Walking Melbourne

Eighties

1980 - 1989

Melboure in the 1980s continued a trend of corporate modern building, with a few major 'concrete and glass' projects breaking up an otherwise uneventful decade for Melbourne architecture.

The late 1980s saw the beginning of a trend in "sea change" interstate migration towards Queensland. Although the economy was strong until the national recession the Prime Minister claimed 'we had to have', the population growth of the city began to slow in comparison to most other cities.

The construction of the Rialto tower in 1985 (by Grocon in record time) was the most significant project and architectural event, encapsulating the essence of the 80s era's corporate culture and architecture in a single building. Shell House represented world famous Sydney architect Harry Seidler's unfortunate attempt to introduce his brand of architecture to Melbourne, defying the odds to win an RAIA medal. His building typifyied the 1980s CBD trends characteristic of the styles emerging in Sydney, Brisbane and Perth. The building was a bold defiance of the notion of a Melbourne architectural "difference".

In the late 1980s, a tend towards post-modernism developed in the city, but was not fuelled by enough significant projects until the early 1990s.

Important and influential buildings included the Rialto Towers (tallest in the southern hemisphere), Melbourne Central, 1 Colllins Street (one of Australias first true post-modern buildings), 91 William Street and the Grand Hyatt Hotel.

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