Architect: Bates Smart McCutcheon
East | E09
Orica House, or ICI House, as it was originally known, was one of the first freestanding, fully glazed, curtain wall commercial skyscrapers in Australia. It was also one of the nation’s most stylish buildings, representing the most refined example of Bates Smart and McCutcheon’s efforts in the 1950s to perfect high-rise office design.
The building is a landmark in the planning of the city of Melbourne as it was more than double the previous height restriction enforced in Victoria. The design was permitted under the uniform building regulations because the site coverage was examined as a percentage of the total site area. This led to plot ratio determinations for city sites and the eventual redefinition of the central Melbourne skyline.
The building’s design reflected an international aesthetic preference and continued developments in modernism from the work of Skidmore, Owings and Merrill and such masters as Gropius, Mies Van der Rohe and Le Corbusier.
Entry to the building is now via Albert Street, however the original entrance was through the gardens off Nicholson Street. The foyer was sympathetically remodelled in 1989 by the original architects, Bates Smart.
Need to Know
- Open: Saturday 10am-4pm, Sunday 10am-4pm
- Frequency Of Tours: Tours will run every 10 minutes with 15 people per tour
- Building Type: Workplace – office
- Year Built: 1958
- Tram Stops: Stop 10: Albert St/Nicholson St on routes 35, 86, 95, 96
For more information see: www.openhousemelbourne.org