Total House successfully nominated to Heritage Register

We are very pleased to be able to share the news that the Total House on Russell St is to be added to the Victorian Heritage.

Total House had been considered for heritage protection since the 1980s but this had never eventuated. MHA decided to nominate the car park early last year as we were concerned about the future of the building after it was purchased by a developer in 2012. After a hearing in February this year the Heritage Council has decided to add Total House to the Victorian Heritage Register.

Total House is regarded as of cultural heritage significance for the state of Victoria. The committee stated in their report that they were ‘satisfied that Total House is a notable, highly intact, distinctive and early example of Brutalist architecture in Victoria.’ The committee also recognised that Total House displays aspects of Japanese post-war architectural style and indicates the impact that Japanese design had on Australian architecture and design at this time.

Wille, Peter 1932-1972 photographer. "Total" Car Park. Cnr. Russell & Little Bourke Streets, Melbourne. 1966 Image from State Library of Victoria.
Wille, Peter 1932-1972 photographer.
“Total” Car Park. Cnr. Russell & Little Bourke Streets, Melbourne. 1966
Image from State Library of Victoria.

You can read more about Total House here.

You can read the full report from the Heritage Council here.

The Age has a story about Total House here (though we don’t agree with the headline ‘Ugly Carpark added to heritage register!’)

The inclusion of Total House on the Heritage Register is a victory not just for the building itself, but for the recognition of post-war architecture in Melbourne. Many other significant post-war buildings remain without any protection – including the buildings denied protection last year in the C186 amendment.

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