Former Royal Mint: 280-318 William Street, MELBOURNE
Building ProfileName : Former Royal Mint
LocationAddress: 280-318 William Street
Construction DetailsBuilt: 1869 - 1872
Original use: Public (Government)
Current use: Library/Museum/Gallery
number of floors : 2
Built in the Victorian period in the Renaissance Revival style
The Former Royal Mint is of architectural significance as one of the most impressive 19th century government buildings in Victoria, and for its associations with John James Clark. The administration building was styled after Raphaels Palazzo Vidoni-Caffarelli in Rome (1515). Its restrained ornamentation and dignified portico reflect the prestigious yet functional nature of the Mint. It is one of the finest examples of conservative classicism in Australia. Clark (1838-1915), who had a distinguished career in the office of the Colonial Architect (later Public Works Department) from 1852, when he was 14, until 1878, was responsible for designing a number of important colonial government buildings including the Government Printing Office (1856) and the Treasury (1857). He later went on to design major buildings in Sydney, Brisbane and Perth. A design based on Raphaels Palazzo Vidoni-Caffarelli in Rome.
The Former Royal Mint was designed by John James Clark of the Public Works Office and built during 1869-72 by contractors William Murray and Company of Emerald Hill, and Martin and Peacock of West Melbourne. The complex originally contained coin production facilities, administration and residential quarters and associated structures, but all that remains now are the two-storey office building and residence, two gate-houses, perimeter walling and palisading. The main two storey building is a rendered brick structure on a heavy rusticated base. Unlike the Paladian norm, the piano nobile is on the ground floor. The first floor features paired ionic columns, while an attic storey features oval windows. The perimeter wall is an imposing brick construction with large wrought iron gates and iron lamps.Architect: J.J. Clark
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