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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A proposal for the redevelopment of the Vic Market in the 1970s. A reminder that this isn't the first time there has been a push to 'improve' the QVM. This bland vision seems completely at odds with everything we love about the market, but the loss of distinctive heritage fabric and tall towers surrounding the site are again part of a serious proposal. You can see this image in the current 'A History of the Future' exhibition at the Town Hall until 12th August. #melbheritage #heritagemelbourne #qvm #queenvicmarket #redevelopment #1970s Top floor corridor with pressed metal cladding, probably the sisters' bedrooms in the former Mission to the Streets on Spring Street. MHA was shown around the former Mission and the Elms Hotel last week. Mission hardly altered since 1913, it accommodated the work of the Anglican Sisters of the Holy Name who worked to save 'fallen women' in the notorious 'Little Lon' district. Much of the interior features pressed metal cladding. Planned development here will keep facade and bits of interior will be preserved but reorganised to become a conference centre, see our website for more information. #melbheritage #springst #interiors #pressedmetal #melbinteriors #littlelonsdale The Port Phillip Arcade built 1961 (here in a 1969 view by Wolfgang Sievers) in Flinders St looks set to be demolished for the Melbourne Metro project. It doesn't look like there is a way to save it, and keeping only the facade wouldn't make much sense. We support plans to retain the distinctive Charles Bush Sculpture on the facade and the sailboat sculpture on the internal grill. But, it will be a shame to lose one of the few distinctive 1960s retail spaces in the CBD. #melbheritage #melbournemetro #portphilliparcade #wolfgangsievers #flindersst #retail #shoppingarcades #midcentury One of our art deco beauties looking lovely in some late winter sun. The former Commonwealth Bank on Bourke Street, designed by Whistler. Henderson, built 1939-41. Added to the Victorian Heritage Register in 2011 after being nominated by the Art Deco and Modernism Society #artdeco #bourkest #melarch #lookupclub #melbheritage

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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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