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Building ProfileName : Royal Australian College of Surgeons
LocationAddress: 250 -290 Spring Street
Construction DetailsBuilt: 1934
Original use: Education
Current use: Education
number of floors : 3
Built in the Interwar period in the Stripped Classical style
The Royal Australasian College of Surgeons is architecturally significant as a superb example of the Neo-Grec, or stripped classicism, style. The style was considered appropriate for many important, institutional buildings of the 1930s. The quality of this particular design was recognised in 1937 by the awarding of the Royal Victorian Architects Street Architecture Medal. The college building represents an unusual design solution for street architecture, taking full advantage of the prominent siting, addressing each of the four major city streets bounding the site. The entrance lobby is particularly high and dramatic.
The Royal Australasian College of Surgeons building is located on a triangular area of land reserved for the National School Board in 1852. The Model School, built between 1854 and 1856 to a design by Arthur E Johnson, was the first building to occupy the site. It was demolished in 1933 to make way for the new college. The Royal Australasian College of Surgeons building was designed in the Neo-Grecian style by Leighton Irwin and Roy Stephenson and built by J.C. Taylor in 1934. It was opened in 1935 as the Australasian headquarters of the college. The building was awarded the Royal Victorian Institute of Architects Street Architecture Medal in 1937. This monumental Neo-Grec style building on a prominent site and visible from all sides has had various sympathetic alterations and additions. The building sits on a sandstone plinth and is constructed of brown bricks set in a Flemish bond with bands of black header courses. There is a string course at the first floor level. An elongated pedimented sandstone portico, with square shaft columns, enhances the unusually tall facade. The cost of the portico was the gift of Sir A E Rowden White. The pavilion design places the structure in a garden setting, somewhat similar to the Model School it replaced. The brickwork has been designed to form subtle horizontal bands and recessed panels. The windows, with their small panes and fine architraves are also formed into vertical panels to balance the brick work bands. The east and west wings to the rear were added in 1963 and minor alterations and additions were carried out in 1971, 1975 and 1977. The Forest Landscape fountain by the Australian sculptor Stephen Walker was completed in 1969. The fountain, cast of bronze and located in the courtyard, is composed of a series of forms that evoke growth, plants, rocks and flowing water.Architect: Irwin & Stevenson
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