Objection | Proposal for additions to Former Hoyts Cinema Centre

Melbourne Heritage Action has submitted an objection to a proposal to add level to the top of the Former Hoyts Cinema Centre at 134-144 Bourke Street.

View from east 2002 Changing the look of the floor above the top-most floor, one below the plant room, would negativly alter the silhouette of the building, which remains almost entirely intact externally since construction.
View from east 2002
Changing the look of the floor above the top-most floor, one below the plant room, would negativly alter the silhouette of the building, which remains almost entirely intact externally since construction.

Read our objection below (pdf here 26Sep Hoyts Objection MHA).

Melbourne Heritage Action strongly objects to the ‘additional level to the existing building’ as part of the planning application TP-2013-597.
The addition of a highly visible rooftop level will have a detrimental impact on the architectural integrity and significance of the Hoyts Cinema Centre at 134-144 Bourke St. While not currently protected by a Heritage Overlay, 134-144 Bourke St is likely to gain heritage protection in the near future, and already enjoys a ‘B’ grading in the City of Melbourne heritage inventory, one of only a few B-graded places which have not yet been afforded a Heritage Overlay.
We note with concern that the building is one of a number of individually significant buildings in the immediate area which were inexplicably left out of the recent C-186 heritage amendment, possibly due to a mapping error. Others include, Total House (which we have successfully nominated to the VHR) and the Art Deco Pattersons Warehouse at 152 Bourke St.
Much of the building’s architectural significance is derived from it’s symmetrical nature, fully expressed vertically up to the rooftop with it’s fl at roof and main structure in a reverse-pyramid shape and dominating unbroken concrete form, culminating a two level setback rooftop topped with a spire. While a rooftop addition of this scale and type may not always be inappropriate for a heritage structure, in the case of the Hoyts Cinema Centre tower these important attributes would be heavily impacted by an unsymmetrical gold glass box on one side of the roof, clearly visible and overbearing from key sight-lines along Bourke street, clashing in style and context with the rest of the building.
Approval of this proposal would severely damage the architectural significance of one of Victoria’s most unique Post-War buildings, one which clearly deserves the highest level of heritage protection.
MHA calls for this proposed addition to be rejected outright and for the City of Melbourne to ensure that Melbourne’s unique architectural heritage is protected for future generations.
Elevation showing proposed changes
Elevation showing proposed changes
Hoyts Drawn Perspective
Drawn Perspective from 1966-69.
Hoyts from Bourke St
Hoyts Cinema Centre’s landmark presence as seen from Bourke/Russell st corner
Hoyts upper levels
Hoyts Cinema Centre’s unique silhouette and rooftop symmetry

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