Alkira House: 18 Queen St , MELBOURNE
Building ProfileName : Alkira House
LocationAddress: 18 Queen St
Construction DetailsBuilt: 1937
Original use: Office
Current use: Office
number of floors : 6
Built in the Interwar period in the Art-Deco style
Streamlined Moderne, it features a green tile frame around industrial glass blocks providing natural light to the stairway. Additional fins curve back over the parapet and lock onto the facade.
Alkira House, a six storey, reinforced concrete office building, was erected in 1937 as an investment by Harold and Annie Cohen. J.H. Wardrop was the architect and Swanson Bros the builders. The facade, composed of strong vertical panels and shafts, is expressed by contrasting grey, green and black terra cotta faience tiles with a central continuous panel of glass blocks surmounted by a cleverly contrived waterfall tower. Alkira House is of architectural significance as an exceptional example of the vertical jazz moderne style in Victoria, a style considered to be extremely avant-garde and rarely adopted for building in this State between the wars. The facade reflects modern office building philosophy then developing in Europe, especially the Dutch and German experiments in glass, vitrolite and terracotta of the 1920s and 1930s. Alkira House was in sharp contrast to the revivalist nature of architecture in Melbourne in the 1930s, and while it has some similarities to the Manchester Unity and Myer buildings, it is considerably more flamboyant.Architect: James Wardrop
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