Total House, Russell Street, 1962

Original post 10 October 2019

Everyone’s favourite giant TV screen hovering over a carpark ❤️❤️ except #MatthewGuy who called it an eyesore – #TotalHouse, designed by #BogleBanfield, finished 1966. Hanging on but god knows what’ll happen – it was bought to become a 70 storey tower, then we got it added to the #heritageregister in 2014, then in 2015 the max bldg height became 60m ie 20-25 floors, and Richard Gu /AFX is still holding on to it, as far as I can tell. Described as #Brutalist, though it’s not the chunky concrete kind, but the expressed conc structure kind, influenced by 50s Japanese conc stiff believe it or not, notably #KenzoTange’s #KagawaPrefecture, 1958. It was also the first multi-use Modernist building in Nelb, with offices on top, shops, and a basement nightclub, the Lido (!). So you could drunkenly get in your car and drive home! Gordon Banfiekd was an architect-developer type, built lots of carparks and even cinemas on spec (! the Midcity). The design was attributed to #BernardJoyce, who worked there and did other Jap Brutalist things, and his successor firm confirmed that during research in 1992 but he seems to have left the office in 1962, and the tender for the site wasn’t till Nov 62, so if he designed it, he wasn’t there for development or construction.

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