College of Surgeons, 1930s attenuated classicism

First published 16 February 2020

The #RoyalAustralasianCollegeOfSurgeons sits on a nice triangular site all its own in Spring Street, completed 1935, designed by #IrwinAndStephenson – in a style unique to Melbs and maybe Australia, prob best fits as #NordicClassicism, characteristic by very stripped, refined, attenuated proportions. The most clear inspiration I could find was a monumental hall at the 1923 Gothenburg Exhibition, which had exactly these tall square columns, but was dem after the exhibition was over. But there probably some American or even UK precedent too. Love the pale green of the metalwork, and the lobby has a great floor and chandelier. The site had been the 1850s Model School (state high school for boys) later given to the girls till it fell apart, and they got MacRob, and somehow the Surgeons scored the site.

Here’s some precedents – the Gothenburg Exhibition Memorial Hall, 1922, and the 1911 Hellerau Festspielhaus in Dresden by Heinrich Tessenow

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