Melbourne Architecture Tour

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Our tour tells the Melbourne story from settlement to the modern era by exploring  the landmark buildings that reflect different eras on Melbourne’s civic spine north  from Federation Square north towards  the Bourke Street mall  Melbourne’s architecture includes achievements in Design and Innovation, Sustainable (Green) Buildings,  Art Deco, the Interwar period, historic buildings and the creative city of designers and artists. Fortunately Melbourne has been a planned city since Robert Hoddle laid out the grid or ‘golden mile’ in 1837 which enables us to see a wide variety of buildings by foot.

Our tour also tells the story of an extraordinary revival.   Since the 1990s the city centre has expanded in an almost unbelievable way from 400  to 50,000 residents, becoming a visitor mecca and the most liveable city in the world. How did this happen so fast? Was it design or luck?  What lessons are there for other cities? What part did the creative design of new spaces and buildings and the radical transformation of past structures play? What would architects change? What precious assets are under threat?

SEE  –  Also our many OTHER SCHOOL PROGRAMS.  – Explorer, Federation, Aboriginal, Early Melbourne, Lanes, Literature, ‘Runner’, Street Art and more…

‘Thanks again for a highly educational and enjoyable tour for all our visitors, not just the range of building but the architectural evolution  of the city over time’.  Tina.
‘I have had fantastic feedback from my staff who attended your tours also and thought all three of your guides were very engaging for our Year Nine’s, which isn’t easy!!’ 
 Pt Cook College,
I found the architectural tour to be most interesting, as we could apply our knowledge to and be inspired by real architecture designed for specific purposes.” Staff, Ministry of Mercy Education.

Our walks visit a variety of Melbourne’s historic, innovative and diverse architecture walking north from Federation Square via Flinders Lane, Collins Street, and Bourke Street depending on building accessibility, weather, time of week, public holidays. We also have alternative  tour from the Carlton Gardens (Exhibition buildings, Museum) to Federation Square via Spring, Collins Street and Flinders Lane. Or you can nominate particular interest areas.

Federation Square (2002) – Lab Architecture Studio, Bates Smart, Modern
Flinders Street Station (1910) – JW Fawcett, HPC Ashworth, Federation City
St Paul’s Cathedral (1891) – William Butterfield, Reed and Barnes, Victorian City171 Collins Street - Foyer birdseye
Eureka Tower (viewed), Fender Katsilides, Modern City
Council House 2 (2006) – City of Melbourne, Design Inc.
Melbourne Town Hall (1867) –  Joseph Reed
, Victorian
Nicholas Building (1925) – Harry Norris, art deco
Adelphi Hotel (1993) – Denton Corker Marshall, Modern
171 Collins (BHP), former Mayfair theatre,  Bates Smart, New Century
Hosier Lane, Rag Trade warehouse precinct,  Settlement era
St Collins Lane, 2017, ARM Architects
Centreway Building, 1911, Tompkins, Cocks Carmichael Whitford, Edwardian Baroque1. cathedralrcade
Kodak House 1934252 Collins St, Oakley and Parkes, Moderne
Council House 2 (2006) – City of Melbourne, Design Inc., New City
Napier Waller, Newspaper House, 247 Collins, Stephenson, Renaissance Revival
Manchester Unity Building (1932) Marcus Barlow, Art Deco
Banking Chamber (1892, 1990) – Lloyd Tayler and Alfred Dunn (1892) and Nelson Architects International and Robert Peck von Hartel Trethowan Pty Ltd. (1990), Marvellous Melbourne
Coles Book Arcade 1890, Howey Place, Marvellous Melbourne
Block Arcade, 1891, 280 Collins, Twentyman and Askew, Marvellous Melbourne

Buckley & Nunn 294-296 Bourke Street, Bates, Smart & McCutcheon in style, Jazz Modern 1934
Melbourne Post Office (1859-1907) A.E. Johnson, Walter Burley Griffin, Victorian
Myers, 314 Bourke, HW and FB Tompkins, Streamlined Moderne
Royal Arcade, 331 Bourke, 1869, Charles Webb, Victorian


Information about other blockbuster architecture of Melbourne:
Melbourne Central (1988-2005) – Kisho Kurokawa, Bates Smart and McCutcheon and Hassell/Ashton Raggat McDougall
Storey Hall (1887/1995) – Tappin Gilbert & Dennehy /Ashton Raggatt McDougall
RMIT Building 8 (1993) – Edmond and Corrigan
Building 80, Lyons Architects
Design Hub,  23 Cardigan St, Carlton, Sean Godsell.
Portrait Building – William Barak Apartments, Swanston Street,  Ashton Raggat McDougall
Australian Centre for Contemporary Art (2002) – Wood Marsh Architects
School of Drama, Victorian College of the Arts (2002) – Edmond & Corrigan
Centre for Ideas, Victorian College of the Arts (2004) – Minifie Nixon
Melbourne Theatre Company & Melbourne Recital Centre (2008) – Ashton Raggat McDougall
Eureka Tower (2006) – Fender Katsalidis
Queensbridge Square (2006) – City of Melbourne
Australian Histories and The Travellers (2006) – City of Melbourne and Nadim Karam
Royal Exhibition Building (1880) – Joseph Reed
Melbourne Museum (2000) – Denton Corker Marshall.
Melbourne University School of Design John Wardle Architects

Tower 5 at Yarra’s Edge – (2000) Wood Marsh Architects. .
Webb Bridge (2003) – Robert Owen, Denton Corker Marshall; (connecting Yarra’s Edge and Docklands Park)
ANZ Headquarters – Hassell; 5-star green star energy building.
NAB Headquarters (2005) – Bligh Voller Neild.
Digital Harbour Port 1010 (2006) – Ashton Raggat McDougall.

Sustainable ‘Green’ Buildings
Urban Workshop, 50 Lonsdale Street, Melbourne 4 Star Green – John Wardle Architects, Hassell and NH Architecture
Council House 2 (CH2) 218-242 Little Collins St- 6 Star Green Star – DesignInc Melbourne Pty Ltd
ANZ Headquarters – Hassell; 5-star green star energy building.
500 Bourke Street Melbourne 5 Star Green Star – John Wardles Architects; Peddle Thorp Architects
181 William Street 5 Star Green Star –:Bates Smart and SJB joint venture
550 Bourke Street (Extension) 5 Star Green Star – Bates Smart and SJB joint venture

Further Reading
Design City Melbourne.  Leon Van Schaik. Wiley Press.
Melbourne Architecture by Phillip Goad. Watermark Press.
A Pictorial Guide to Australian Architecture, Styles and terms from 1788 to the present by Richard Appleby, Robert Irving. Peter Reynolds, Angus and Robertson.
Walking Melbourne, A National Trust guide to the historic and architectural landmarks of central Melbourne by Rohan Storey.
Melbourne: The City’s History and Development Lewis, Miles, City of Melbourne, 1995
150 Years of Australian Architecture, Philip Goad, ‘Bates Smart: Fishermans Bend, 2004.
Melbourne by Sophie Cunningham 2011.
Characters: Cultural Stories Revealed Through Typography by Stephen Banham 2011.
The Place for a Village. How Nature has shaped the city of Melbourne. Gary Presland.
Essential but Unplanned: the story of Melbourne’s Lanes, Bate, Weston, Main Ridge: Loch Haven Books 1994
Melbourne Remade. Seamus O’Hanlon. The Inner city Since the 1970s. Arcade Publications 2010.

See Victorian Architectural Awards 2013-14 Entries

Vic Heritage        
Explores the histories of important and unusual places in Melbourne and Victoria.
Transforming the Yarra        
Architects and designers guide you to the places, images and buildings that have transformed the Yarra River.
The Sound of Buildings – one and two:      
Stories of and guides to Melbourne’s iconic places, images and buildings by writers, planners, designers.
Lost 100      
Point the phone at a building and see past buildings. Yes, really!
Formative Melbourne Walk      
The architecture and images of the Marvellous Melbourne buildings on and around Collins Street.
Our City:       Stories of and guides to Melbourne’s iconic buildings by the National Trust
Open House Melbourne:      Guide to building open annually to the public on Melbourne Open Day.



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