Building ProfileName : Former AMP Building
LocationAddress: 419-429 Collins Street
Former AMP Building is a landmark
Construction DetailsBuilt: 1927
Original use: Office
Current use: Office
number of floors : 12
Built in the Interwar period in the Palazzo style
The Former AMP Building is of architectural significance as an outstanding example of an inter-war period office building and of the work of Bates, Smart and McCutcheon. The building shows the influence of American high rise office design, and can particularly be compared with Americanised palazzo designs of McKim, Mead and White, H.R. Richardson and Louis Sullivan. The buildings Renaissance revival style is rather conservative, as was much commercial building in Melbourne at the time. This conservatism probably appropriately reflected AMPs reputation as a solid, safe institution at a time when the Great Depression had wrought tremendous havoc amongst Australias business and financial establishments. Nevertheless, beneath its conservative facade the building featured two remarkable innovations – a concealed panel heating system, the first of its kind in Australia, and adjustable steel slatted sun-blinds on the Collins Street and Market Street upper floor windows. The quality of the buildings architecture was recognised soon after its construction, when it was awarded the fourth Royal Victorian Institute of Architects Street Architecture Medal in 1932. The building is a notable early work of Sir Walter Osborn McCutcheon (1899-1981), and the partnership Bates, Smart and McCutcheon. After WW2 the firm became Australias experts in high rise office design, with McCutcheons most important design being for the former ICI Building in East Melbourne.
The Former AMP Building was designed by Bates, Smart and McCutcheon and built in 1929-31. It is a ten storey, steel-framed building, with walls variously constructed of brick, reinforced concrete or terra cotta partition blocks. The brick walls of the Collins and Market Street frontages are clad with pink casterton granite at the base and Sydney freestone above. A group of symbolic statues, executed in Sydney Freestone by Orlando Dutton, ornaments the main entrance on Collins Street. Other decoration includes reliefs of the Australian States emblems on the ground floor window reveals.Architect: Bates, Smart & McCutcheon
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