Melbourne Heritage Action

An action group supported by the National Trust

Total Carpark – Modernist Landmark Under Threat

The Total Carpark on Russell Street, corner of Little Bourke Street, was designed by Bogle Banfield Associates, and completed in 1965. It has long been regarded as an architectural landmark, but is now under threat.

Total Carpark from Russell Street, with Total house office above

Total Carpark from Russell Street, with Total house office above

It has been proposed for heritage listing since the early 1980s, but this has never eventuated. A developer purchased an option on the site last year, proposing a 60 storey tower despite its significance, and the site having a 60m height limit (about 15 storeys). Melbourne Heritage Action has now taken the initiative and invested considerable energies in preparing a nomination to Heritage Victoria, the State’s premier heritage body.

The Carpark is significant as the first expression of ‘Brutalist’ architecture in Victoria, through the use of bold forms and expressed unpainted concrete structure, influenced by Japanese avant-garde architecture of the late 1950s/early 1960s. The strong cantilevered horizontals of the carpark decks are topped by a flaoting TV-like box of offices on cantilevered supports introduced bold new modern forms into what was still largely a Victorian low rise city-scape. Unlike later sculptural bare concrete examples of Brutalist design, there are plenty of refined details.

Patterns created by complex ramp system

Patterns created by complex ramp system

It is also important as one a rush of carparks built between 1955 and 1966 in response to the huge rise in car use and consequent city congestion. This is one of a number that were developed by the City of Melbourne to meet this demand at the fringes of the shopping area, while others were developed privately – and Bogle Banfield had a hand in most, designing some, and owning, designing and developing others.

There was also a nightclub in the basement, the first of its type in the city – it opened as the Lido in 1965, providing dinner and a ‘Paris -type’ show, complete with fathers, high kicks and scanty costumes, something melbourne hadnt seen before. The space is now occupied by Billboard, an important live music venue.

See the story in The Age here Drive to Save Landmark Carpark

Link to interview with Philip Goad on 3AW

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This entry was posted on March 12, 2013 by in Total Carpark and tagged , , , .

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Scaffolding coming down from the restoration of 194 Flinders Street. Many assume being next to the Cathedral it's a church building, but was in fact built as offices for the Metropolitan Gas Company #melbourneheritage #restoration #neogothic #flinders Sadly the 1882 spinks tinsmiths and fruit preserving factory at 488 Latrobe street appears doomed, despite recommended for #heritageprotection. The #ministerforplanning hasn't signed off on interim protection yet, been sitting in his desk since June, so no official protection means the City of Melbourne can't say no to the 18 storey apartment proposal. Though they could try... Refurbished #awnings have recently appeared on two corners of Bourke Street mall. New #facias replacing beaten up old ones. Maybe not exactly like the originals, but a definite improve. Lets hope they remain free of stock on shop signs! One of the worlds smallest art galleries occupies Pawson House's heritage mailboxes 
#artdeco #glass #melbourneheritage #adaptivereuse

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Future Melbourne Committee meeting 17 May 2016, Agenda item 6.2: Planning Scheme Amendments C272 and C273 - West Melbourne Heritage Review (Part 1)

Future Melbourne Committee meeting 17 May 2016, Agenda item 6.2: Planning Scheme Amendments C272 and C273 - West Melbourne Heritage Review (Part 1)

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