Maclure.

Roderick Finlayson Residence, by Samuel Maclure
Roderick Finlayson Residence
by Samuel Maclure, 1914

When Finlayson approached Maclure to commission a house, the war had already begun and business was slow for Maclure so he had a generous amount of time to carefully plan and design this Tudor style residence. The location of the home on the beach front, metres from the seashore, could not have been more perfect.

The exterior of the residence is featured by a massive bungalow roof, hipped with extensive spreading eaves. The foundation is laid with bricks which are continued to the lintel height on the seaward gabled bay. A sheltered porch between the two facade bays lead out into a terraced garden which stretches to the seashore.

The grounds on the Finlayson residence were extensive and covered four lots. As always, Maclure ensured that picturesque windows were carefully placed to ensure that residents enjoyed the best views from their home. From the Finlayson seaside windows, there were spectacular views of Mount Baker and the Strait of Georgia.

The interior of the Finlayson residence reflects some of the characteristics of the designs of Voysey and Baillie-Scott. However, the interior is "characteristically Maclure" (Segger, 1986, pg. 148). The entrance is through a tiled vestibule to the main hall, which have always reflected Maclure's tradition of excellence.

The woodwork of the interior is milled, turned and joined cabinetry. There are beamed ceilings and spindles of staircase and gallery railings lead out to the half-timbered gallery walls. The effect of the polished dark grained fir "introduces a baronial splendor, typical of Maclure" (Segger, 1986, pg. 148).

In the Finlayson residence, there is also a "fragility of detailing" which is absent in almost all of his other works . The hallways is "romantically suffused" in light from art glass windows (Segger, 1986, pg. 148).

garage of the Roderick Finlayson Residence, by Samuel Maclure
garage of the Roderick Finlayson Residence
by Samuel Maclure, 1914

This design of Samuel Maclure is one of his "finest and most personal architectural statements" (Segger, 1986, pg. 148). In this creation, Maclure has combined the stylistic themes he pursued during the last 14 years of his practice. The Finlayson home was one of the last designs of Maclure's in the Arts and Crafts tradition.

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