Federal Register of Legislation - Australian Government

Primary content

Plans/Management of Sites & Species as made
This instrument provides a framework to assist the Reserve Bank of Australia to continue to protect, conserve and manage the identified Commonwealth Heritage values of the Reserve Bank Head Office.
Administered by: Agriculture, Water and the Environment
Registered 18 Aug 2020
Tabling HistoryDate
Tabled HR24-Aug-2020
Tabled Senate24-Aug-2020
Table of contents.

 


 

HERITAGE Management Plan

 

 

 

 

Reserve Bank of Australia Head Office

65 Martin Place

SYDNEY NSW 2000

 

FINAL 8 April 2020

 

 


NBRS & PARTNERS Pty Ltd

Level 3, 4 Glen Street

Milsons Point

NSW 2061 Australia

 

Telephone +61 2 9922 2344 - Facsimile +61 2 9922 1308

 

ABN: 16 002 247 565

 

Nominated Architects
Andrew Duffin: Reg No. 5602

 

This report has been prepared under the guidance of the Expert Witness Code of Conduct in the Uniform Civil Procedure Rules and the provisions relating to expert evidence

 

 

This document remains the property of NBRS & PARTNERS Pty Ltd.

The document may only be used for the purposes for which it was produced.

Unauthorised use of the document in any form whatsoever is prohibited.

 

 

 

Issued

Review

Issued by

5 June 2019

Draft

P Jeffery

19 July 2019

Revised draft

P Jeffery

8 November 2019

Final amended draft

P Jeffery

12 December 2019

Response to DEE comments

P Jeffery

5 March 2020

Amended final report v.3

P. Jeffery

8 April 2020

APPROVED FINAL

(Aust. Heritage Council)

S. Polkinghorne

 


executive summary

This Heritage Management Plan has been prepared to assist the Reserve Bank of Australia (RBA) to continue to conserve and protect the identified Commonwealth Heritage values of its Head Office, 65 Martin Place Sydney NSW 2000.  The Head Office building was included on the Commonwealth Heritage List in June 2004 for demonstrating the following official Commonwealth heritage values:

 

Criterion A: Processes

Criterion B: Rarity

Criterion D: Characteristic values

Criterion E: Aesthetic characteristics

Criterion F: Technical achievement

Criterion G: Social value

Criterion H: Significant people

 

Under the Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act 1999 (EPBC), as amended, the Reserve Bank of Australia is obliged to prepare a Heritage Management Plan for each of its properties that demonstrate Commonwealth Heritage value.  This plan addresses the requirements of Schedule 7A (Regulation 10.03B) of the EPBC Act and be consistent with Commonwealth Heritage management principles.

 

The methodology adopted for use in this report generally follows best practice principles contained in:

-         The Conservation Plan by Dr James Semple Kerr (7th Edition, 2013) published by the National Trust of Australia (NSW).

-         Australia ICOMOS Charter for the Conservation of Places of Cultural Significance (The Burra Charter) 2013.

-         Management Plans for Places on the Commonwealth Heritage List: a guide for agencies. Australian Government Department of the Environment and Heritage, November 2006.

-         Working Together Managing Commonwealth Heritage Places, A guide for Commonwealth Agencies.  Commonwealth of Australia 2019.

 

Major Recommendations

This Heritage Management Plan confirms the Head Office of the Reserve Bank of Australia demonstrates a range of Commonwealth Heritage values including historical, associative, aesthetic and social values.

 

The principal heritage significance of the Reserve Bank of Australia Head Office building is its association with the Reserve Bank of Australia, and as physical evidence of the creation of the Reserve Bank of Australia and its separation from the Commonwealth Bank of Australia, and for its association with successive Governors of the Reserve Bank since 1964.  The Head Office has aesthetic significance as an example of Post-World War 2 office buildings in Australia and of the architectural work carried out by the Commonwealth Department of Works Banks and Special Projects Branch.  The prominent location of the Reserve Bank of Australia Head Office building at the corner of Martin Place and Macquarie Street contributes to its landmark qualities in forming part of the eastern edge of the Sydney Central Business District.

 

Major recommendations of this report include:

-         This Heritage Management Plan is accepted as the guiding document for future action to the Head Office of the Reserve Bank of Australia.

-         The Reserve Bank of Australia is to register this Heritage Management Plan as a legislative instrument on the Federal Register of Legislation (Register) as soon as practicable (section 4 of the Legislation Act 2003) otherwise the agency may not be compliant under the EPBC Act.

-         The Heritage Management Policies set out in this plan will be accepted and implemented.

-         The Head Office of the Reserve Bank of Australia will be managed in accordance with Commonwealth Heritage management principles and best practice heritage principles.

-         Changes to the place will be noted in records maintained by the Reserve Bank of Australia as required under the EPBC Act.

-         The Reserve Bank of Australia will submit this Heritage Management Plan to the relevant Commonwealth Minister for consideration and approval.

 

This draft Heritage Management Plan was issued in March 2020 for review and comment by the Reserve Bank of Australia.  Under Section 341X of the EPBC Act the Reserve Bank of Australia is obliged to review this Plan at least once in every five-year period.  This plan should therefore be reviewed no later than March 2025 or earlier if circumstances relating to the site change.

 

NBRSARCHITECTURE

Pamela Jeffery

Senior Heritage Specialist/ Architect


 

Heritage Management Plan

CONTENTS

 

 

executive summary.. i

Major Recommendations. i

1.0          Summary Description.. 8

2.0          Introduction.. 10

2.1        Background. 10

2.2        The Site. 10

2.3        Study Objectives. 11

2.4        Methodology. 12

2.5        Terminology. 12

2.6        Limitations. 13

2.7        Authorship. 13

2.8        Sources. 14

2.9        Acknowledgments. 14

3.0          Historical Context. 15

3.1        Introduction. 15

3.2        A Central Banking System and the Reserve Bank of Australia. 15

3.3        Construction of the Head Office Building. 16

3.4        Architectural Design Intent 18

3.5        Consolidation of Banking Services and additions to the Building. 19

3.6        Building Refurbishment 20

3.7        Associated Individuals. 21

3.8        Stylistic Context 24

4.0          Place Description.. 28

4.1        Urban Context and Setting. 28

4.2        Description of the Reserve Bank of Australia Head Offices. 29

4.3        Interior Description. 31

4.4        Previous modifications. 38

4.5        Archaeological Potential 41

4.6        Significant Views. 41

5.0          Heritage Values. 42

5.1        Commonwealth Heritage Criteria. 42

5.2        Methodology adopted for Assessing commonwealth Heritage Values. 43

5.3        Application of Commonwealth Heritage criteria. 43

5.4        Statement of Significance. 47

5.5        Identified National Historical Themes. 48

5.6        Significance of Elements. 49

5.7        Curtilage. 54

6.0          Heritage Legislation and Management Framework.. 56

6.1        Legislative Framework Generally. 56

6.2        Relevant Commonwealth Legislation. 56

6.3        Heritage Protection in New South Wales. 60

6.4        Non-statutory Heritage Listings. 61

6.5        Best Practice Guidance. 61

6.6        Other Statutory Requirements. 62

6.7        Key Conservation Issues. 62

6.8        Future Development 64

7.0          Management of Commonwealth Heritage Values. 66

7.1        Generally. 66

7.2        Commonwealth Heritage Management Principles. 66

8.0          Specific Conservation Policies. 68

8.1        Policy Recommendations. 68

8.2        Additions to the RBA Head Office building. 71

9.0          policy implemenTation.. 83

9.1        Responsibility for Implementation of Policies. 83

9.2        Funding. 83

9.3        Review and Monitoring the Heritage Management Plan. 83

9.4        Resolution of Conflict between User Needs and Heritage Significance. 83

9.5        Recommended Ongoing Maintenance Works. 84

9.6        Planned Maintenance. 86

10.0        Bibliography.. 88

10.1      Primary Sources. 88

10.2      Published Sources. 88

10.3      Websites and Online Databases. 89

11.0        Appendices. 90

11.1      EPBC Act Compliance Checklist 90

11.2      Commonwealth Heritage List Citation. 91

11.3      Outline Historical background of Site Prior to 1959. 101

11.4      Plans, Sections and Elevations showing the proposed RBA Head Office Consolidation project, c1975. 111

11.5      Land Titles Information. 112

11.6      Sands Directory Listings. 117

11.7      Sydney City Council Rate Book Search. 120

 


 

LIST OF FIGURES

Figure 1 - Plan showing the location of the Reserve Bank of Australia Head Office building, located at 65 Martin Place Sydney. 11

Figure 2 - Aerial photograph showing the three parcels of land comprising the current site of the Reserve Bank of Australia Head office building. 11

Figure 3 - Diagram showing the sequence of steps in planning and managing a place of cultural significance, contained in The Burra Charter, and underpinning this Conservation Management Plan methodology. 13

Figure 4 – View of the steel framed construction of the Reserve Bank of Australia Head office building, c1962.  Source: National Archives of Australia. 17

Figure 5 - View of the south and west elevations during construction c1962.  Source: National Archives of Australia. 17

Figure 6 -View of the northwest corner of the RBA Head Office showing the original marble panels being installed to the north and west elevations, c1962.  Source: National Archives of Australia. 17

Figure 7 – View of the Reserve Bank of Australia Head Office Sydney, looking south east from the Phillip Street corner, c1964. 17

Figure 8 – Diagram showing the Phillip Street elevation.  The shaded area indicates the location of the addition constructed in the late 1970s, and the dedicated services/plant spaces   Note the addition accommodating the services finished at Level 7. 20

Figure 9 -View of the wall enrichment, designed by Bim Hilder, located in the ground floor foyer of the RBA building c1964. 22

Figure 10 - Podium Sculpture by Margel Hinder located in the Martin Place forecourt, NBRSARCHITECTURE, July 2019. 23

Figure 11 - The Head Office of the RBA, located at 65 Martin Place, Sydney NSW.  Source: RBA Archives. 26

Figure 12 – RBA building Adelaide.  Source: NAA. 26

Figure 13 – RBA building, Brisbane.  Source: NAA. 26

Figure 14 — The Reserve Bank of Australia, Canberra, c1964. Source: State Library of Victoria, Image No. a21826. 26

Figure 15 — The Reserve Bank of Australia, Melbourne, c1967. Source: State Library of Victoria. 26

Figure 16 - The Reserve Bank of Australia building, Darwin. Source: Northern Territory Library. 26

Figure 17 - RBA building , Perth, formerly located at 45 St George’s Terrace.  Source: State Library of Western Australia http://www.slwa.wa.gov.au/images/pd224/224034PD.jpg, Fritz Kos. 27

Figure 18 – RBA building Hobart.  Source: Trove. 27

Figure 19 - View of the landscaped native garden  in c1968. 28

Figure 20 – General view of the northwest corner of the Head Office building. 30

Figure 21 – General view of the podium soffit adjacent to the north side of the RBA Head Office entry.  Note the original suspended marble soffit was replaced in c2001. 30

Figure 22 - Oblique view of the south elevation of the RBA Head office building. 31

Figure 23 – Oblique view looking northeast along Phillip Street.  The RBA building is indicate by an arrow. 31

Figure 24 – Example of fire stair finishes and painted steel balustrades within the RBA Head office building. 32

Figure 25 – Photograph of typical refurbished lavatory areas throughout the RBA building. 32

Figure 26 - Typical basement finishes. 33

Figure 27 – Typical painted rendered finishes at Basement Levels 1 and 2. 33

Figure 28 - View of the ground floor vestibule and museum entrance area c2002 showing the surviving original finishes and the wall mural by Mr Bim Hilder. 34

Figure 29 – Typical finishes installed in 2014 in the corridor and reception area located at the Mezzanine Level. 35

Figure 30 -  Typical Mezzanine office fit out. Note the full-height textured glass forming the north wall of the mezzanine level is visible from within the ground floor vestibule. 35

Figure 31 – Example of ceiling, wall and floor finishes at Level 6 installed in 2016. 35

Figure 32 - Level 16 lift lobby showing the original marble wall finishes. 37

Figure 33 - Level 16 service corridor, looking east to kitchen. 37

Figure 34 - Staff cafeteria fit out Level 16. 37

Figure 35 – Main east-west corridor located at Level 18 looking west. 37

Figure 36 – Typical finishes to the office area located at the western section of Level 20. 38

Figure 37 - General view showing the concrete pavers and access equipment for servicing the exterior of the RBA building. 38

Figure 38 - Diagrams showing previous changes to the exterior of the RBA Head Office building, c2004.  Source: RBA Archives. 40

Figure 39 - View looking southeast from the corner of Elizabeth Street and Martin Place, July 2019. 41

Figure 40 - View of the northeast section of the RBA building from Macquarie Street, July 2019. 41

Figure 41 - View of the northwest section of the RBA building from the corner of Phillip Street and Martin Place. 41

Figure 42 - Looking north to the RBA building Marked by an arrow) from the entrance to Hyde Park Barrack site, July 2019. 41

Figure 43 - View of the custom-built furniture located in the Governor's Office of the Head Office of the Commonwealth Banking Corporation of Australia, 1916. 50

Figure 44 - The original furniture has been relocated from the RBA Archives Unit to the Museum. 50

Figure 45 - General view of the Banking Chamber located at the ground floor level of the Head Office building. 51

Figure 46 - View of the ground floor lobby showing security barriers installed c2009. (Source: Sydney Living Museums) 51

Figure 47 - Typical office level lift lobby showing original (1964) marble wall finishes and timber wall panelling.  The original ceiling was replaced c2000. 53

Figure 48 - Plan showing the extent of the Reserve Bank of Australia Head Office building in relation to Martin Place and surrounding buildings.  Source: ARCHITECTUS, February 2020. 55

Figure 49 - Diagram summarising the self-assessment process.  Source: Department of the Environment and Energy, https://www.environment.gov.au  60

Figure 50 - General view of Macquarie Street, c1871, photographer unknown.  Note the site of St Stephen’s Church in Phillip Street is now occupied by the Reserve Bank of Australia Head office building. 102

Figure 51 - View of Phillip Street Sydney, looking south, c1885, photographed by Charles Bayliss. The spire of St Stephen’s Church, Phillip Street, is visible to the left of St James Anglican Church spire. 103

Figure 52 – Diagram showing the areas resumed by the Council of the City of Sydney in the 1920s to facilitate the eastern extension of Martin Place.  The site purchased for the RBA in 1957 is shown shaded. 104

Figure 53 - Percy Dove's 1880 map of the subject site showing area later occupied by the Reserve Bank dotted. 107

Figure 54 – View of the houses located at 219-215 Macquarie Street Sydney, which were demolished for the construction of the Reserve Bank in 1959. 108

Figure 55 - 1910 map of the City of Sydney compiled and published by Roberts & Moffat Ltd. 109

Figure 56 - Phillip Street buildings demolished to form the eastern extension of Martin Place, photographed by EG Shaw, 1935.  St Stephen’s Church and the building to its right, St James Parsonage, were subsequently acquired by the Commonwealth of Australia for the RBA Head Office building. 110

Figure 57 - General view of St Stephen's (Presbyterian) Church, Phillip Street Sydney, c1934, by Herbert H Fishwick.  The church was demolished in 1935. 110


1.0              Summary Description

 

Name

Reserve Bank of Australia (Head Office)

 

Address

65 Martin Place, Sydney NSW 2000

 

Land Title

Lot 1 of DP 444499; Lot 1 of DP 32720; Lot 1 of DP 33919 (Parish of St James, County of Cumberland)

 

Original Owner

Commonwealth of Australia

Reserve Bank of Australia

 

Present Owner

Reserve Bank of Australia

 

Local Government Area

 

City of Sydney

 

Construction Dates

1959-64, original building

1976-1980, south additions No. 2 site

1991-1996, re-cladding and internal refurbishment

 

Architect

Commonwealth Department of Works Banks and Special Projects Branch

 

Builder

EA Watts Pty Limited: original construction and 1976-80 and 1991-96 construction phases.

 

Heritage Status

-         Commonwealth Heritage List (Place ID No. 105456)

-         Sydney Local Environmental Plan 2012 (Schedule 5, Item No. I1897)

-         NSW State Heritage Inventory Online Database (No. 2423917)

-         Australian Institute of Architects (NSW Chapter) Register of Significant Architecture in NSW (Reg No. 4702937)

 

Summary Description

The RBA Head Office building is a commercial office building of 25-storeys, including 3 basement levels, of Post War International Modernist Style with three prominent street frontages, utilising high quality external and internal materials.  The tower structure has its primary frontage to Martin Place, and sits on a four-storey podium divided into two upper floors and two floors of full height recessed glazing below, enclosing a double volume entry foyer and adjoining public areas.  The tower over is steel framed and clad with grey granite fixed over the original marble facings, with aluminium window sections and black granite column trims.

 

Despite later enlargement of the tower to the south and considerable internal modification, the building retains its original architectural character.  The ground floor entrance foyer retains examples of original fabric and finishes.

 

Summary Statement of Cultural Significance

The Reserve Bank Head Office, Martin Place Sydney is a significant example of the work of the Commonwealth Department of Works built in the early 1960s in an International Modernist style.  It was built to house the specific functional requirements of the newly created Reserve Bank of Australia.

 

It has strong historic associations with Dr HC Coombs and the early establishment of the Bank, as well as with the development of Australian economic policy and banking practice throughout the second half of the twentieth century and early twenty-first century.

 

It has strong aesthetic values in its overall design and execution for the quality of its facades and public spaces, the use of high quality materials and in its contribution as a building element within the significant streetscapes of Macquarie Street and Martin Place.

 

Identified Commonwealth Heritage values

The Reserve Bank Head Office, Martin Place Sydney embodies the following historic heritage values:

 

-         Criterion A: Processes

-         Criterion B: Rarity

-         Criterion D: Characteristic values

-         Criterion E: Aesthetic characteristics

-         Criterion F: Technical achievement

-         Criterion G: Social value

-         Criterion H: Significant people

 

 

 

 

 


 

2.0              Introduction

2.1                Background

The Reserve Bank of Australia Workplace Department commissioned the review and upgrading of its Heritage Management Plan for the Reserve Bank of Australia Head Office building in March 2019 in keeping with its requirements under Section 341X(2) of the Environment Protection and Biodiversity Act 1999 (EPBC Act), as amended.  The table included in Section 11.1 of this Heritage Management Plan identifies where specific requirements of Schedule 7A (Regulation 10.03B) of the EPBC Act is addressed in this report.

 

The Reserve Bank of Australia (RBA) is obliged, as a Commonwealth agency, to protect Commonwealth Heritage values demonstrated by properties in its ownership.  The Reserve Bank of Australia Head Office building at 65 Martin Place Sydney was included on the Commonwealth Heritage List in June 2004 as an ‘Included Place’ (Place ID: 105456) for demonstrating the following Commonwealth Heritage values:

-         Criterion A (Processes);

-         Criterion B (Rarity);

-         Criterion D (Characteristic values);

-         Criterion E (Aesthetic characteristics);

-         Criterion F (Technical achievement);

-         Criterion G (Social value); and

-         Criterion H (Significant people).

 

This Heritage Management Plan has been adopted by the Reserve Bank of Australia to guide conservation and heritage management of its Head Office building located at 65 Martin Place Sydney.  This Heritage Management Plan should be read in conjunction with the Heritage Strategy 2019-2021 prepared for the Reserve Bank of Australia which sets out the obligations of the Reserve Bank under the Environmental Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act 1999.

 

2.2                The Site

The Reserve Bank of Australia Head Office, located at 65 Martin Place, comprises three parcels of land, shown in Figure 1Figure 1 and Figure 2Figure 2, and is described in documents held by the NSW Land Registry Services as:

-         Lot 1 of Deposited Plan 444499 (Parish of St James, County of Cumberland);

-         Lot 1 of Deposited Plan 32720 (Parish of St James, County of Cumberland); and

-         Lot 1 of Deposited Plan 33919 (Parish of St James, County of Cumberland).

 

The building defines the south side of Martin Place between Phillip and Macquarie Streets, and is bounded by Macquarie Street to the east, Martin Place to the north and Phillip Street to the west.  The building is a prominent element in all three streets.  Its southern boundary adjoins the boundary of the Law Society of NSW building and Windeyer Chambers. 

 

The building is located on the eastern edge of the Sydney Central Business District.  The early twentieth buildings to the west of Macquarie Street are progressively being demolished and replaced with high rise commercial buildings.  

 

Figure 1 - Plan showing the location of the Reserve Bank of Australia Head Office building, located at 65 Martin Place Sydney.

Source: NSW Land Registry Services, SIX Maps, https://maps.six.nsw.gov.au/, accessed 2 September 2019.

Figure 2 - Aerial photograph showing the three parcels of land comprising the current site of the Reserve Bank of Australia Head office building.

Source: NSW Land Registry Services, SIX Maps, https://maps.six.nsw.gov.au/, accessed 2 September 2019.

2.3                Study Objectives

The main objective of this Heritage Management Plan is generally to provide a practical working document to guide future works or changes to the Reserve Bank of Australia Head Office building to ensure the building’s identified Commonwealth Heritage values are adequately identified, protected and conserved.  This heritage management plan aims to:

 

-         Provide an understanding of the historic development of the place, and a description of the physical fabric and its condition.

-         Identify the Commonwealth Heritage values of the place against the prescribed Commonwealth Heritage criteria.

-         Set out policies to ensure the Reserve Bank of Australia Head Office is managed and interpreted in accordance with Commonwealth Heritage management principles defined by the Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act 1999, as amended.

-         Address the Bank’s obligations under Regulation 10.03b (Schedules 7A - Management Plans for Commonwealth Places and Schedule 7B – Commonwealth Heritage management principles) of the EPBC Act 1999, as amended.

 

2.4                Methodology

This report was prepared to, in part, satisfy the obligations of the Reserve Bank of Australia under Section 341S of the EPBC Act 1999, as amended.  The methodology and format of this report are generally consistent with that set out in the following documents:

 

-         The Conservation Plan by Dr James Semple Kerr (7th Edition, 2013) published by the National Trust of Australia (NSW).

-         Australia ICOMOS Charter for the Conservation of Places of Cultural Significance (The Burra Charter) 2013.

-         Management Plans for Places on the Commonwealth Heritage List: a guide for agencies. Australian Government Department of the Environment and Heritage, November 2006.

-         Working Together: Managing Commonwealth Heritage Places.  Commonwealth of Australia 2019.

 

Sections of this report have been taken verbatim from the following report prepared for the Reserve Bank of Australia:

 

-         NBRS+Partners. Heritage Management Plan: The Reserve Bank of Australia 65 Martin Place Sydney NSW 2000.  26 October 2012 Unpublished report prepared for the Reserve Bank of Australia.

 

2.5                Terminology

The terms ‘Reserve Bank of Australia Head Office building’, ‘Reserve Bank building’, ‘RBA building’ and ‘Head Office building’, and the place, are used interchangeably throughout this report to describe the building located at 65 Martin Place, Sydney NSW 2000.

 

The terms fabric, place, preservation, reconstruction, restoration, adaptation and conservation used throughout this report have the meaning given to them in Australia ICOMOS Charter for Places of Cultural Significance (Burra Charter) 2013.  The methodology used in the preparation of this report generally follows that recommended as best-practice by Australia ICOMOS (see Figure 3Figure 3).

 

Figure 3 - Diagram showing the sequence of steps in planning and managing a place of cultural significance, contained in The Burra Charter, and underpinning this Conservation Management Plan methodology.

Source: The Burra Charter, 2013, https://australia.icomos.org/wp-content/uploads/The-Burra-Charter-2013-Adopted-31.10.2013.pdf

 

2.6                Limitations

The RBA Head Office building was inspected on various dates in 2018 and 2019 to confirm the location and condition of building fabric.  Inspections were carried out while the building was occupied and operational.  Inspections were limited to visual observations, carried out from ground level or internal floor level.  Inspections were general in nature, having been carried out without physical intervention or removal of building fabric.

 

No European or Aboriginal archaeological assessment was undertaken as part of this report.  The site of the Head Office has been assessed as an ‘Area of no archaeological potential’ under the Archaeological Zoning Plan for Central Sydney-1992, prepared by Siobhan Lavelle and Dana Mider for the Sydney City Council.

 

Artworks, apart from fixed wall murals and sculptures, and numismatics collections are not addressed specifically in this Heritage Management Plan. 

 

2.7                Authorship

The following members of NBRSARCHITECTURE participated in the production of this report:

-         Samantha Polkinghorne, Director -Heritage.

-         Pamela Jeffery, Senior Heritage Consultant/Architect.

-         Sophie Bock, Senior Heritage Consultant.

 

The history contained in this report was originally researched and written in 2001 by Ms Michelle Richmond, Historian formerly of NBRSARCHITECTURE, for an earlier version of this Heritage Management Plan.  That history has been edited, and additional information inserted by Pamela Jeffery.  Photographs and illustrations throughout this report were taken or prepared by NBRSARCHITECTURE unless otherwise noted.

 

2.8                Sources

The main documentary sources consulted in the research for this report are listed below. A complete Bibliography is contained in Section 10.0 of this report.

-         Reserve Bank of Australia Archives.

-         National Archives of Australia.

-         State Archives.

-         State Library of New South Wales.

-         NSW Land Registry Services.

-         Sydney Water Archives.

-         Sydney City Archives.

 

2.9                Acknowledgments

The Author gratefully acknowledges the assistance of the following people in the preparation of this report:

-         Ms Rebecca Dowell, Workspace Lead, RBA Workspace Services, RBA Workplace Department (Sydney).

-         Mr Bruce Harries, Department Head, RBA Workplace Department (Sydney).

-         The Manager and Archives Staff; Regulatory, Framework and Heritage Section.

-         The Bank’s Curators, Public Access & Education Section, Information Department.

 


 

3.0              Historical Context

3.1                Introduction

The following section provides a historical context to examine the development of the site of the Reserve Bank of Australia, and determine the heritage significance of the place.  Refer to Section 11.3.1 for an outline history of the development of the site prior to the construction of the Reserve Bank of Australia Head office building.

 

Text in both Section 3.0 and Section 11.3 was taken from an earlier Conservation Management Plan prepared by NBRSARCHITECTURE (2001).  It was researched and written, including the transfer of all citations, by Ms Michelle Richmond, Historian, formerly of NBRSARCHITECTURE.  Pam Jeffery of NBRSARCHITECTURE has reviewed and expanded that history to include changes to the site that have occurred since 2001.

 

3.2                A Central Banking System and the Reserve Bank of Australia

An Australian central banking function was established in 1911 as one of the functions of the Commonwealth Bank of Australia.[1]  By the 1950s the Federal Government had decided to remove the central banking section from the control of the Commonwealth Bank and to establish a separate agency similar to economic structures in other countries.  

 

Initial briefing by the Commonwealth Bank of Australia of their intention to proceed with the design of a Reserve Bank building took place in Sydney on 16th September 1957.  The site in Sydney was selected and negotiations for the purchase from the Sydney City Council were commenced. 

 

The Reserve Bank of Australia was created by an Act of Parliament in 1959 with its broad purpose being to work for the economic prosperity and welfare of the people of Australia.[2]  The new Bank was to be controlled by a Board, its members determined by the government of the day, but appointed by the Governor.  At the time of the creation of the Bank, the board consisted of a Governor (who also acted as the chairman of the board), a Deputy Governor, the Secretary to the Commonwealth Treasury and seven other appointed members.  Dr HC Coombs was appointed the first Governor of the newly created Reserve Bank of Australia.  The Reserve Bank of Australia commenced operations on 14th January 1960.

 

Its stated objectives were to ensure that monetary banking policy was directed to the greatest advantage of the people of Australia, that the Australian currency was stable and that full employment was maintained.

 

Splitting the Commonwealth Bank and creating the Reserve Bank required a huge administrative re-organisation.  The Reserve Bank Act 1959 reinforced the perception of a separate bank in the community’s eyes by requiring the Bank to occupy its own premises.  This condition only strictly applied to the head office (Sydney) and it was assumed that at other places the Bank would share premises with the Commonwealth Bank.  However Dr Coombs decided that in order to maintain a prominent profile, separate buildings would be constructed in each of the state capitals and at Canberra.  In addition, the Bank would have offices in Launceston, Port Moresby, New York and London.

 

The Reserve Bank as a separate identity was born at a time when the economy was booming, trade flourishing and other conditions that resulted in prosperity. Australians had a positive view of the future of their country. For the newly created Bank, the decade of the 1960s was tremendously significant in creating an International image for the Australian economy. The buildings constructed throughout Australia by the Bank at that time, reflected a confidence in things Australian and in its future. The buildings were statements displaying the corporate pride of the Bank and the vital economic role it aspired to play in the Nation.

 

Sydney was the first project in this significant building program.  A site for the new head office building was purchased from the Council of the City of Sydney in Martin Place in December 1958.  Dr Coombs was determined that the head office would be an impressive structure, built to reflect the bank’s prestige and leadership of the financial system.  It was to be the flagship building, proudly built from largely Australian materials.

 

The Head Office building was completed in 1964 but did not open for business until the 14th January 1965.  Built of polished marble and glass with granite paved public spaces[3], the building was dubbed the “Marble and Gold Palace”.  Public criticism of Commonwealth expenditure on Public Works was largely a result of a ‘Credit Squeeze’ that coincided with Dr Coombs’ building programme.

 

Planning for the construction of the Bank’s new buildings in the other capital cities also occurred during this time and the suite of buildings form a cohesive group of designs reflecting a common design philosophy.  Also contemporary with the building and complimentary to the Bank’s design aesthetic was the Commonwealth Centre at Chifley Square, now demolished.

 

The nature of the work of the Reserve Bank of Australia began to change significantly during the 1980s.  The agents for change came from a number of different directions including the introduction of new technology, such as mechanisms for wrapping coins and counting notes.  In 1983, deregulation of the Australian dollar eliminated the Bank’s Exchange Control function.  The findings of two government enquiries further changed the Bank’s structure[4].  Many of the original functions of the Bank also altered significantly resulting in a reduction in staff numbers[5].

 

3.3                Construction of the Head Office Building

The Reserve Bank of Australia Head office building was designed and documented by the Special Projects Branch of the Commonwealth Department of Housing and Construction.  The design team included CD Osborne, and RM Ure, GA Rowe and FJ Crocker from the Sydney Branch.  The Department was authorised to engage private architects or consultants to provide specialist knowledge or expertise, and in this instance consulted Professor Harry Ingham Ashworth, Professor of Architecture at the University of Sydney for advice in relation to the Head office building.

 

The Head Office was located in Hawthorn (Vic), and included three divisions – Architectural, Engineering and Management Services, with branch offices in each capital city and several regional cities.  CD Osbourne headed the Architectural Division in Melbourne however the Sydney Branch Director of Works was responsible for approving the design and documentation of the Reserve Bank of Australia Head Office building while Head Office architects advised on the its design as a major project.  The new Reserve Bank head office building was designed by the Commonwealth Department of Works, Bank and Special Projects Division (Sydney) in 1959[6] under the direction of a Design Committee which included the following members:

 

-         C McGrowther, Superintendent of Reserve Bank Premises

-         HI Ashworth, Consulting Architect (Sydney University)

-         CD Osborne, Director of Architecture - Dept of Works

-         RM Ure, Chief of Preliminary Planning - Dept of Works

-         FC Crocker, Architect in Charge - Bank Section - Dept of Works

-         GA Rowe, Supervising Architect - Bank Section - Dept of Works

 

The Sydney Branch was also responsible for the documentation of interior spaces and finishes in consultation with Frederick Ward, Industrial Designer who had previously advised on buildings at the Australian National University (Canberra).

 

Site covenants required the facades of the building to be of stone and other complimentary materials and the building to have a minimum height of 150 feet with a setback to Martin Place of 16 feet above a height of 60 feet from Macquarie Street.  Three members of the Design Committee toured central banking facilities overseas to inform early design studies prepared in 1957.  Detailed planning and documentation commenced in January 1959 with submissions to the Sydney Height of Buildings Advisory Panel in March and to the Governor and Board of the Commonwealth Bank in April[7].  EA. Watts Pty Ltd was awarded the tender to construct the Reserve Bank of Australia Head Office building in 1962.  The building was completed in 1964 ready for occupation in January 1965.

 

L51306

Figure 4 – View of the steel framed construction of the Reserve Bank of Australia Head office building, c1962.  Source: National Archives of Australia.

Figure 5 - View of the south and west elevations during construction c1962.  Source: National Archives of Australia

Figure 6 -View of the northwest corner of the RBA Head Office showing the original marble panels being installed to the north and west elevations, c1962.  Source: National Archives of Australia.

Reserve bank 1964

Figure 7 – View of the Reserve Bank of Australia Head Office Sydney, looking south east from the Phillip Street corner, c1964.

Source: Australian Archive

 

3.4                Architectural Design Intent

The Reserve Bank Head Office was constructed in Sydney to provide appropriate accommodation for a number of departments of the Bank and to house its functions as the principal Central Banking agency.  The first Governor of the Bank, Dr HC Coombs had specific ideas for both the operations of the new agency and its corporate image.  These ideals were implemented in a series of buildings across the nation and reached their highest expression in the Sydney head office building.

 

A contemporary design was requested because it felt that a Central Bank should develop with growing knowledge and a changing institutional structure and adapt its policies and techniques to the changing needs of the community within which it works.

 

The design of the building was influenced by the national and civic significance of the building as well as normal aesthetic considerations. In its construction, materials and equipment of Australian origin have been used wherever possible.[8]

 

The design report accompanying the early sketch designs set out the architectural design intention and general aesthetic considerations underpinning the design in the following terms:

 

From initial directions issued by the Commonwealth Bank, the intention was to produce a solution that was functionally acceptable and which included aspects of design that might enhance the civic dignity of Martin Place and the axial development of site areas to the east of Macquarie Street.

 

The form of the proposed building has been progressively determined by the detail area requirements at respective floor levels.

 

The surface texture of the tower mass is basically the expression of structure and functional mullions. Both structural columns and mullions are of similar proportions being 2 feet deep by 13 inches[9] repeating all external facades as a uniform vertical motif. The spandrel areas between mullions and the heads and sills of windows are comparatively flush in surface with the facings on the columns, while deep set windows provide adequate solar protection and give emphasis to the voids. The resultant texture is static in form and emphasises neither horizontal nor vertical movement. Due to thermal problems and the need to provide closely sub-divided office areas on the western perimeter, windows of reduced area are proposed on this facade, protected by horizontal cantilevered sun hoods. The skyline has been designed as a regular termination of the tower block by accommodating miscellaneous tank rooms, cooling towers, etc. at broken levels within the facade envelope.[10]

 

The construction method and external appearance of the RBA building was a departure from other bank buildings lining Martin Place.  Those dating from before 1945 were traditionally load bearing masonry construction, implicitly expressing stability and solidity, whereas the Reserve Bank was designed in the International Modernism architectural style with an emphasis on openness and transparency.  The expansive glass windows at ground floor level were selected to express transparency and openness and reflect the principles on which the Bank itself would operate.

 

For employees of the Bank, the organisation was a prestigious and desirable place to work. The Bank was a generous employer by the standards of the day. Staff had their own health fund, superannuation fund and their own workers union and credit union with the Commonwealth Bank. The Bank had a strong staff hierarchy and senior positions in the structure were important with considerable community status.

 

This status is demonstrated in physical terms by the design of executive and staff areas in the head office building in Sydney as it is in other branches of the Bank in other capital cities.

 

During the 1960s, the Bank buildings were known to provide more extensive staff facilities compared with other contemporary buildings. In Sydney these facilities consisted of the cafeteria, executive and Board dining rooms, the staff lounge, the staff library, a medical suite, squash courts and associated amenities, an auditorium and an observation deck on the 20th level for the use of staff and ex staff.

 

Providing recreation and other facilities for the staff was considered important to support the corporate culture of the time.  In the 1960s, most Bank staff joined the organisation as young people and the men would certainly have expected to remain with the Bank for the remainder of their working lives. Vacancies in senior management positions were generally filled from within the Bank structure. Strong social bonds were fostered in this environment and these were fostered by the Bank in the availability and use of facilities within the building.  Although a number of city buildings constructed in the 1960s, such as QANTAS House, the Goodsell Building and the NSW State Office Block, contained a range of staff facilities including staff dining rooms and cafeterias[11], the Reserve Bank of Australia Head Office additionally included a Medical Centre, Squash Courts, and a Firing Range used for the training of security guards.

 

As times have changed the use and necessity for many of these facilities within a building with a reduced workforce has diminished and the functions and usage patterns of the special facilities has changed dramatically. This change in functional requirements has been reinforced by changes in corporate culture. Increasing flexibility within organizations, coupled with focus on competitive practice has altered the attitudes and structure of the workplace and its relationships.

 

Demand for these specialised facilities within the Bank has reduced to the point where their retention is no longer supported. These spaces are now identified as valuable for their potential to provide additional workplace accommodation and flexibility rather than as specialised areas of restricted contribution essential to the organisation’s principal objectives.

 

3.5                Consolidation of Banking Services and additions to the Building

In early 1964 the Reserve Bank purchased “Washington House”[12], a three-storey commercial and residential building that adjoined the eastern section of its southern boundary for 160,000 pounds.  Documents indicate the RBA intended demolish the building and construct an alternative access to the basement areas to improve cash delivery services within the original Head Office building, and preliminary plans for a new vehicular entrance from the Macquarie Street side were prepared.

 

Following the acquisition of a second building, “Federation House” in 1967, the Bank commissioned the Commonwealth Department of Works to document additions to the south side of the Head Office building [13].  The RBA Governor formally approved the south extension located on Number 2 Site on 18th March 1975.  Demolition of both Washington House and Federation House was completed by 5th June 1975.

 

Works involved substantial additions on each floor to incorporate the adjacent site to the south.  The effect of the changes was to increase the depth of the building by nearly one third increasing its presence on both Macquarie Street and Phillip Street (See Figure 8Figure 8) and to provide additional service areas at basement and podium levels were also provided. 

 

The works were designed to maintain the rhythm of the original window and stone façade on the east and west elevations, giving the Reserve Bank an increased presence in Macquarie Street and Phillip Street without increasing the height of the building. 

 

 

Drawing showing extension

Figure 8 – Diagram showing the Phillip Street elevation.  The shaded area indicates the location of the addition constructed in the late 1970s, and the dedicated services/plant spaces   Note the addition accommodating the services finished at Level 7.

Source: Currency No. 5 Vol 17 May 1976 p12

 

3.6                Building Refurbishment

By the late 1980s it was apparent the original Wombeyan marble cladding of the external facades was deteriorating due to a combination of weathering and pollution, and asbestos was detected throughout the building.  Works began on an extensive program to repair the façade and internal refurbishment works were to upgrade staff facilities to meet standard office requirements to allow the Bank to continue operating from the site.[14]

 

The repair process of over-cladding the exterior of the building commenced in November 1993 using both Australian and Italian stone.  The system was designed to ensure the rhythm of the original fenestration was retained.  New stone was attached to aluminium trusses bolted to the inner frame of the building with a gap to allow for water to drain between the two skins. 

 

Several subsequent changes were made to the upper levels of the elevations of the Head Office after 2001 to reflect changes in internal function.  These changes were again designed to have minimal impact on the presentation of the building to Martin Place and Macquarie Street.  

 

Major internal changes carried out between 2001 and 2003 included the removal of two apartments, two squash courts, the relocation of risers and service areas, and the re-configuration of internal office areas generally.  Several floors[15] were leased to separate organisations resulting in the refurbishment of office and service areas to suit their individual requirements. 

 

Works carried out since 2005 have addressed statutory compliance issues, access to premises requirements, security requirements and replacement of equipment at the end of its operational life, for example, replacement of lift cars.

 

3.7                Associated Individuals

3.7.1           Herbert Cole Coombs (1906-1997)

HC Coombs was born in Kalamunda, WA, in 1906.  He attended Perth Modern School working as a teacher and on the wharves to pay to attend university where graduated with first-class honours in economics, and winning the Hackett Studentship enabling him to study overseas.  Following the completion of his MA, he proceeded to London School of Economics to undertake a thesis on central banking and was awarded a PhD in 1933, returning to his teaching career in Perth in 1934.

 

In 1935 Coombs moved to Sydney, initially working for the Commonwealth Bank and later transferring to the Commonwealth Treasury in 1939, appointed Director of Rationing in1942 and in 1943 was appointed Director-General of the Department of Post-War Reconstruction by Ben Chifley.

 

Coombs was appointed the Governor of the Commonwealth Bank of Australia on 1st January 1949.  In 1959 the Australian Government passed the Reserve Bank of Australia Act separating central bank’s operations from the trading and savings bank functions of the Commonwealth Bank.  HC (Nugget) Coombs was appointed Governor of the Reserve Bank of Australia in 1959, retiring in 1968. 

 

Following his retirement from the RBA, Dr Coombs served as the Chancellor of the Australian National University between 1968 and 1976, and was instrumental in establishing the Centre for Resources and Environmental Studies at the ANU in 1973. [16]  He also served as Chairman of the Council for Aboriginal Affairs (1968-1976) and Chairman of the Council for the Arts (1968-1974). [17]

 

3.7.2           Bim Hilder

The expansive wall enrichment in the main entrance foyer was designed and installed by local artist Bim Hilder.  It is made up of many separate small parts of beaten copper and bronze.  It incorporates a 150mm piece of quartz crystal uncovered by geologist Ben Flounders in South Australia’s Corunna Hills together with other semi-precious stones.

 

Vernon Arthur (Bim) Hilder (1909-1990) was born at Parramatta, NSW, the son of watercolourist JJ (Jesse) Hilder and Phyllis Hilder.  In 1927 Hilder enrolled in evening art classes organised by the Royal Art Society of NSW, after starting and abandoning a commercial art course at East Sydney Technical College the previous year.  During the 1920s he worked as a carpenter, including several years working on houses for Walter Burley Griffin at Castlecrag, a theatre designer, undertook shop window displays and designed and constructed film and puppet sets.

 

Hilder continued to exhibit watercolours and etchings and in 1962 began part-time teaching at East Sydney Technical College’s art school.  In 1962 he won a competition for the design of a ‘wall enrichment’ at the Reserve Bank of Australia Head office building. 

 

He first exhibited his sculptures in 1945. His main works appear to be in the commercial display field and his works are represented in the National Gallery of NSW and the University of New England.[18]  Hilder was a foundation member of the Society of Sculptors and in 1978 he was made a Member of the British Empire for services to art.

 

https://dictionaryofsydney.org/sites/default/files/media/13%20RBA%20D10-86761%20SMLR.jpg

Figure 9 -View of the wall enrichment, designed by Bim Hilder, located in the ground floor foyer of the RBA building c1964.

Source: Reserve Bank of Australia Archives D10/86761

 

3.7.3           Margel Hinder

Margel Ina Hinder nee Harris(1906-1995)[19] won a national competition in 1962 for the design of the sculpture located at the Martin Place entrance to the Head office building.  The 7.9m high free-standing sculpture in the Martin Place forecourt is welded sheet copper on a stainless steel structural frame with molten copper decoration.  It is unnamed and has no ‘banking’ significance other than being a work of public art to compliment the architecture of the building. The sculpture The original design maquette is also located in the Bank.[20]

 

Hinder was born in New York, but was educated in Buffalo following her parents relocation to that city in 1909.  She commenced studies at the Buffalo Fine Arts Institute in 1925, moving to Boston in 1926to study sculpture and modelling at the School of the Museum of Foie Arts.  In May 1930 she married Henry Francis (Frank) Hinder at Wellesley, Massachusetts, and in 1934 they moved to Sydney, where the couple became pioneer figures in modern art especially in the Inter War period.

 

Following World War II Hinder lectured at the Art Gallery of New South Wales (AGNSW) and at the National Art School, Sydney, and conducted sculpture courses at her home.  In 1949 the AGNSW was the first public gallery to acquire one of her works, Garden Sculpture (1945).

 

Figure 10 - Podium Sculpture by Margel Hinder located in the Martin Place forecourt, NBRSARCHITECTURE, July 2019.

 

From the mid-1950s Hinder began working with metal, and an increasing preoccupation with movement and the need to move around a sculpture to engage with it and its form.  She worked as a freelance sculptor from 1964 onwards and was one of the few women artists in Australia engaged to undertake large public commissions.  Her work was included in the Second International Sculpture Exhibition (Paris, 1961) and the Captain James Cook Memorial Fountain located in the Civic Park, Newcastle NSW (1966).

 

A number of Australia-wide competitions were held in the early 1960s to assist in the selection and commissioning of public art works for inclusion in the Head Office.

 

3.7.4           Margo Lewers

Hettie Margaret (Margo) Lewers, nee Plate (1908-1978)[21] was born at Mosman, Sydney, and undertook evening classes in Sydney under Antonio Dattilo-Rubbo and Desiderius Orban, where she met Gerald Lewers.  Following their marriage, they travelled to Europe in 1934 , enrolling at the Central School of Arts and Crafts, London, where Margo studied textile design, painting and drawing. 

 

On returning to Sydney, she opened an shop in Rowe Street, and continued to design hand-printed fabrics.  She undertook works in a range of mediums including painting, textiles, sculpture and mosaic, and was recognised as a leading component of abstract expressionism in post-war Australia.  Margo was commissioned to design  a mosaic wall for the former Canberra-Rex Hotel, Canberra (1967), the Aubusson tapestry (1968) for the boardroom of the RBA Head Office, and won over fourteen awards and prizes.

 

Her painting, Unobserved, was acquired by the Reserve Bank as part of its art collection in c1966.  Such was her reputation as an artist that she was retained, following the death of Gerald in 1962, to complete his copper installation for the wall of the Reserve Bank, Canberra.

 

3.7.5           Frederick Ward[22]

Frederick Charles Ward (1899-1999) trained as an artist at the School of Art within the National Gallery of Victoria, later becoming a cartoonist and illustrator for several weekly magazines including The Bulletin.  Ward was influenced by the emerging modernist movement, which he considered  as the ‘…province of the young and radical…and a threat to the established social order’.  He began manufacturing furniture in 1927, and in 1931 was invited to open a modern furniture department for Myer Emporium (Melbourne).  His role with Myers continued to c1950, although it ceased temporarily during the World War 2 when Ward served with the Department of Aircraft Production, assisting in the manufacture of wood-framed Mosquito aircraft.

 

Ward established ‘Patterncraft’ in conjunction with Home Beautiful Magazine in 1947.  The concept was designed to enable the home handyman to make furniture using basic hand tools.  Instructions, including full-sized patterns and lists of materials and tools required, continued into the 1950s.

 

In1949 Ward was appointed as Design Consultant to the Australian National University, and later provided advice to other universities and government departments such as the National Capital Development Commission in Canberra.  In the mid-1950s Ward publicly criticised the state of furniture design in Australia and advocated patronage by government departments to provide a stimulus for growth in the design industry.  His comments were noted by Dr HC Coombs, and Ward was commissioned to design furniture for the Head Office building in 1961.

 

3.8                Stylistic Context

The Reserve Bank of Australia Head Office building, Sydney, was designed by the Commonwealth Department of Works in the Late Twentieth-Century International style, although the design of the podium draws on the characteristics of the Late Twentieth-Century Stripped Classical style.

 

The Late Twentieth-Century International style was a continuation of the post-war International style of the 1950s, a style that was widely published in architectural magazines of the time, and initially was influenced by Walter Gropius.  By the 1960s the style had proliferated under practitioners such as IM Pei in the United States of America and a number of practitioners in Australia where the style was largely associated with commercial and institutional buildings.

 

The eight buildings designed for the Reserve Bank generally incorporated similar materials and architectural devices to provide a cohesive public image for the Bank however they were each designed to suit their individual sites and context.  For example the Canberra and Darwin buildings were designed as low-scale buildings to suit their surrounding context, while the Head Office Martin Place was designed to suit an urban context in Central Sydney.

 

The Head Office is designed as a tower located over a podium, which is designed to relate to the scale of the streetscape and to pedestrian visitors generally.  The elevations of the podium level of the Head Office are designed to relate to other buildings in the group, with the external arrangement of columns supporting a strong horizontal element and echoing classical peristyle architecture.  In the case of Canberra and Darwin the columns appear to support the roof, while the column structure of the Martin Place building appears to carry the first and second floors.

 

The podium component of the Head Office was designed to relate to the streetscape and the pedestrian scale of visitors.  The walls of the ground floor are generally glazed, and the artworks both within the entrance area and external were designed to enhance the immediate area and the visitor experience.

 

3.8.1           Comparable RBA buildings

The Reserve Bank of Australia Head office is one of eight purpose-built office buildings constructed to house its operations in every state and territory capital throughout Australia following the creation of the Reserve Bank of Australia (RBA) as a separate entity. 

 

-         Head Office, 65 Martin Place, Sydney (1965).

-         182 Victoria Square, Adelaide (1963).  No longer owned by RBA.

-         102 Adelaide Street, Brisbane (1965). No longer owned by RBA.

-         22 London Circuit, Canberra (1965).

-         60 Collins Street, Melbourne (1966).  No longer owned by the RBA

-         Bennet Street & Smith Street, Darwin (1967). No longer owned by RBA.

-         45 St George Terrace, Perth (1973).  No longer owned by RBA.

-         111 Macquarie Street, Hobart (1974).  No longer owned by RBA.

 

The buildings, with the exception of the Canberra Branch building[23], were designed by the Commonwealth Department of Works Banks and Special Projects Branch, utilising the Late Twentieth-Century International or Stripped Classical architectural style.  The Head Office, Sydney is an example of the Late Twentieth-Century International style in Central Sydney.

 

The Reserve Bank buildings throughout Australia reflected a confidence in things Australian and in the future, when the Australian economy was booming.  They were designed as statements of ‘corporate pride’ and the vital economic role the Reserve Bank aspired to play in the Nation.  The buildings were significant in creating an International image for the Australian economy, and were in part due to the vision of Dr HC Coombs as the first Governor of the Reserve Bank of Australia.

 

Sydney was the first project in this significant building program following the purchase of the site in Martin Place from the Council of the City of Sydney in December 1958  Dr Coombs was determined that the Head Office would be an impressive structure, built to reflect the Bank’s prestige and leadership of the financial system.  As the flagship building, it was to be largely constructed from Australian materials.

 

The Head Office opened in January 1965 and included a number of specially commissioned modern sculptures and an ‘Australian’ native garden in Macquarie Street.  The building was well received in architectural circles, but drew some criticism from the general public, who dubbed building the “Marble and Gold Palace” for its perceived extravagance on Commonwealth expenditure on Public Works, which coincided with a ‘credit squeeze’ within the general Australian economy.

 

The design of the Head Office building reflected the architectural philosophies of the time, providing a tower located over a podium that related to the streetscape, and incorporating extensive staff facilities.  Coombs issued a press release at the opening of the Head Office building “…The massive walls and pillars used in the past to emphasize the strength and permanence in bank buildings are not seen in the new head office… Here, contemporary design and conceptions express our conviction that a central bank should develop with growing knowledge and a changing institutional structure and adapt its policies and techniques to the changing needs of the community within which it works.”[24]

 

The Head Office accommodated both banking and administrative functions, and staff training and recreational facilities.  The building originally contained a target practice facility to enable security staff to be trained in the use of pistols and small arms for security.  These facilities were common in the major bank headquarters[25] throughout the city, but had generally been removed or adapted for other uses by the late 1990s as other security systems were developed. 

 

The building also contained a Staff Cafeteria, a Medical Centre and Squash Courts.  These types of facilities were often included in multi-storeyed government buildings constructed in Sydney in the 1960s, for example the QANTAS House, the Goodsell Building (demolished) and the former State Office Block (demolished).

 

 

Figure 11 - The Head Office of the RBA, located at 65 Martin Place, Sydney NSW.  Source: RBA Archives

Figure 12 – RBA building Adelaide.  Source: NAA

Figure 13 – RBA building, Brisbane.  Source: NAA

Figure 14 — The Reserve Bank of Australia, Canberra, c1964. Source: State Library of Victoria, Image No. a21826

 

Figure 15 — The Reserve Bank of Australia, Melbourne, c1967. Source: State Library of Victoria.

Figure 16 - The Reserve Bank of Australia building, Darwin. Source: Northern Territory Library

http://www.slwa.wa.gov.au/images/pd224/224034PD.jpg

Figure 17 - RBA building , Perth, formerly located at 45 St George’s Terrace.  Source: State Library of Western Australia http://www.slwa.wa.gov.au/images/pd224/224034PD.jpg, Fritz Kos

Figure 18 – RBA building Hobart.  Source: Trove

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


4.0              Place Description

4.1                Urban Context and Setting

The RBA Head Office building is prominently situated at the southwest corner of the intersection of the major banking and financial precinct of Martin Place with Macquarie Street, the premier civic and government of New South Wales.  The building is aligned in an east-west direction with its main entrance addressing Martin Place and a vehicular entrance accessed from Phillip Street. 

 

The area immediately to the north, south and west of the RBA building is characterised by medium- and high-rise commercial buildings, while the eastern side of Macquarie Street generally occupied by two and three storey public buildings dating from the nineteenth and early twentieth century.  The building is a prominent element within the eastern section of Martin Place, and is visible in some medium- and long-distance views looking westwards from the Domain and Art Gallery.

 

Martin Place is recognised as a significant public space within the City of Sydney.  In the 1970s the eastern section of Moore Street, between Elizabeth Street and Macquarie Street, was pedestrianised by the City of Sydney Council to complete Martin Place.  Later changes included the construction of public stairs following the completion of Martin Place Railway Station[26] by the NSW State Government.  Those works included minor changes to the paving levels to the north of the RBA Head Office building thereby providing direct level access to the building from Martin Place in addition to access directly from Macquarie Street.  Other works to Martin Place, such as the removal or replacement of streetlights, trees, signage and street furniture, have altered the original setting of the RBA building and its relationship to pedestrian circulation in Martin Place.

 

The garden located between the east elevation and Macquarie Street was constructed as part of the 1962-64 stage of works.  The formal Australian-themed garden was designed by Melbourne landscape architect, Malcolm Munro, following a public competition.  The rockery and water feature were removed in the 1970s although the feature has been retained as a garden and re-planted in 2018 with drought-resistant species.

 

Figure 19 - View of the landscaped native garden  in c1968. 

Source: State Library of Victoria, http://www.slv.vic.gov.au/pictoria/gid/slv-pic-aab55666/1/a16464


 

4.2                Description of the Reserve Bank of Australia Head Offices

4.2.1           Structural system

The Reserve Bank of Australia Head Office building structure was constructed in two stages (Stage 1- 1962-63 and Stage 2 - 1972-76) using similar steel framed construction.  Stage 1 works incorporate welded joints providing rigidity and resistance to wind loads, while the Stage 2 steel column/beam connections are generally pinned connections[27].  Steel beams are set out on a structural grid of 7.62m.  Beams and columns are concrete encased with floors and basement walls of reinforced concrete, with additional reinforcement and security features incorporated into the walls of the basement strong rooms.  Documentary evidence indicated columns are founded on concrete pad footings bearing onto sandstone bedrock.

 

The upper level floors (above ground floor) are constructed of lightweight concrete[28] to reduce weight in the structure, and includes a series of long cantilevered beams located at Levels 1, 2 and 3.  The lift core, including passenger and goods lifts, fire stairs and lavatories are centrally located along the south wall, with floor space located to its east, north and west. 

 

Stage 2 was constructed as an independent, self-supporting system, and does not rely on Stage 1 structure for vertical support, however the 1970s addition is reliant on the Stage 1 structure for the resistance of lateral loads.  Columns at the interface between Stage 1 and Stage 2 construction are paired to facilitate the transfer of lateral loads. Further lateral rigidity is provided by the masonry shear walls of the stair wells and lift cores. These walls act as bracing walls between adjacent floors. The lift cores and stair wells are located centrally within the building providing a favourable centre of gravity and rigidity for lateral and dynamic loads.

The lateral loads imposed at each level of the building are transferred into the shear walls and columns via the reinforced concrete floor slabs acting as a horizontal diaphragm.

 

4.2.2           Exterior

The RBA building was constructed with its main entrance located on the north elevation (main façade), originally addressing a tree-line street, Moore Street.  The Martin Place entrance has been retained as the principal pedestrian entrance.  

 

The exterior of the building is read as four sections:

-         The Ground floor which is set back from the boundary of the site, and three basement levels which are partially visible from Phillip Street,

-         The first, second and third levels forming the podium, with horizontal slabs emphasized;

-         The tower floors (Levels 4 to 19); and

-         Level 20, which is setback from the façade of the tower levels.

 

The Head Office building is a twenty-two storey building including three levels of basements.  The lower levels of the tower contain the public areas and a cantilevered podium, while the basement levels were designed to accommodate strong rooms, storage and secure loading and parking areas.  The tower levels were generally taken up with office accommodation twentieth floor was designed during construction to provide a function space with extensive glazing to take advantage of panoramic views to the north and northeast.

 

The building rises to a height of 80.5m above Macquarie Street and Basement 3 is 12.5m below ground level.  The office tower levels are set back approximately 4.87m from the podium and site boundaries on the north and east street frontages consistent with a building covenant on the site.  The building floor plate surrounds a central bank of lifts with additional lifts serving the basements and Levels 16 to 20.  All vehicle access to the building is from Phillip Street.

 

The façade of the RBA building includes marble, granite, aluminium and glass components.  Structural columns are faced with black granite and expressed on the exterior of the building.  Spandrel panels between columns are formed by concrete panels that were originally faced with white Wombeyan marble.  The north and east ground floor walls are separated from internal spaces by glazed aluminium screen walls set back from the edge of the podium, creating a covered walkway over the forecourt/entrance area and the garden.

 

The facade treatment of the building is distinctive, reflecting both the modular office subdivision expressed in the window mullions and the extensive use of natural stone.  Intermediate mullions contain service risers and are clad with stone.  The spandrel areas between mullions and the heads and sills of windows, are comparatively flush in surface with the facings on the columns, while deep set windows provide adequate solar protection and give emphasis to the voids.  The resultant texture is static in form and ‘…emphasises neither horizontal nor vertical movement’[29].

 

Windows located on the Phillip Street façade are designed with higher sills than those on other elevations, and are protected by horizontal cantilevered sun hoods to minimise the impact of sunlight caused by their western orientation. 

 

Figure 20 – General view of the northwest corner of the Head Office building.

Figure 21 – General view of the podium soffit adjacent to the north side of the RBA Head Office entry.  Note the original suspended marble soffit was replaced in c2001.

 

Figure 22 - Oblique view of the south elevation of the RBA Head office building.

Figure 23 – Oblique view looking northeast along Phillip Street.  The RBA building is indicate by an arrow.

 

 

4.3                Interior Description

4.3.1           Generally

The interior of the Reserve Bank of Australia Head Office building has been adapted since its opening in 1964 for operational reasons, including some irreversible changes and loss of original fabric.  The major extension (late 1970s) to the south of the original building resulted in changes to the internal layout of office areas and other spaces within the tower together with extensive replacement and/or adaptation of services at each level.  Other modifications undertaken since 1964 generally relate to addressing non-compliance issues and operational requirements.

 

The RBA Head Office, as a government agency, adopted government policy to use Australian sourced and manufactured materials where possible.  Architectural finishes and detailing within the Head Office drew on international influences, particularly contemporary Scandinavian design as seen in the use of timber finishes, linen panelling and natural colours.

 

Public spaces such as the ground floor reception and lift lobbies incorporated granite and marble finishes.  Its anodised aluminium louvred ceiling was designed to reflect the structural bays, while the floor levels changed throughout the public spaces to delineate the entrance to the museum, reception area and banking chamber.

 

Recent refurbishments have drawn on the original palette of materials to maintain and enhance the 1964 architectural character of the main spaces.

 

Figure 24 – Example of fire stair finishes and painted steel balustrades within the RBA Head office building.

Figure 25 – Photograph of typical refurbished lavatory areas throughout the RBA building.

 

4.3.2           Ceilings

Ceilings are generally suspended acoustic ceilings with fluorescent lights and air-conditioning grilles, although some ceilings, such as those in lift lobbies and the Board Room include set plaster ceilings with integrated downlight or suspended track lights. The original (1964) anodised aluminium louvred ceiling has been retained above the Ground floor entrance lobby, banking chamber and museum entrance.

 

There are no ceilings located in the basement loading and parking areas, some service and plant rooms spaces. 

 

4.3.3           Lifts and vertical circulation

The original service and lift core are retained throughout the building with two additional lifts installed in c2001 to service levels 16 to 20.  The six original passenger lift cars were replaced in 2014.  Display panels and call buttons were replaced at the same time as part of the security and access to premises requirements.

 

The building includes a separate good lift and lifts servicing basement areas.  The building does not currently contain lifts that service every floor of the building.

 

4.3.4           Services

Services within the RBA Head Office building have been substantially altered or replaced since 1964.  Many services installed as part of the original construction phase were replaced at the end of their operation life.  Services are fed through centrally located risers near the lift core or forming part of the south service addition, and distributed through ductwork in concealed in ceiling spaces above offices.  Services in workshop, plant and loading areas are exposed and surface mounted.

 

Additions to the south side of the building, completed in the late 1970s facilitated the relocation of some plant areas and risers within the building from the external core.  This resulted in the adaptation and partial replacement of air-conditioning, fire services and lighting services throughout the building.  The fire stairs generally remain in their original location.  The loading bay and secure parking arrangement were altered in the late 1970s, and further modified in c2005 to address security requirements.

 


 

4.3.5           Basement Levels (Basement 1, Basement 2 and Basement 3)

There are three levels of basement below Macquarie Street level, which contain vehicular access areas, the main switchboard, strongrooms and cash handling areas.  The original 1964 configuration of the basement included extensive areas dedicated to mechanical plant equipment that have been progressively relocated or replaced to suit changing servicing equipment requirements.

 

Figure 26 - Typical basement finishes.

Figure 27 – Typical painted rendered finishes at Basement Levels 1 and 2.

 

Basement areas were extended and modified as part of the 1970s construction phase.   The original strongrooms have been retained, although underutilised storage, workshop and plan areas have been adapted as computer areas and staff facilities.  The Records & Archives Repository is located in Basement 3.

 

Spaces throughout Basement Levels 1, 2 and 3 were formed by painted rendered walls subdivided with stud wall and office partitions.  Sections of original timber parquet floor finishes have been retained and are, in part, concealed by an accessible computer floor.  Vinyl floor tiles and ceramic floor tiles are evident in other areas.  Utilitarian areas, such as the loading bay and parking areas are concrete.  Ceilings, where installed, are generally formed by suspended acoustic panels with integral acrylic fluorescent light diffusers.

 

4.3.6           Ground Floor Level

The ground floor of the Head Office is directly accessible from Martin Place, and is symmetrical around the central main vestibule.  The vestibule is a two-storey, with a general banking chamber on the western side and a public display area on the eastern side.  The museum and interpretative display area are currently located in the area originally occupied by Bonds & Stock Banking Chamber.

 

The main vestibule area remains largely intact and contains most of its original fabric and finishes, including important artworks commissioned specifically for the building and integral with the building fabric.  There have been some minor changes relating to the public reception area to control circulation and increase security.  Other areas in the southern section of the ground floor, which are screened from public view, have been adapted and upgraded to meet the changing requirements of Bank staff.  Two platform chair lifts were installed in c2000 to provide access to the museum and bank chamber spaces from the entrance foyer.

 

Figure 28 - View of the ground floor vestibule and museum entrance area c2002 showing the surviving original finishes and the wall mural by Mr Bim Hilder.

Source: Australian Heritage Photographic Library

 

Despite a number of previous modifications the architectural character of the ground floor area is still apparent on entering the building, including the gold anodised aluminium ceiling, the south wall and artwork, glazed mezzanine walls and stone floor.  The roughcast grey ‘Softlite’[30] glass has been retained as the wall of the mezzanine level.  The reception desk has been relocated several times resulting in repairs to the Riverina Grey granite floor.  The current configuration of the ground floor entrance foyer dates from 2015 when the reception desk was relocated and security gates were installed.

 

4.3.7           Mezzanine Level, Levels 1, 2 and 3

The Mezzanine, First and Second floor levels form a podium under the main office tower of the Head Office.  All three levels have been refurbished.

 

The Mezzanine floor is set back from the Martin Place frontage creating a two-storey volume over the ground floor entrance lobby.  It was originally linked to the ground floor banking chamber by a dedicated stairwell, which was removed in c2000.  The Mezzanine currently accommodates staff training facilities, open plan office spaces and amenities.  Original ‘Softlite’ glass forming the north wall of the mezzanine has been retained in situ.

 

Levels 1 and 2 were reconfigured during the 1990s to accommodate a computer room.  Accessible computer flooring was installed in some spaces, and internal partitions removed to create open plan office areas where possible.  The computer roof was relocated to the basement in 2006.

 

Figure 29 – Typical finishes installed in 2014 in the corridor and reception area located at the Mezzanine Level.

Figure 30 -  Typical Mezzanine office fit out. Note the full-height textured glass forming the north wall of the mezzanine level is visible from within the ground floor vestibule.

 

Level 3 was designed as a staff amenities area, with a staff cafeteria and kitchen on the eastern side, an auditorium and staff library on the western side and a staff lounge centrally outside the lift foyer.  The original architectural character of these areas has been altered by later refurbishment which involved the removal of original and early fabric and details.

 

The original functions of the third floor have now been relocated and the area is now used as office accommodation, with spaces formed by timber and glass office partitions.

 

4.3.8           Office spaces (Levels 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 13, 14 and 15)

Each of these levels accommodates open plan office areas located around the north, east and west sides of the service core.  Open plan areas accommodate administrative functions and are generally used as office accommodation, subdivided by new glass partitions.

 

Services and utilitarian spaces have been refurbished, and in some instances relocated within the original core.  Ceilings and services have been replaced or adapted to suit the re-configured spaces.  Furniture identified as having heritage significance, such as a writing desk and associated furniture used by the Governor of the Commonwealth Bank in 1916, has been relocated to the museum area at Ground Floor level as part of the interpretative display of the Reserve Bank.

 

Office suites located in the northeast section of the building have been removed due to asbestos, although those located at Levels 4, 8, 9, 10, 13 and 14 remain.  En-suite lavatories do not meet current statutory access requirements and would require future adaptation for re-use.

 

Figure 31 – Example of ceiling, wall and floor finishes at Level 6 installed in 2016.

 

4.3.9           Levels 11 and 12

Levels 11 and 12 contain two significant spaces, namely the Boardroom (Level 11) and the Governor’s Suite (Level 12).  Both levels have been extensively refurbished since the RBA Head Office was opened in 1964.  Documentary evidence indicates the original ceilings and wall finishes were generally removed as part of the asbestos removal works carried out in the 1990s.  Works carried out in 2014 included the reconstruction of linen wall panels in the Boardroom and the reuse of original timber panelling to recover the architectural character of significant spaces.

 

Level 11

This level contains the executive area, including the Board Room, Dining Room, Reception and service areas.  The remainder (western section) of the floor contains meeting rooms, service areas and general office areas.  There has been a degree of compromise of original details by later refurbishment carried out to remove asbestos and for new services.

 

The executive suite generally, including the Board Room, is ranked as having ‘High’ heritage significance in this report and contains a significant Boardroom table and associated furniture designed by Fred Ward [31].

 

Level 12

This level contains the Governor’s suite, reception areas and executive suites.  There has been a degree of compromise of original details by later refurbishment carried out to remove asbestos and for new services.  Spaces within the executive level retain considerable significance and include original furniture and art works.

 

4.3.10       Level 16

The current configuration of spaces and finishes located at Level 16 generally date from 2002 or later. 

 

Level 16 was substantially adapted in 2002 when under-utilised spaces including two residential flats, service areas and a medical centre were removed.  Internal walls and finishes were removed although the Lift Lobby was generally retained in its original form.  Two new lifts, servicing Levels 16 to 20, were installed to the north of the original lifts.

 

The eastern section of Level 16 was adapted as a new staff cafeteria with kitchen facilities. 

 

Figure 32 - Level 16 lift lobby showing the original marble wall finishes.

Figure 33 - Level 16 service corridor, looking east to kitchen.

Figure 34 - Staff cafeteria fit out Level 16.

Figure 35 – Main east-west corridor located at Level 18 looking west.

 

4.3.11       Level 17, 18 and 19

These levels originally housed two squash courts and associated change rooms, together with extensive plant rooms.  The squash courts (Level 17) were removed in 2001 and a new slab poured in the void above the squash courts at Level 18, other gymnasium facilities have been relocated, and the area refurbished as additional office areas and staff facilities.  The plant room has been retained and occupies the whole of Level 18 (Figure 35).

 

An open observation gallery is located along the northern façade of Level 18.

 

4.3.12       Level 20

This level was designed primarily as a staff amenities area, and was accessible from one lift commencing from Level 16.  The floor is set back from the perimeter of the building under a cantilevered roof form. The mobile exterior maintenance cradle is located on this level.

 

The original configuration has been adapted and refurbished, and additional glazing installed in the perimeter of the building to increase natural light and take advantage of views to the north and east.  Two new passenger lifts were added in c2001 with the construction of the lift shaft serving Levels 16 to 20.

 

Figure 36 – Typical finishes to the office area located at the western section of Level 20.

Figure 37 - General view showing the concrete pavers and access equipment for servicing the exterior of the RBA building.

 

4.4                Previous modifications

The existing building fabric of the RBA Head Office building is in good condition, having been subject to an ongoing cyclical maintenance program since it was completed in 1964.  The Head Office building continues to generally demonstrate its identified Commonwealth Heritage values (CHL Place ID 105456) despite changes to its physical fabric[32].

 

The Reserve Bank Head Office building has undergone considerable change and modification to its original internal configuration and detail since 1975.  Despite the degree of change the building retains historic and associative heritage significance, and maintains its essential architectural character, especially in relation to its external appearance and contribution to the surrounding urban built environment.  The original architectural character is evident in public spaces and some spaces located at Levels 11 and 12.  These areas generally coincide with those areas that have greatest significance in terms of historic associations.  

 

Office configurations were altered as part of the 1970s addition and 1990s adaptation of the building to reflect operational changes within the bank and to provide open-plan offices and Commonwealth government office accommodation standards.  Modifications have not substantially affected the historic or associative significance of the Head Office. 

 

Substantial changes to the building were carried out following approvals granted in 1990 including the upgrading of offices and basement areas, removal of asbestos requiring the stripping of all internal finishes, upgrading of building services and fire protection facilities, new ceilings, lighting and carpets and the extensive restoration and re-cladding of the external facade of the building.[33]

 

Detailed records of all changes to the place are kept in the Bank’s archive together with extensive photographic records of each stage of the building’s development.  

 

Modifications to original building fabric and the internal planning of spaces since 2002 have been generally associated with changes to functional and operational requirements of the Reserve Bank of Australia, including:

 

-         eastern end of the ground floor was modified from a banking chamber to form the public exhibition area, c1991.

-         Upgrade of lift cars including finishes and emergency communications equipment, c2002.

-         Construction of two new passenger lifts from Levels 16 to 20, c2000.

-         The Staff Cafeteria and associated areas — level 16, modified c2000.

-         The Auditorium - level 3, removed c2000.

-         The Residential Flats — level 16, removed in c2000. (Previously included in CHL to demonstrate Criterion B.)

-         The two Squash Courts on levels 18 & 19, removed in c2000. (Previously included in CHL to demonstrate Criterion B.)

-         The staff recreation area on level 20, adapted c2000.

-         The firing range on level 18, removed 2000. (Previously included in CHL to demonstrate Criterion B.)

-         The archives research and storage areas on level 6, spaces adapted as office c2002.

-         Upgrading of non-compliant services throughout the building including data and communications equipment.

-         Adaptation of ground floor level including upgrading of reception desk, two chair platform lifts, security barriers and creation of museum and auditorium.

 

 


 

 

 

RBA-8

 

RBA-9

 

RBA-11

RBA-10

Figure 38 - Diagrams showing previous changes to the exterior of the RBA Head Office building, c2004.  Source: RBA Archives.

 

 

4.5                Archaeological Potential

The construction of the RBA Head Office building (1962-64) and subsequent addition (1975-79) required the demolition of earlier buildings and extensive excavation to facilitate the construction of three levels of basement accommodation.  Given the level of previous excavation the Reserve Bank of Australia site we conclude the site has no potential for the discovery of archaeological relics. This conclusion is consistent with the assessment contained in the Archaeological Zoning Plan for Central Sydney – 1992[34] prepared for the Council of the City of Sydney, which identifies the site as an ‘Area of No Archaeological Potential’. 

 

4.6                Significant Views

The Reserve Bank of Australia Head Office building has landmark qualities as a significant component of the eastern section of Martin Place.  The north elevation of the building forms the visual boundary of the public space, and is visible in limited oblique views along Macquarie and Phillip Streets.  The south elevation of the RBA building is partially visible in views looking northwards along Macquarie and Phillip Streets.

 

The RBA is visible in short-, medium- and long-distance views from Martin Place, Macquarie Street and limited views in Phillip Street.  The building, as part of the western side of Macquarie Street is visible in some long-distance views looking west from the Domain.

 

Figure 39 - View looking southeast from the corner of Elizabeth Street and Martin Place, July 2019.

Figure 40 - View of the northeast section of the RBA building from Macquarie Street, July 2019.

Figure 41 - View of the northwest section of the RBA building from the corner of Phillip Street and Martin Place.

Figure 42 - Looking north to the RBA building Marked by an arrow) from the entrance to Hyde Park Barrack site, July 2019.

 


 

5.0              Heritage Values

5.1                Commonwealth Heritage Criteria

Heritage significance, cultural significance and cultural value are all terms used to describe an item’s value or importance to our own society. This value may be contained in the fabric of an item, its setting and its relationship to other items, the response that the item stimulates to those who value it now and in the historical record that allow us to understand it in its own context.

 

Determining cultural value is the basis of all planning for places of historic significance.  Determination of significance permits informed decisions or future planning that ensures that the expressions of significance are retained, enhanced or at least minimally impacted upon.  A clear understanding of the nature and degree of significance will determine the parameters for flexibility of future planning and development.

 

The analysis of the historical and physical evidence provides the context for assessing significance, which is made by applying standard evaluation criteria to the development and associations of an item. 

 

A place has Commonwealth Heritage value if, and only if, the place meets one of the Commonwealth Heritage criteria prescribed under Section 341D of the Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act 1999.  The values embodied in the criteria generally relate to:

 

(a)     natural heritage values of places;

(b)     indigenous heritage values of places; and

(c)     historic heritage values of places.

 

A place is included on the Commonwealth Heritage List for demonstrating one or more of the following Commonwealth Heritage criteria:

 

Criterion (a)

(Processes)

The place has significant heritage value because of the place’s importance in the course, or pattern of Australia’s natural or cultural history.

Criterion (b)

(Rarity)

The place has significant heritage value because of the place’s possession of uncommon, rare or endangered aspects of Australia’s natural or cultural history.

Criterion (c)

(Historical values)

The place has significant heritage value because of the place’s potential to yield information that will contribute to an understanding of Australia’s natural or cultural history.

Criterion (d)

(Characteristic values)

The place has significant heritage value because of the place’s importance in demonstrating the principle characteristics of:

   (i)      a class of Australia’s natural or cultural places; or

 (ii)      a class of Australia’s natural or cultural environments.

Criterion (e)

(Aesthetic characteristics)

The place has significant heritage value because of a place’s importance in exhibiting particular aesthetic characteristics valued by a community or cultural group.

Criterion (f)

(Technical achievement)

The place has significant heritage value because of the place’s importance in demonstrating a high degree of creative or technical achievement at particular period.

Criterion (g)

(Social value)

The place has significant heritage value because of the place’s special association with a particular community or cultural group for social, cultural or spiritual reasons.

Criterion (h)

(Significant people)

The place has significant heritage value because of the place’s special association with the life or works of a person, or group of persons, of importance in Australia’s natural or cultural history.

Criterion (i)

(Indigenous tradition)

The place has significant heritage value because of the place’s importance as part of indigenous tradition.

 

5.1.1           Threshold for inclusion on the Commonwealth Heritage List

The threshold for inclusion on the Commonwealth Heritage List is importance or significance to the local community.  These places are significant within the context of a local area and may contribute to the individuality and streetscape, townscape, landscape or natural character of an area and are matters controlled by local government.

 

5.2                Methodology adopted for Assessing commonwealth Heritage Values

This study reviewed the official Commonwealth Heritage values contained in the Commonwealth Heritage List citation to confirm the values and monitor condition of the attributes described.  The process involved:

 

a)       visual inspection of the building fabric to monitor and confirm the heritage values and attributes;

b)       visual inspection to confirm changes to the building setting;

c)       review of relevant literature to identify other potential heritage values; and

d)       review of specialist reports[35] to determine the authenticity of building fabric and to confirm the sequence of development of the Reserve Bank of Australia head office building.

 

In addition to the process of monitoring and further research, consideration has also been given to determining the likely impacts to the official heritage values of the Reserve Bank of Australia Head Office building in the event of future additions, adaptation, or changes in use, form or detail.

 

5.3                Application of Commonwealth Heritage criteria

The following section sets out the application of the Commonwealth Heritage criteria to the Head Office, Sydney of the Reserve Bank of Australia.  A place has Commonwealth Heritage value if and only if the place meets one of the Commonwealth Heritage criteria prescribed under Section 341D of the Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation 2000 (EPBC Regulations 2000 Div 10.05 (10.03A) – Commonwealth Heritage criteria).  It amplifies the existing Commonwealth Heritage values identified for the Head Office of the Reserve Bank of Australia in its Commonwealth Heritage Listing (Appendix 11.2).

 

CRITERIA

OFFICIAL COMMONWEALTH VALUES

(Contained in CHL citation, ref Section 11.2)

COMMENTARY

Criterion (a)

The place has significant heritage value because of the place’s importance in the course, or pattern of Australia’s natural or cultural history.

The Reserve Bank building (1964) designed by the Commonwealth Department of Works, Bank and Special Project Section, is highly significant in the development of post World War II multi storey office buildings in Australia. The building's significance has been retained through a major extension (1974-1980), recladding (1993) and internal refitting. The Reserve Bank building is of historical significance in its ability to demonstrate the changing functions and role of the Reserve Bank of Australia, particularly that of the head office, since 1964. The International style of the building represents the post war cultural shift within the banking industry, away from the traditional architectural emphasis on strength and stability towards a more contemporary and international style.

 

The two foyer art works are of historical and aesthetic significance. The artworks by Bim Hilder and Margel Hinder are significant examples of Australian modernist sculpture of this period by two significant artists, who were selected as the winners of design competitions by the Reserve Bank. The furnishings by Fred Ward are of historical and aesthetic significance. Designed for the building by Ward, who was one of the leaders in modern Australian industrial design at this time, the furnishings are of a simple and functional design which are now considered to be pieces of art in themselves.

 

When constructed elements of the mechanical and electrical services within the building were considered advanced and innovative, and although many elements have been removed or substantially altered, their incorporation in the building is still of interest today, this included the fire sprinkler system, smoke detectors and fire alarms; interior and signage lighting; and air conditioning.

 

The provision of two residential flats, for use by visitors to the bank; squash courts; and firing range were relatively uncommon for the time (all removed 2001). The two doors to the main strongroom were at the time of construction the largest and most technically advanced in the southern hemisphere.

 

Attributes

Original and subsequent fabric that demonstrates continuity of use by the Reserve Bank.

 

These official Commonwealth heritage values have been confirmed.  Fabric identified as having heritage significance has been retained and conserved in keeping with the Heritage Management Plan for the place and best-practice guidelines.

 

Criterion (b)

The place has significant heritage value because of the place’s possession of uncommon, rare or endangered aspects of Australia’s natural or cultural history.

When constructed elements of the mechanical and electrical services within the building were considered advanced and innovative, and although many elements have been removed or substantially altered, their incorporation in the building is still of interest today, this included the fire sprinkler system, smoke detectors and fire alarms; interior and signage lighting; and air-conditioning.

 

The provision of two residential flats, for use by visitors to the bank; squash courts; and firing range were relatively uncommon for the time (all removed 2001).

 

Attributes

Remnant evidence of original services, and remnant evidence of the former residential flats.

 

 

The building was extended in the 1970s and subsequently adapted to enable the Reserve Bank to maintain the building as its Head office.  The adaptation of the building in c2001 included the removal of two apartments, squash courts and a firing range.  Works were carried out with approval under the EPBC Act to enable the Reserve Bank to consolidate banking and office operations on the site.

 

Mechanical and electrical services have been replaced at the end of their operational life or to address statutory requirements in order to assist the Reserve Bank to carry out its function as maintain the building as its head office.

 

Criterion (c)

The place has significant heritage value because of the place’s potential to yield information that will contribute to an understanding of Australia’s natural or cultural history.

Not listed for demonstrating Criterion C

 

Not applicable

Criterion (d)

The place has significant heritage value because of the place’s importance in demonstrating the principle characteristics of:

(i)          a class of Australia’s natural or cultural places; or

(ii)     a class of Australia’s natural or cultural environments.

The Reserve Bank building (1964) designed by the Commonwealth Department of Works, Bank and Special Project Section, is highly significant in the development of post World War II multi storey office buildings in Australia. It is a significant example of a 1960s office building notable as being a well-designed example of the International style; its construction using high quality Australian materials; steel and concrete construction; and interior design details and artworks. The building's significance has been retained through a major extension (1974-1980), recladding (1993) and internal refitting.

 

Attributes

The architectural attributes that demonstrate the International Style.

 

These official Commonwealth heritage values have been confirmed.  Ground floor window frames were strengthened without any visible internal or external change.  The works maintained the existing appearance of the building and internal detailing.

 

Criterion (e)

The place has significant heritage value because of a place’s importance in exhibiting particular aesthetic characteristics valued by a community or cultural group.

Through its prestigious design and function as Australia's central bank, the building makes an important contribution to the streetscape and character of Martin Place, Macquarie Street and Phillip Street.

 

Attributes

The multi-storey form and the quality of external finishes to the building.

 

These official Commonwealth heritage values have been confirmed. 

 

Recent works carried out to the setting of the building include the replacement of plants in the corner garden with a positive impact on the presentation of the building within Macquarie Street and Martin Place.

 

Criterion (f)

The place has significant heritage value because of the place’s importance in demonstrating a high degree of creative or technical achievement at particular period.

The Reserve Bank building is highly significant in the development of post World War II multi storey office buildings in Australia for its use of high quality Australian materials; steel and concrete construction; and interior design details and artworks.

 

The furnishings by Fred Ward are of historical and aesthetic significance. Designed for the building by Ward, who was one of the leaders in modern Australian industrial design at this time, the furnishings are of a simple and functional design which are now considered to be pieces of art in themselves.

 

The variety of moveable heritage items located throughout the building including furniture, china, flat wear, silverware, napery and accessories, pottery, tapestry and artworks are significant having been specifically designed or purchased for the building as well as being of artistic merit in their own right.

 

When constructed elements of the mechanical and electrical services within the building were considered advanced and innovative, and although many elements have been removed or substantially altered, their incorporation in the building is still of interest today, this included the fire sprinkler system, smoke detectors and fire alarms; interior and signage lighting; and air-conditioning.

 

The two doors to the main strongroom were at the time of construction the largest and most technically advanced in the southern hemisphere.

 

Attributes

Technical aspects of its construction, mechanical and electrical services and strongroom doors, all furnishings and the moveable objects of design listed above.

 

These official Commonwealth heritage values have been confirmed.  The Bank has included information on its website showing the construction of the steel-framed building.  The website and RBA museum include information on the history of the building, its furnishings, artworks and moveable heritage objects to promote the building to the public.

 

 

Significant heritage furniture, including Fred Ward furniture is regularly inspected and conserved consistent with best-practice guidelines.

 

Criterion (g)

The place has significant heritage value because of the place’s special association with a particular community or cultural group for social, cultural or spiritual reasons.

The building has social significance being regarded by the Australian community as the home of the Reserve Bank function and the place where significant economic policy is carried out on behalf of the Nation.

 

Attributes

Continued use of the building by the Reserve Bank for the above purpose.

 

These official Commonwealth heritage values have been confirmed.  The Reserve Bank of Australia continues to occupy the building as its Head Office.

 

Criterion (h)

The place has significant heritage value because of the place’s special association with the life or works of a person, or group of persons, of importance in Australia’s natural or cultural history.

The artworks by Bim Hilder and Margel Hinder are significant examples of Australian modernist sculpture of this period by two significant artists, who were selected as the winners of design competitions by the Reserve Bank. The furnishings by Fred Ward are of historical and aesthetic significance. Designed for the building by Ward, who was one of the leaders in modern Australian industrial design at this time, the furnishings are of a simple and functional design which are now considered to be pieces of art in themselves.

 

The Reserve Bank head office building is associated with successive governors of the Reserve Bank: Dr. H. C. Coombs; J.G. Phillips (KBE); H.M. Knight (KBE DSC); R.A. Johnston (AC); B.W. Fraser and I.J. Macfarlane. The building is also associated with personnel of the Commonwealth Department of Works, Banks and Special Projects branch, responsible for the building's design in particular: C. McGrowther; Professor H. I Ashworth; C.D. Osborne; R.M. Ure; F.C. Crocker; G. A. Rowe; as well as E.A. Watts (builders for both stages of construction) and Frederick Ward (furniture designer).

 

Attributes

The artworks of Bim and Margel Hinder, evidence of use by successive Governors of the Reserve Bank, and remaining Fred Ward furniture.

 

These official Commonwealth heritage values have been confirmed.  Artworks, both internal and external have been retained and conserved.  The RBA engages in-house specialists and, where appropriate, engages external consultants to provide advice and specialist conservation services.

 

The Bank maintains an inventory of heritage furniture including all surviving furniture designed by Fred Ward, and guidelines for the treatment and storage of furniture.  Specialist advice is sought to ensure works to furniture are consistent with best-practice guidelines. 

 

 

Criterion (i)

The place has significant heritage value because of the place’s importance as part of indigenous tradition.

Not listed for demonstrating Criterion (i).

Not applicable.

 

5.4                Statement of Significance

The following Statement of Significance contained in the Australian Heritage Database is accepted as the official statement of significance for the Reserve Bank of Australia Head Office  and its site:

 

The Reserve Bank building (1964) designed by the Commonwealth Department of Works, Bank and Special Project Section, is highly significant in the development of post World War II multi storey office buildings in Australia. It is a significant example of a 1960s office building notable as being a well-designed example of the International style; its construction using high quality Australian materials; steel and concrete construction; and interior design details and artworks. The building's significance has been retained through a major extension (1974-1980), recladding (1993) and internal refitting (Criteria A.4, D.2 & F.1).

 

The Reserve Bank building is of historical significance in its ability to demonstrate the changing functions and role of the Reserve Bank of Australia, particularly that of the head office, since 1964.
The International style of the building represents the post war cultural shift within the banking industry, away from the traditional architectural emphasis on strength and stability towards a more contemporary and international style (Criterion A.4).

 

Through its prestigious design and function as Australia's central bank, the building makes an important contribution to the streetscape and character of Martin Place, Macquarie Street and Phillip Street (Criterion E.1).

 

The two foyer art works are of historical and aesthetic significance. The artworks by Bim Hilder and Margel Hinder are significant examples of Australian modernist sculpture of this period by two significant artists, who were selected as the winners of design competitions by the Reserve Bank. The furnishings by Fred Ward are of historical and aesthetic significance. Designed for the building by Ward, who was one of the leaders in modern Australian industrial design at this time, the furnishings are of a simple and functional design which are now considered to be pieces of art in themselves (Criteria A.4, F. 1 & H.1).

 

The variety of moveable heritage items located throughout the building including furniture, china, flat wear, silverware, napery and accessories, pottery, tapestry and artworks are significant having been specifically designed or purchased for the building as well as being of artistic merit in their own right (Criterion F.1).

 

When constructed elements of the mechanical and electrical services within the building were considered advanced and innovative, and although many elements have been removed or substantially altered, their incorporation in the building is still of interest today, this included the fire sprinkler system, smoke detectors and fire alarms; interior and signage lighting; and air-conditioning.

 

The provision of two residential flats, for use by visitors to the bank; squash courts; and firing range were relatively uncommon for the time (all removed 2001). The two doors to the main strongroom were at the time of construction the largest and most technically advanced in the southern hemisphere (Criteria A.4, B.2 & F.1).

 

The Reserve Bank head office building is associated with successive governors of the Reserve Bank: Dr. H. C. Coombs; J.G. Phillips (KBE); H.M. Knight (KBE DSC); R.A. Johnston (AC); B.W. Fraser and I.J. Macfarlane. The building is also associated with personnel of the Commonwealth Department of Works, Banks and Special Projects branch, responsible for the building's design in particular: C. McGrowther; Profesor (sic) H. I Ashworth; C.D. Osborne; R.M. Ure; F.C. Crocker; G. A. Rowe; as well as E.A. Watts (builders for both stages of construction) and Frederick Ward (furniture designer) (Criterion H.1).

 

The building has social significance being regarded by the Australian community as the home of the Reserve Bank function and the place where significant economic policy is carried out on behalf of the Nation (Criterion G.1).

 

5.5                Identified National Historical Themes

The Head Office Martin Place demonstrates a number of historic themes formulated by the Australian Heritage Council (formerly the Australian Heritage Commission), as listed below:

 

Identified National Theme

Demonstrated by:

Developing local, regional and national economies

-         Financing Australia

-         Raising capital

-         Banking and lending

 

 

 

The Head Office building is physical evidence of the separation of the Reserve Bank of Australia, the development of the Australian economy generally, and its place in a global context.

The Museum located within the ground floor of the Head Office building includes text and object to interpret and inform the general public in relation to these functions.

 

Working

-         Working in Offices

 

 

The existing internal configuration of the building is evidence of this theme despite the adaptation or a number of internal areas.  The original internal planning demonstrated the integration of work areas, staff training and recreational facilities within a major organisation.

 

The original configuration of the building is documented in architectural drawings and publications contemporary with the opening of the Head Office in 1964.

 

Developing Australia’s Cultural Life

-         Pursuing excellence in the arts and sciences

 

 

The Head Office contains fine examples of artworks especially commissioned for the building.  The works were executed following national competitions and are exemplars of their kind, including sculptural works, integral with the building setting and finishes, by:                Margel Hinder

Bim Hilder

 

-         Designing and building fine buildings

 

The surviving original fabric of the Head Office, both exterior and internal, is physical evidence of the architectural work of the Commonwealth Department of Works. Banks and Special Projects Branch, and is an excellent example of the Late Twentieth-Century International style in Sydney.

 

The building contains materials and finishes commensurate with an important public building, and the original internal layout of the building reflected contemporary architectural planning in the early 1960s.

 

The garden located adjacent to the Macquarie Street boundary, originally designed by Malcolm Munroe, is an important element in the setting of the Head Office. 

 

5.6                Significance of Elements

The following ranking of significant fabric and spaces is included to assist Reserve Bank of Australia staff to understand building fabric and to implement this management plan: this significance ranking does not have statutory authority.

 

The management framework below is an internal management tool only.  The conservation of all gazetted Commonwealth heritage values is required and must remain a priority.  This section should not be interpreted as an attempt to grade the Commonwealth heritage vales by order of significance as they all require conservation under the EPBC Act.

 

In accordance with The Conservation Plan by Dr James Semple Kerr, the significance of the various component elements of the place has been assessed against the criteria in Section 5.4 of this report, and ranked for the purpose of enabling decisions on the future conservation and development of the place to be based on an understanding of its significance.  These assessments are made without regard to the practical considerations that must subsequently be considered when formulating policies.  The schedules below identify components that contribute to the overall significance of the Head Office of the Reserve Bank of Australia and its setting, in one of the following relative grades:

-         Exceptional

-         High

-         Moderate

-         Little

-         Intrusive

 

Some elements (including but not limited to those noted below) have been fully degraded by adaptation, and may require restoration or reconstruction to recover their full significance.  The categories should be read in the context of the overall cultural heritage significance of the Head Office, Martin Place.

 

5.6.1           Exceptional Significance

This category includes spaces and fabric with a high degree of intactness that can be easily interpreted, are worthy of inclusion on any register of buildings of significance.

 

The RBA head office building has heritage significance which has been identified and recognised by various groups and authorities.  Detailed inspection of the building has identified particular aspects of the place and a number of specific areas of the building and its surviving interior fitouts which have particular levels of Cultural Heritage Significance deserving recognition in this conservation plan.  The aspects and areas considered to have particular significance are as follows:

 

Building fabric and components in this category includes:

The Integrated Art Works

The integrated art works originally commissioned for the Bank are an important and significant element in the design of the ground level public spaces where the building is approached by pedestrians. The significance relates to:

-         The level of integration of the art works.

-         The strong forms that complement the civic qualities of the building and its site.

-         The quality of the pieces as works of art in their own right.

 

The 11th Floor general fitout and furniture

The 11th Floor executive area is one of a number of significant sequences of spaces which, though modified has some historic value as part of the original design and value for the surviving original fabric and fittings. The area includes Executive Dining Rooms, Conference Rooms, Board Members Lounge, Office of Senior Board Officer, waiting areas, Board Dining Room and kitchens.  Of particular significance are:

-         The surviving pieces of furniture made especially for the building to be found in rooms throughout this area and including tables, chairs, credenzas, serving tables etc.[36]

-         The set of Art Deco style Cedar furniture in the central conference room comprising an oval table and 14 chairs with a circular side table, which came from the Commonwealth Bank at the time of separation.

-         The suite of furniture custom-built for the Governor of the Commonwealth Bank in 1916.

-         The surviving leather-covered full height doors, stainless steel hardware and timber frames.

 

20120702170936_00001

Figure 43 - View of the custom-built furniture located in the Governor's Office of the Head Office of the Commonwealth Banking Corporation of Australia, 1916.

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Figure 44 - The original furniture has been relocated from the RBA Archives Unit to the Museum.

 

 

The 12th Floor fitout

The northeast corner office suite on the 12th floor remains partially intact despite the extensive refitting and replacement of ceilings and lighting, and includes some furniture commissioned for the original executive spaces (1964) including:

-         The Governor’s suite (office, kitchenette, lavatory, meeting room).

 

The External Form and Detail of the Building

The building’s overall external design, including the later modifications, is a highly significant aspect of the overall significance of the place.  The significance relates to:

-         The scale and proportion of the building and its component parts.

-         The use of materials (stone, glass, aluminium) and juxtaposition of details and elements.

-         The articulation of the podium and tower.

-         The clean roof line and its free-standing character in this part of the city.

 

The Ground Floor Public Spaces

-         Anodised aluminium ceiling.

-         Marble finishes to walls and wall decorations.

-         The incised lettering setting out the objectives of the Bank

-         Bank counter and writing desks.

 

Spaces in this category include:

The Ground Floor Public Spaces

The entrance terrace, main foyer and public spaces are particularly well resolved pieces of design and are the public interface of the building with the city.  The significance of the spaces relates to:

-         The linear form along the principal street frontage.

-         The quality of the spatial character being defined by a two-storey volume with its glazed wall to the north and modulated by changes in the floor levels between the central entry and the chambers at either end.

-         The character of the spaces created by the use of quality materials and integrated art works.

-         The ceiling panel design.

-         The marble wall finishes.

 

2012 04 05 002

Figure 45 - General view of the Banking Chamber located at the ground floor level of the Head Office building.

Figure 46 - View of the ground floor lobby showing security barriers installed c2015. (Source: Sydney Living Museums, 2019)

 

The Reserve Bank of Australia Board Room

The Reserve Bank Board Room is one of the most significant spaces in the building representing the executive functions of National monetary policy. The significance of the room lies both in its historic associations and in its location in the overall plan and surviving physical fabric and furnishings including:

-         The Board Table.

-         The white marble floor finish.

-         The leather clad full height doors.

 

Building fabric and components of the Board Room that have been altered include the carpet, door furniture, wall linings, the ceiling and lighting system.

 

Views and vistas in this category include:

The building is an important part of the presentation of Martin Place and Macquarie Street and in views along both streets

The RBA Head Office building defines the south edge of the eastern section of Martin Place. The significance relates to:

-         The building’s presentation to Martin Place and views looking eastwards from Castlereagh Street, near the northwest corner of Martin Place.

-         The quality of the facade designs and use of high- quality materials.

-         The setback of the tower above the podium.

 

5.6.2           High Significance

This category comprises items retaining a high degree of original fabric.  The item will demonstrate a key element of its significance, and may include alterations that do not detract from the significance of the place.

 

Building fabric and components in this category includes:

Moveable Heritage furniture

Throughout the building are located a variety of moveable objects with significance for the original and subsequent character of the place.  Heritage furniture is managed by RBA Workplace[37], while artworks, museum collection and other specialist collections are maintained by in-house specialist Curators.

-         The set of 1930s style ‘Chippendale Revival’ office furniture comprising a desk, credenza, table and chairs which came from the Commonwealth Bank at the time of separation.

 

Spaces in this category include:

The Strong Room doors and wall construction

Located in the building’s extensive basements are the strongrooms originally used for the storage of bullion and cash. These areas have some degree of technical significance for their innovative use of concrete and metal sheet to create an impenetrable surround for the strong rooms. The metal strong room doors were identified at the time as being significant for their size and sophistication.

 

Views and vistas in this category include:

It contributes to the varied character of the western side of Macquarie Street.

The significance relates to:

-         The quality of the facade designs and use of high- quality materials.

-         The setback of the tower above the podium.

 

5.6.3           Moderate Significance

Elements in this category have little heritage value, but contribute to the overall significance of the item.  Altered or modified elements may be included.

 

Building fabric and components in this category includes:

Lavatory fitouts dating from 1970 or later, unless otherwise noted.

-         Including cubicle partitions, water closest, hand basins, taps, spouts, paper towel dispensers, hand driers, vanity units, shelving, mirrors, floor finishes.

Floor finishes

-         Timber parquet floors installed in 1964.

-         Stone floor finishes in public spaces not mentioned elsewhere in section 5.6 of this report.

 

Spaces in this category include:

Typical Office suites

-         The Assistant Governor’s suites located at levels 4, 8, 9, 10 ,13 and 14.

 

Typical Lift Lobbies and Core areas

The typical floor lift lobbies and core areas, including fire stairs, are parts of the original design which despite some change and reconstruction in the major refurbishment remain intact in terms of their general form and detail. The significance of these areas lies in:

-         The character of the lobbies created by the marble wall cladding and stainless-steel lift reveals and parquet or stone floor finishes dating from 1964.  The use of Australian Native timber panelling for feature walls.

-         The use of terrazzo flooring and wrought iron balustrades with vinyl clad railings to the interconnecting stairs.

-         The Deputy Governor’s suite.

 

Views and vistas in this category include:

There are no views or vistas in this category.

 

2012 04 05 013 straightened

Figure 47 - Typical office level lift lobby showing original (1964) marble wall finishes and timber wall panelling.  The original ceiling was replaced c2000.

 

5.6.4           Little Significance

This category comprises most of the additions and alterations made to accommodate changing requirements, where these are expedient and of marginal intrinsic worth.  Their impact on the significance of the Head Office building ranges from neutral to tolerably adverse. 

 

Building fabric and components in this category includes:

-         Kitchen fitouts, including sinks, splashbacks, cupboards, cooking equipment, taps and spouts, wall finishes and floor finishes.

-         Ground floor reception area security gates, c2002.

-         Fabric dating from 1970 or later unless elsewhere noted, including suspended acoustic ceiling tiles located in open plan-office areas.

-         Glass balustrade located adjacent to the sculpture by Margel Hinder in Martin Place to comply with BCA.

-         Carpet finishes, resilient floor finishes, terrazzo floors, timber parquet floors installed as part of the 1970s upgrade works or later.

 

Spaces in this category include:

-         Spaces dating from 1970 or later, unless otherwise noted.

 

Views and vistas in this category include:

-         There are no views or vistas in this category.

 

5.6.5           Intrusive Elements

This category comprises those alterations and additions that positively detract from the significance of the Head Office of the Reserve Bank of Australia, and includes fabric that in both materials and workmanship poorly emulates the original.

 

Building fabric and components in this category includes:

There is no fabric in this category.

 

Spaces in this category include:

There are no spaces in this category.

 

Views and vistas in this category include:

There are no views or vistas in this category.

 

5.7                Curtilage

The heritage curtilage of a place is the extent of the surrounding area which contributes to its heritage significance[38]

 

The most common type of heritage curtilage coincides with the lot or legal boundary of the property containing the heritage item, or items.  The Lot Boundary Heritage Curtilage applies to the Reserve Bank of Australia Head Office building and includes the building footprint together with the open area below the podium to the north and east  of the ground floor level, facing Martin Place and Macquarie Street (refer to Figure 1Figure 1 and Figure 2Figure 2).

 

The RBA is one of a cohesive group of buildings with a consistent street wall forming the eastern section of Martin Place.  It occupies a prominent corner site, linking the commercial buildings of the Central Business District with the nineteenth and early twentieth century public buildings situated on the eastern side of Macquarie Street.  The Reserve Bank has maintained its principal entrance as part of its north façade, despite pedestrianisation and other changes to Martin Place and is a significant feature in views from Martin Place and Macquarie Street.

 

Figure 48 - Plan showing the extent of the Reserve Bank of Australia Head Office building in relation to Martin Place and surrounding buildings.  Source: ARCHITECTUS, February 2020.

 


 

6.0              Heritage Legislation and Management Framework

6.1                Legislative Framework Generally

The Reserve Bank of Australia, as a Commonwealth Government agency, is subject to Commonwealth legislation.  The Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act 1999 is the primary heritage legislation addressed in the management of the Reserve Bank of Australia Head office building, located at 65 Martin Place Sydney. 

 

The Reserve Bank is not required to seek approvals from either Local or State authorities.  Nevertheless, general consultation is pursued by the Bank to inform local authorities of major works proposed for the place.  The Bank endeavours to comply with relevant State environmental legislation where it does not conflict with Commonwealth legislation.

 

6.2                Relevant Commonwealth Legislation

6.2.1           Reserve Bank Act 1959 (Cwlth)

The Reserve Bank of Australia is a statutory authority and functions in accordance with the Reserve Bank Act 1959 and other applicable Acts[39].  The functions of the Bank are set out in Sect 10 of the Act:

(1) Subject to this Part, the Reserve Bank Board has power to determine the policy of the Bank in relation to any matter, other than its payments system policy, and to take such action as is necessary to ensure that effect is given by the Bank to the policy so determined.

 

(2) It is the duty of the Reserve Bank Board, within the limits of its powers, to ensure that the monetary and banking policy of the Bank is directed to the greatest advantage of the people of Australia and that the powers of the Bank under this Act and any other Act, other than the Payment Systems (Regulation) Act 1998, the Payment Systems and Netting Act 1998 and Part 7.3 of the Corporations Act 2001, are exercised in such a manner as, in the opinion of the Reserve Bank Board, will best contribute to:

(a) the stability of the currency of Australia;

(b) the maintenance of full employment in Australia; and

(c) the economic prosperity and welfare of the people of Australia.

 

Section 74(1) of the Reserve Bank Act requires:

‘…The head office of the Bank shall be at Sydney in the State of New South Wales.’

 

The continued use of the existing head office building to carry out its legal functions under the Reserve Bank Act is compatible with the continued use of the RBA Head office as a Commonwealth heritage place.  The existing building can continue to be adapted to enable the Reserve Bank to carry out its legal functions subject to likely impacts on the demonstrated heritage values of the place. 

 

6.2.2           Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act 1999 (Cwlth)

The Reserve Bank of Australia Head Office building is owned and controlled by the Commonwealth and is subject to the provisions of the Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act 1999 (EPBC Act) and the Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Regulations 2000 (EPBC Regs).

 

The Reserve Bank of Australia Head Office is, as an Australian government agency, required to identify and protect Commonwealth heritage values of properties its ownership.  The RBA Head Office building is included on the Commonwealth Heritage List for demonstrating Commonwealth heritage values, and is obliged under S341ZC of the EPBC Act to ‘…minimise adverse impact on identified Commonwealth Heritage values of the place.  Changes to the RBA Head office building  must also take into consideration potential impacts on other Commonwealth Heritage places or National Heritage places.

 

6.2.3           Commonwealth Heritage Management Principles

Schedules 5B and 7B of the Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Regulations 2000 (Cwlth) set out Commonwealth Heritage management principles. They encourage the identification of a place’s heritage values and their conservation and presentation through the application of the best available skills and knowledge. They also encourage community (including Indigenous community) involvement and co-operation between the various levels of government.

 

Under Section 341Z of this legislation, the Reserve Bank of Australia is obliged to manage the heritage significance of the place consistent with Commonwealth Heritage management principles, to advise and seek approval from the Minister prior to any changes being made to the place, change of use or divestment of the property by the Reserve Bank of Australia.  This Heritage Management Plan has been prepared to address the management of the place by made under section 341S of the EPBC Act

 

The Reserve Bank of Australia as owner of 65 Martin Place Sydney NSW 2000, ‘the place', is also obliged under the EPBC Act to undertake the following:

 

                                 i.            Assist the Minister and the Australian Heritage Council in the identification, assessment and monitoring of the place’s Commonwealth heritage values (Section 341Z);

                                ii.            Prepare a Heritage Strategy for managing the places it owns or controls to protect and conserve their Commonwealth heritage values, submit a copy to the Minister and periodically review the Strategy (Section 341ZA);

                              iii.            Produce a register that sets out the Commonwealth Heritage values of the place and submit a written report to the Minister (Section 341ZB);

                              iv.            Minimise adverse impact on identified Commonwealth Heritage values of the place (Section 341ZC); and

                               v.            Ensure the Commonwealth Heritage values of the place are protected in the event of the RBA Head office being sold or leased (Section 341ZE).

 

Heritage Management Plans for Commonwealth Heritage listed places are legislative instruments for the purposes of the Legislation Act 2003.  Under section 341S of the EPBC Act, the Reserve Bank of Australia is responsible for registering the HMP as a legislative instrument on the Federal Register of Legislation to be compliant with its obligations under the Act.

 

6.2.4           Approval process

The Consent Authority for works to the building is the Department of Environment and Energy under the Environmental Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act 1999 (EPBC Act 1999).  The Reserve Bank, as a Commonwealth agency must not take an action that has, will have, or is likely to have an adverse impact on Commonwealth Heritage values of a Commonwealth Heritage place unless there is no feasible and prudent alternative and action is taken to mitigate the impacts[40].

 

Actions on, or impacting on, Commonwealth land, and actions undertaken by Commonwealth agencies, are subject to the requirements of the EPBC Act. Under the Act, actions on Commonwealth land or undertaken by a Commonwealth agency should be self-assessed to determine if they are likely to have a significant impact on the environment, the definition of which includes heritage values of places.

 

The process of self-assessment outlined in the Significant Impact Guidelines 1.2 (Department of Sustainability, Environment, Water, Population and Communities 2013) will be followed by the RBA or a heritage specialist before any proposed actions are undertaken.  This will assist the Bank in deciding whether or not the action is likely to have a significant impact on the environment.

 

It is the Bank’s responsibility as the person undertaking an action to consider the extent of impacts on the environment, including heritage values. If the impacts are likely to be significant, or if the Bank is unsure, the action will be referred to the Department of the Environment and Energy.  Only a referral decision from the Department of the Environment and Energy constitutes legal approval under the EPBC Act.  If an action is referred, the Minister for the Environment will decide whether it is likely to have significant impact on the environment and whether approval is therefore required under the EPBC Act. If the Minister decides that the action is likely to have a significant impact, it will be deemed a controlled action and be subject to the EPBC Act assessment and approval process.  Controlled actions are defined as:

 

A proposed action that is likely to have a significant impact on: a matter of national environmental significance; the environment of Commonwealth land (even if taken outside Commonwealth land); or the environment anywhere in the world (if the action is undertaken by the Commonwealth).[41]

 

The Bank will document all decisions and reasoning made during the self-assessment process, whether or not it decides to refer any proposed actions. The Bank will contact the Heritage Branch at the Department of the Environment and Energy (heritage@environment.gov.au ) for information or to seek comments on self-assessment for proposed actions. Where possible, it will provide self-assessment documentation to the Department for their records as part of best practice heritage management.

 

The Bank has plans to undertake refurbishment of its Head Office Building in Sydney. These works will be self-assessed prior to them being carried out to determine if they are likely to have a significant impact on the environment on Commonwealth land, the definition of which includes heritage values of places.

 

6.2.5           Assessments of Heritage Impact

The Reserve Bank of Australia will undertake building approvals in a manner consistent with its approved Heritage Strategy.  In all instances, that is major, medium or minor works, the Workplace Department will undertake a self-assessment to determine the likely impact of any proposed works on the Commonwealth Heritage values identified for heritage places. or Specialist heritage advice will be sought where there is uncertainty about the likely impacts of proposed works. The RBA classifies projects as follows:

 

Major Capital Works

Major capital works are classified by the Parliamentary Standing Committee of Public Works (the Public Works Committee) as projects with an estimated value of over $15 million and must be submitted to the Public Works Committee (PWC). All major capital works are listed on the PWC’s website and interested persons and organisations are invited to make submissions. The PWC report is available to the public following tabling of the matter in Parliament.

 

Medium Works

Building projects undertaken by the Bank, as an Australian Commonwealth agency, having an estimated cost of between $2 million and $15 million (excluding GST) are classified by the Public Works Committee as ‘medium works’. The Bank is required to notify the Public Works Committee of such works prior to the calling of tenders to undertake those works.

 

Minor Works

Minor repairs and maintenance works are regularly undertaken as part of the cyclical maintenance program implemented by the Bank. Decisions regarding works and repairs are guided by and consistent with the policies and recommendations contained in the Heritage Management Plan specific to each Commonwealth Heritage listed place.

 

In all instances, that is major, medium or minor works, the Workplace Department will undertake a self-assessment to determine the likely impact of any proposed works on the Commonwealth Heritage values identified for heritage places or refer the proposal to an independent Heritage Specialist for an assessment.

 

The EPBC Act does not define major and minor works. In undertaking a self-assessment of any works, the Department of the Environment and Energy recommends considering if the works are likely to:

 

                                 i.            permanently destroy, remove or substantially alter the fabric (physical material including structural elements and other components, fixtures, contents, and objects) of a heritage place

                                ii.            involve extension, renovation, or substantial alteration of a heritage place in a manner which is inconsistent with the heritage values of the place

                              iii.            involve the erection of buildings or other structures adjacent to, or within important sight lines of, a heritage place which are inconsistent with the heritage values of the place

                              iv.            substantially diminish the heritage value of a heritage place for a community or group for which it is significant

                               v.            substantially alter the setting of a heritage place in a manner which is inconsistent with the heritage values of the place, or

                              vi.            substantially restrict or inhibit the existing use of a heritage place as a cultural site?

 

A copy of the assessment is to be retained as part of the maintenance file for the specific place. The EPBC Act sets out significant penalties for actions that have a significant impact on Commonwealth or National Heritage values of a place.

 

6.2.6           Self-Assessment Process

The RBA is responsible for carrying out works to conserve, maintain and improve the amenity and quality of its building and site, and has obligations to minimise any adverse impact on heritage values including, but not limited to, the ongoing conservation management and maintenance of the main building’s facade, public spaces, integral artworks, and bespoke furniture designed by Fred Ward.

 

The EPBC Act requires the RBA to undertake a ‘self-assessment’ to determine if any proposed works are likely to have an adverse or significant impact on the Commonwealth Heritage values of the place.  Under S341ZC of the EPBC Act, the RBA is obliged to ensure that it does not take any action that is likely to have an adverse impact on the identified Commonwealth heritage values of the Head Office building, unless:

 

-         there is no feasible or prudent alternative to taking that action; and

-         all measures that can be reasonably taken to mitigate the impact of the action on those values are taken.

 

The self-assessment process is summarised in Figure 49.  The Department provides advice on self-assessments in its document titled Actions on, or impacting upon, Commonwealth land, and actions by Commonwealth agencies: Significant impact guidelines 1.2[42].

 

Figure 49 - Diagram summarising the self-assessment process.  Source: Department of the Environment and Energy, https://www.environment.gov.au

 

6.2.7           Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Heritage Protection Act 1984 (Cwlth)

The Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Heritage Protection Act 1984 protects areas and/or objects which are of significance to Aboriginal people and which are under threat of destruction. The Act can, in certain circumstances override state and territory provisions, or it can be implemented in circumstances where state or territory provisions are lacking or are not enforced. A significant area or object is defined as one that is of particular importance to Aboriginal people according to Aboriginal tradition. The Act must be invoked by or on behalf of an Aboriginal or Torres Strait Islander or organisation.

 

The Act is not relevant to this study as there are no identified Aboriginal heritage values associated with the site of the Reserve Bank of Australia Head Office building.

 

6.3                Heritage Protection in New South Wales

6.3.1           Heritage Act 1977

The Heritage Act 1977 provides for the protection of heritage items identified as being of State heritage significance.  These items are listed on the NSW State Heritage Register (SHR) as required under s31 of the Heritage Act 1977.

 

The Heritage Council of NSW, or its delegated authority, is the consent authority for applications to alter items listed on the NSW SHR, made under Section 60 of the Heritage Act 1977.  

 

The Reserve Bank of Australia Head Office, located at 65 Martin Place Sydney, is not included on the State Heritage Register.

 

6.3.2           Environmental Planning and Assessment Act 1979

The City of Sydney Council is the consent authority for applications to alter items listed on Heritage Obligations under the Sydney Local Environmental Plan 2012 (LEP).  The LEP provides the statutory basis for the conservation and control of development and other activities that may affect the heritage value of a place. 

 

The Reserve Bank is identified as a heritage item on Schedule 5 attached to Sydney Local Environmental Plan 2012 and is protected under the Environmental Planning and Assessment Act 1979.  The Reserve Bank of Australia Head Office building is located on land under the control of the Commonwealth and, as such, NSW legislation does not legally apply to this site. 

 

The Bank endeavours to comply with relevant State environmental legislation where it does not conflict with Commonwealth legislation, and will engage in general consultation with local authorities in relation to major works proposed for the place. 

 

6.4                Non-statutory Heritage Listings

6.4.1           National Trust of Australia (NSW)

The Reserve Bank of Australia Head Office building is classified as an item of heritage by the National Trust of Australia (NSW).  Listing by the National Trust does not impose any statutory requirements on the building or its’ Owner.  Places and items classified by the National Trust of Australia (NSW) and listed in the Register are ‘…components of the natural or cultural environment of Australia that have aesthetic, historic, scientific or social significance or other special value for future generations, as well as for the present community’.

 

The purpose of the National Trust Register is to alert responsible authorities, property owners and the public so that those concerned may adopt measures to preserve the special qualities that prompted the classification.

 

6.4.2           Australian Institute of Architects (NSW)

The Reserve Bank of Australia Head Office building is included as Item No. 4702937 on the ‘Register of Significant Architecture’ maintained by the NSW Chapter of the Australian Institute of Architects.  Inclusion on the register has no statutory implications for the Reserve Bank of Australia but is recognition of the profession’s evaluation of the place.  Consultation with the Australian Institute of Architects is not mandatory for Commonwealth agencies.

 

6.5                Best Practice Guidance

The Burra Charter (The Australia ICOMOS Charter for Places of Cultural Significance, 2013) provides guidance for the conservation and management of places of cultural significance (cultural heritage places).  The Charter sets a standard of practice for those who provide advice, make decisions about, or undertake works to places of cultural significance, including owners, managers and custodians.

 

The Burra Charter defines various terms and identifies principles and procedures observed in conservation work, and underpins heritage management in Australia. 

 

A copy of the Burra Charter is available at:

https://australia.icomos.org/wp-content/uploads/The-Burra-Charter-2013-Adopted-31.10.2013.pdf

 

The Charter can be applied to all types of places of cultural significance including natural, Indigenous and historic places with cultural values.  Other relevant best practice guidelines include:

-         Australian Natural Heritage Charter, https://webarchive.nla.gov.au/awa/20170226002350/https://www.environment.gov.au/system/files/resources/56de3d0a-7301-47e2-8c7c-9e064627a1ae/files/australian-natural-heritage-charter.pdf

 

-         Engage Early – Indigenous engagement guidelines, https://www.environment.gov.au/epbc/publications/engage-early

 

-         Significance 2.0: a guide to assessing the significance of collections, https://www.arts.gov.au/sites/default/files/significance-2.0.pdf?acsf_files_redirect

 

6.6                Other Statutory Requirements

Any changes in the use of the building may result in a need to upgrade certain facilities to meet such obligations as may be imposed by other statutory legislation. Matters may be identified in this study that may require modification includes, but is not limited to, the following:

 

-         National Construction Code of Australia (NCCA), including the Building Code of Australia.

-         Fire safety requirements.

-         Ingress and egress from the building.

-         Disability Discrimination Act 1992.

-         Occupational Health and Safety

 

Certain aspects of the building may be eligible for exemptions from the NCCA where upgrading may result in the loss of heritage significance. These issues may be addressed directly with the relevant consent authority to negotiate a satisfactory resolution where necessary to ensure the significance of the place is retained unless there is no other feasible and prudent alternative.

 

6.7                Key Conservation Issues

6.7.1           Condition of Commonwealth Heritage values

The Reserve Bank of Australia Head Office building demonstrates Commonwealth Heritage values and is recognised having landmark qualities as a component of Martin Place.  The significance of the Head Office building is, in part embodied in its intact fabric, and its role in the development of the Australian monetary policy in the late twentieth century.  Listings for the Reserve Bank of Australia Head Office make specific reference to its form, façade treatment, and integration of public art within the building and its setting.

 

The significance of the RBA Head Office should inform the preparation of any proposal for changes to the site, such that decisions regarding the nature and extent of change ensure the established significance is maintained.  Decisions about works to the place, whether it is maintenance, repairs or more extensive adaptation works, must take into consideration the impact of those works on its Commonwealth heritage values, both as a whole and on individual components.  New works to the place should not diminish any aspect of its cultural significance. 

 

Constraints arising from this assessment of the significance of the place will involve the maintenance of the building’s visual character, as well as the conservation of the important aspects of the individual elements and surviving spaces, that contribute to that significance.

 

Opportunities arising from the assessment of significance include the potential for some adaptation to meet changing community standards and expectations, and regulations including disabled access, fire safety and Workplace Health and Safety requirements.  This would be through sympathetic adaptation of secondary spaces within the main building or alternatively extensions or alterations to the exterior of the building, largely concealed from view from the principal Martin Place elevation.

 

Under the EPBC Act., the RBA is obliged to minimise adverse impacts on the National Heritage values of a National Heritage place or the Commonwealth Heritage values of a Commonwealth Heritage place.  The Reserve Bank of Australia Head office building is located near Hyde Park Barracks, which is included on both the World Heritage List and the National Heritage List.  The subject site is also located near the ‘Governors’ Domain and Civic Precinct’ which has been nominated for inclusion on the National Heritage List. 

 

6.7.2           Owners Requirements and management of the Place

Under Section 74 of the Reserve Bank Act 1959, the Reserve Bank of Australia is obliged to maintain its Head Office in Sydney in the State of New South Wales. The site at 65 Martin Place was selected, in part, for its proximity to other banking and financial institutions located in or near Martin Place in the 1950s, a tradition that continues today.  

 

The Head Office building has undergone a series of refurbishments since it was constructed in the early 1960s, including an addition to the southern side of the building in the 1970s.  Previous works have generally concentrated on staff accommodation.  The engineering systems within the RBA building were identified by consultants as having reached or are nearing the end of their expected service life, although some services have been replaced on an ad hoc basis.

 

The Workplace Department envisage minor changes to non-significant fabric to enable office accommodation and staff facilities to be upgraded and adapted periodically without materially affecting the fabric that demonstrates Commonwealth heritage values, including exterior cladding, integral artworks, surviving original finishes and detailing to public and circulation spaces including the original ground floor entrance lobby and Banking Chamber.  The building was constructed between 1962 and 1964, and extended in the late 1970s.  Subsequent changes to the Building Code of Australia have resulted in a number of non-compliances, particularly in relation to current allowable glass wind-loadings and energy efficiency requirements.

 

Major refurbishment works carried out in 2001-2003 were referred to the Minister under the EPBC Act and the Parliamentary Standing Committee on Public Works[43]. held in November 2000[44] .  Issues raised at that time by the Council of the City of Sydney, the National Trust of Australia (NSW) and other stakeholders were addressed prior to the major refurbishment and upgrading works, including the preparation of a Conservation Management Plan (CMP).  That document was subsumed into the Heritage Management Plan: Reserve Bank of Australia (NBRSARCHITECTURE, 2007)[45].  Works undertaken in 2001-2003 were designed to assist the Bank to continue its occupation of the building for fifteen years.

 

Subsequent works to the RBA Head Office building have been referred to the Minister for advice/approval, or self-assessed by the Bank or independent Specialist Consultants, prior to works being carried out, to minimise likely impacts on the identified Commonwealth Heritage values of the place. 

 

Works undertaken by the RBA, in association with specialist conservators, since 2005 have included:

-         Replacement of lift cars and non-compliant  lift call buttons.

-         Replacement of ground floor glass with safety glass and strengthening of window frames.

-         Replacement of HVAC equipment at the end of its operational life.

-         Upgrading security at Ground floor vestibule and conservation of granite floor.

-         Relocation of reception desk to the location shown in documentary evidence.

-         Preparation of an Inventory of Moveable Heritage Furniture and conservation of heritage furniture items.

-         Replacement of carpet and resilient floor finishes.

-         Replacement of suspended acoustic ceiling panels.

-         Repainting of previously painted walls.

-         Conservation of Boardroom and upgrading of Executive level including the reconstruction of demountable linen panels.

-         Adaptation of open-plan office areas and adaptation of under-utilised spaces.

-         Upgrading of staff amenities throughout the building.

-         Repair of timber parquetry floor in basement strong room.

-         Installation of computer floor over timber parquetry in basement.

-         Minor repairs to Phillip Street secure entrance.

 

6.7.3           Ongoing Maintenance

The Head Office building of the Reserve Bank of Australia has been subject to a cyclical maintenance programme since it was completed in 1964, and is in good physical condition.  Reports undertaken by consultants in 2014-2018 identify a number of non-compliance issues the Bank must address including façade works to address statutory requirements for wind-loading on windows and the need for thermal breaks in façade components. 

 

Despite some adaptation of interior spaces and changes to the exterior of the Head Office many of the original finishes have survived intact, particularly at ground floor level and in lift lobbies on various levels.  A number of the building components, such as the heating, air conditioning and ventilation services, were designed with a limited life and were intended to be replaced or adapted when necessary. The RBA has a duty of care to provide a safe and equitable workplace for its staff, and will progressively address non-compliances with Section D Access and Egress (Part D3 Access for people with a disability) of the National Construction Code of Australia, subject to impacts on identified Commonwealth Heritage values[46]

 

The Workplace Department will continue to maintain records showing the date and extent of changes to the Head Office building and fabric.  The records would also include details of the consultants and tradesmen engaged to carry out those works.

 

6.8                Future Development

The Reserve Bank of Australia intends to continue to occupy the current site, at 65 Martin Place Sydney, for the foreseeable future, contingent on adaptation of the building to address statutory building requirements and upgrade internal spaces to meet current operational and standard commercial office space requirements. 

 

The RBA Head Office building has been extended and adapted since it was opened in 1964, resulting in the removal of original building fabric and finishes, including changes to both the interior and exterior of the building.  The addition increased the north-south depth of the building, resulting in additional reliance on artificial lighting in some spaces and pairs of columns limiting some internal office configurations.

 

In 2018 the Reserve Bank of Australia commissioned consultants to investigate the feasibility of upgrading its current premises to enable the Bank to continue to be occupy the premises for the next twenty-five years, as opposed to relocating the head office to new premises.  Based on those recommendations the RBA has confirmed its intention to continue occupying the building located at 65 Martin Place Sydney for the foreseeable future. 

 

To this end, this Heritage Management Plan has been briefed to consider the following issues:

-         Potential location and scale of an extension to the building;

-         Improving energy efficiency;

-         Non-compliance issues and replacement of services at the end of their operational life;

-         Refurbishment/retrofitting of façade components to address wind loading requirements;

-         Replacement of float glass in windows;

-         Re-configuration of internal spaces to meet operational requirements;

-         Upgrading of  office accommodation to meet current office standards and commensurate with office accommodation within Sydney CBD;

-         Relocation of services and risers to a new service core, infill of redundant risers to increase the internal floor area of the building;

-         Relocation of fire stairs to enable direct access to street level; and

-         Access to premises requirements.

 

The Bank is currently working on plans for a major upgrade of its Head Office building. While the building has been well maintained, many aspects of the core infrastructure are approaching end of life and the building falls short of current standards in some important areas.

 

Works currently under consideration include an addition to the existing service core to the south side of the Head Office building to accommodate building services, new fire stairs and lavatories.  New structure would use existing air-space owned by the Bank and would be consistent with the original building design which had an external services area that was later encapsulated by extensions in the 1970s.  An extension would allow the Bank to replace end-of-life infrastructure and substantially improve the sustainability and performance of the building services.  Future changes to the exterior of the Head office building would be designed to minimise visual impacts and likely impacts on Commonwealth Heritage values.to maintain its heritage values; only the windows would be replaced to meet current safety standards.

 

The Bank intends to reconfigure internal areas and construct internal stairs to improve connectivity between departments and efficient movement of staff.  Other changes would be undertaken to ensure the office accommodation meets current office standards and reflect current operational requirements, including spaces for collaboration and improved conference facilities and staff amenities .  The internal layout would be re-configured with fewer built spaces around the northern, eastern and western sides of the building to increase natural light in open office areas.  Interior spaces with significant heritage value, including the Boardroom and Governor’s Office would be retained and conserved.

 

Future adaptive re-use options for the site will be informed by this Heritage Management Plan and the CHL, such that decisions regarding the nature and extent of change should ensure that the established significance of the place, as stated in the Statement of Significance and identified as key attributes of the place in the relevant CHL listing, is retained.  Future works should take into consideration the attributes identified for each criterion in CHL. Place ID 105456, and generally maintain spaces ranked as having Exceptional or High heritage significance in this Heritage Management Plan including the Governors suite, the Boardroom, public spaces visible at ground floor level, including artworks, and significant floor, wall and ceiling finishes.

 

Opportunities for potential additions to the Head Office building are limited to the south side of the building in the area occupied by the 1970s addition, and further internal re-configuration of the building. The construction of additional floors may be appropriate to assist the Bank to continue to occupy its current site, subject to an assessment of likely heritage impacts on the RBA Head Office and heritage items in the vicinity.

 

 

 


7.0              Management of Commonwealth Heritage Values

7.1                Generally

The policies set out in this section are intended to guide to the development and care of the RBA Head Office to maintain its heritage significance and in a manner consistent with the Commonwealth Heritage management principles contained in the EPBC Act 1999. The overall intention of the policies is to:

 

-         Retain the character and quality of the original aspects of the RBA Head Office and its various elements, together with its immediate setting.

-         Permit adaptations and new works which will enable the place to continue in its use as a corporate Head Office for the Reserve Bank of Australia.

-         Provide an approach to the replacement of deteriorated and redundant fabric.

-         Draw attention to the need for a co-ordinated approach to conservation decision making in any future actions.

 

The Head Office building of the Reserve Bank of Australia was included on the Commonwealth Heritage List on the 22 June 2004 for its ability to demonstrate the following Commonwealth Heritage values:

 

Criterion A (Processes)

Criterion B (Rarity)

Criterion D (Characteristic values)

Criterion E (Aesthetic values)

Criterion F (Technical achievement)

Criterion G (Social value)

Criterion H (Significant people)

 

The Head Office of the Reserve Bank of Australia was purpose-built between 1962-64 with limited whole-life expectancy, and an expectation that internal planning may be adapted as required and services in particular would be upgraded and replaced as they wore out or became redundant.  Services throughout multi-storied office buildings are likely to become functionally obsolete or non-compliant with statutory requirements over time. 

 

7.2                Commonwealth Heritage Management Principles

The EPBC Regulations 2000[47] set out seven Commonwealth Heritage management principles to manage heritage properties to protect heritage values for future generations.  The principles must be used when preparing, implementing and reviewing heritage strategies, management plans and any other management arrangements.

 

The RBA continues to use the following management principles in the preparation of this Heritage Management Plan, the RBA Heritage Strategy 2019-2022, and generally to monitor and guide the management of heritage values identified for the Reserve Bank of Australia Head Office building. 

 

1.       The objective in managing Commonwealth Heritage places is to identify, protect, conserve, present and transmit, to all generations, their Commonwealth Heritage values.

 

2.       The management of Commonwealth Heritage places should use the best available knowledge, skills and standards for those places, and include ongoing technical and community input to decisions and actions that may have a significant impact on their Commonwealth Heritage values.

 

3.       The management of listed Commonwealth Heritage places should respect all heritage values of the place and seek to integrate, where appropriate, any Commonwealth, State, Territory and local government responsibilities for those places.

 

4.       The management of Commonwealth Heritage places should ensure that their use and presentation is consistent with the conservation of their Commonwealth Heritage values.

 

5.       The management of Commonwealth Heritage places should make timely and appropriate provision for community involvement, especially by people who:

                                                      (i)      have a particular interest in, or associations with, the place; and

                                                    (ii)      may be affected by the management of the place.

 

6.       Indigenous people are the primary source of information on the value of their heritage and that the active participation of indigenous people in identification, assessment and management is integral to the effective protection of indigenous heritage values.

 

7.       The management of Commonwealth Heritage places should provide for regular monitoring, review and reporting on the conservation of Commonwealth Heritage values.

 

These principles are compatible with those contained in the Australia ICOMOS Burra Charter (2013), which is the generally accepted as the guide for the conservation of culturally significant places in Australia.

 


 

8.0              Specific Conservation Policies

8.1                Policy Recommendations

The identified Commonwealth Heritage values of the RBA Head Office are in part reliant on the character and quality of its surviving building fabric and components.  Wherever the issue of removing or altering building fabric[48] from its original form and location arises, a carefully considered study of the effects that such action will have on the Commonwealth Heritage values of the RBA Head Office must be undertaken.  Such an assessment will review the attributes of the building fabric or component to be removed or altered, the impact that the action will have on the place/component itself and the resulting impact on the place as a whole.

 

Under s.341ZC of the EPBC Act, the RBA as a Commonwealth agency must not take an action that has, will have or is likely to have an adverse impact on the Commonwealth Heritage values of the Reserve Bank of Australia Head office unless:

(a)     There is no feasible and prudent alternative to taking the action; and

(b)     All measures that can reasonably be taken to mitigate the impact of the action on those values are taken.

 

The recommended conservation policies are set out in italics. They are generally preceded by information on which the policies are based and are followed where appropriate with specific examples of options which might arise from the policies.  The policies are ordered in the following sequence:

 

8.1.1       Basis of Conservation Approach

8.1.2       Future Use of the Building

8.1.3       Co-ordination of the Planning

8.1.4       Continuing Conservation Advice

8.1.5       Statutory Consent

8.1.6       General Maintenance and Repair Principles

8.2.1       Removal of Significant Heritage Fabric

8.2.2       Adaptation and Alterations

8.2.3       Exterior Fabric

8.2.4       Interior Fabric

8.2.5       Services

8.2.6       Integrated Art Works

8.2.7       Views and Vistas

8.2.8       Moveable Heritage

8.2.9       Protection of Commonwealth Heritage values

8.2.10     Review of Heritage Management Plan

8.2.11     Interpretation and Promotion of Commonwealth Heritage values

8.2.12     Access and Security Arrangements

8.2.13     Protocols for the Management of Sensitive Information

8.2.14     Community Consultation

8.2.15     Records of Intervention and Maintenance

 

 

8.1.1           Basis of Conservation Approach

Inclusion on the Commonwealth Heritage List does not preclude adaptation of the Head Office building and its spaces to accommodate its re-use and continued viability, provided any works promotes the retention of Commonwealth Heritage values and are consistent with Commonwealth Heritage management principles and best heritage management practise.

 

Policy 1                 The future conservation and development of the place should be carried out in accordance with the Commonwealth Heritage management principles set out in the Environmental Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act 1999, as amended, and the principles of the Australia ICOMOS Charter for the Conservation of Places of Cultural Significance 2013 (Burra Charter).

 

Policy 2                 This Heritage Management Plan should be accepted as a management tool to assist the RBA to conserve, monitor and protect the identified Commonwealth Heritage values of the RBA Head Office building in a manner not inconsistent with Commonwealth Heritage management principles. 

 

Policy 3                 The information, policies, recommendations and options identified in this Plan should be accepted by the Reserve Bank as the primary guide to future conservation of the place.

 

Policy 4                 The Reserve Bank of Australia will register this Heritage Management Plan as a legislative instrument for the purposes of the Legislation Act 2003, as soon as practicable to meet obligations under the Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act 1999.

 

8.1.2           Future Use of the Building

The Head Office building was purpose-built to accommodate the contemporary functions and activities of the newly formed Reserve Bank of Australia and to house specific staff representing the different aspects of the Bank’s operations.  The building was substantially enlarged by 1980 and extensively refurbished in 1995 to meet pressure for increased demand for space and improvement in safety and services.  The Workplace Department of the Reserve Bank are responsible for identifying redundant or under-utilised spaces within the building, implement an ongoing review of accommodation requirements within the organisation, and oversee the upgrading of existing services to ensure staff facilities and office environments are consistent with modern office environments.  The Workplace Department reviews proposed changes in relation to fit-outs for commercial tenants within the current building envelope, which enable the overall viability of the Head Office building.

 

Current and future changes to the internal planning and use of the building are only made as part of a co-ordinated plan for the whole building and take into consideration the identified levels of significance of the affected areas.

 

Policy 5                 The policies set out in this Plan should be applied irrespective of the use to which the building or its parts are put now or in the future.

 

Policy 6                 The Reserve Bank of Australia Head office building can be adapted to suit the exisiting or proposed use of the place by the RBA subject to an assessment of likely impacts on Commonwealth Heritage values and approval under the EPBC Act where appropriate.  New works are to be compatible with the original design intent, materiality, quality and identified Commonwealth heritage values.

 

Policy 7                 Proposed changes to any one part of the building should only be considered in the context of a co-ordinated plan for the whole building.

 

 

8.1.3           Co-ordination of Planning

Decisions regarding changes to any part of the Head Office building of the Reserve Bank of Australia should be considered in the context of the whole to ensure that adverse outcomes are minimised. 

 

Policy 8                 A co-ordinated process of decision-making including heritage conservation advice should be established to guide future planning for the place.

 

8.1.4           Continuing Conservation Advice

This Heritage Management Plan has been prepared as a guide to the future care and development of the place but it will be relatively ineffective unless interpreted and implemented by persons with relevant conservation expertise. In addition to offering appropriate advice on the way in which proposals may be made compatible with the identified significance of the place, an experienced professional can recommend which proposals may have sufficient impact to warrant special study, further public scrutiny or statutory consent.

 

Policy 9                 Relevant and experienced conservation advice should be provided to assist in future changes to the place as part of the planning mechanisms of the Reserve Bank organisation.  RBA personnel responsible for planning and decisions that may affect the significance of the place are to be trained in ongoing heritage management and be familiar with RBA  obligations under the EPBC Act and consistent with the RBA Heritage Strategy 2019-2021.

 

Where technical advice is required and work is to be carried out to spaces or fabric identified as having exceptional or high heritage significance, it is important to choose consultants and contractors with proven relevant expertise and experience of working on heritage buildings, rather than selecting service provision based on cost alone.  Specialist advice may be sought in relation to, but not limited to, architectural and design, structural engineering, services (HVAC), hydraulics, fire safety, documentation, maintenance, building contractors, in addition to curatorial advice on fixed artwork and community consultation.

 

Policy 10                               Consultant advice and contractual work involving changes to Commonwealth significant aspects of the place should be limited to firms or persons with proven expertise in the relevant fields.  If consultants chosen to carry out services lack the specialist expertise consideration should be given to employing additional persons to provide conservation advice.

 

8.1.5           Statutory Consent

The Reserve Bank of Australia is a Commonwealth Government Agency and as such is not required to seek approvals from either Local or State authorities.  An approval for all major works to the building is however required to undergo a process of review through the Parliamentary Works Committee that allows those authorities and any other interested parties to voice any concerns. Nevertheless, a policy of general consultation is pursued by the Bank to allow local authorities to be informed of major works proposed for the place that may have a substantial impact on any primary heritage values of the place.

 

Policy 11                               The likely impacts of works to the place may be self-assessed.  Where works are likely to impact heritage values of the place or there is uncertainty, works are to be referred to the relevant Minister for advice, and approval where appropriate consistent with the requirements of the EPBC Act.

 

8.1.6           General Maintenance and Repair Principles

The Workplace Department of the Reserve Bank of Australia currently maintains the building consistent with Commonwealth Heritage management principles, and implements a cyclical maintenance program.  The building shall continue to be repaired and maintained provided the works do not adversely impact the identified Commonwealth Heritage values of the place.  Processes for these activities should be formalised within the existing RBA asset maintenance plan to provide information regarding specialised action to be taken when dealing with significant building fabric and objects, including permanent sculptural works.  All persons working on aspects of the building that have identified cultural heritage significance should be made aware of the significance of the place and of the area or aspect of the place which is to be affected.

 

Policy 12                               A detailed Asset Maintenance Plan should be prepared to guide future preventative and special repairs and maintenance to fabric of the Head Office building of the Reserve Bank of Australia.

 

Policy 13                               Specific guidelines for dealing with areas and aspects of particular cultural heritage significance should be provided for the use of administrative staff and staff carrying out maintenance and repair to ensure that significance is not lost.

 

Policy 14                               Maintenance and repair of sculptural works should be scheduled and undertaken by suitably experienced conservators when required.

 

Policy 15                               Where unforeseen significant heritage fabric or relics are discovered during the course of works, works will cease where practicable until the subject fabric has been viewed and assessed by a suitably experienced heritage consultant, and their conservation recommendation implemented..

 

Policy 16                               A maintenance register will be maintained, recording changes to the place in accordance with the requirements of the EPBC Act.

 

8.2                Additions to the RBA Head Office building

The Reserve Bank of Australia purchased additional allotments of land to adjoining its south boundary with the intention of extending the building.  In 1967 the RBA commissioned architectural drawings for an addition extending the full height of the building, including additional basement areas and the construction of a service spine extending up to Level 7.

 

The Bank has previously investigated other options to accommodate its operations and staff, but intends to upgrade its current building to maintain its association with the existing building, and its relationship with other financial institutions in the immediate area.

 

8.2.1           Removal of Significant Heritage Fabric

In the past, areas of original and early building fabric have been removed with a resultant loss of cultural heritage significance for the place. Where practical, fabric which represents the original design intent and is part of the primary significance of the place should be retained and conserved.

 

Policy 17                               Before any original or early fabric is considered for removal, a detailed assessment of the impact of the action will be undertaken and the effects of the removal evaluated against the identified Commonwealth Heritage values of the Reserve Bank of Australia Head Office building.

 

8.2.2           Adaptation and Alterations

The Reserve Bank Head Office building has undergone considerable change and adaptation to accommodate the changing needs of the agency as well as the need to provide upgraded services to meet the needs on ongoing operations within the building. Such changes are a normal part of the developing character of any building in use and need not affect the identified significance of the place.

 

Future adaptation and alterations to the fabric of the building or its component parts should however take into consideration the assessed significance of that part or component.  Unnecessary changes should be avoided and alterations should consider the original design intent as well as the continuation of design excellence established by the original design.

 

Policy 18                               Adaptation and alterations to the building should be guided by an understanding of the original fabric and it’s Commonwealth Heritage values.  Adaptations and alterations that have a strong adverse impact on identified aspects of the building’s significance should be avoided.

 

Policy 19                               Internally, compatible contemporary design solutions that are sympathetic to the original design intent and identified heritage values are to be preferred over simple reproduction of earlier forms and details.

 

Policy 20                               Minor structural changes, including partial removal of floor slabs and columns are acceptable subject to assessment of potential impacts on Commonwealth Heritage values, the extent of the proposed works and consent under a EPBC Act approval if required.

 

Policy 21                               Future additions to the RBA Head office should be located to minimise visual impacts on its main façade (north elevation) and its presentation to Martin Place.

 

8.2.3           Exterior Fabric

The external design and appearance of the Reserve Bank Head Office building is representative of mid-twentieth-century architectural and civic design in the City of Sydney. The building has, on several occasions, undergone extensive change to its original fabric and detail. The building has been enlarged to the south, the podium and roof modified and the original marble facade panels have been over-clad with imported grey granite facings. Nevertheless, the building retains much of its original aesthetic quality and character.

 

The overall external form of the northern section of the building should be retained (Criteria A, D &F) although further additions and alterations are acceptable to the south elevation, podium and roof, subject to consent authority approval of detailed documentation.  Additions to the external building envelope should take into consideration potential adverse impacts on views of the RBA Head Office building from pedestrian areas in Martin Place.  The original podium form should also be maintained.  Future changes to the primary facades should be carefully considered to ensure retention of the original design intent.

 

Tower and Podium

The podium details, while partially modified, retain the overall form and general character of the original design.  When necessary, the Reserve Bank of Australia may need to adapt the entrance to increase security for building occupants or to facilitate access compliant with the Building Code of Australia.  Minor adjustments can be made to the main podium and entrance to the Head Office provided they do not visually distract from the established architectural character of the building or its setting, are designed by a suitably qualified heritage architect and are assessed for likely impacts on heritage values prior to the works being carried out.

 

Policy 22                               Changes to the exterior of the tower and podium likely to have an impact on the identified Commonwealth Heritage values of the place are to be assessed in accordance with the process set out in the Heritage Strategy 2019-2022, and referred to the relevant Minister for advice and approval under the EPBC Act.

 

Policy 23                               Minor external adaptation of door openings in the tower and podium are acceptable provided it does not adversely affect views to or from the Reserve Bank Head Office building from Martin Place, and likely heritage impacts are assessed prior to changes being carried out. 

 

Policy 24                               Consideration should be given to the reconstruction of the RBA corporate emblem by Gordon Andrews on the western elevation of the RBA Head Office builidng.

 

Walls & Columns

The walls and columns of the building on all of its facades were originally clad with a combination of Wombeyan marble and black granite. This aspect of the building’s design was the object of both praise for its quality and use of Australian materials and criticism for its extravagance. The building was extended using the same materials and maintained a unified appearance, and in the 1990s, when areas of the cladding began to fail, the building was clad over with imported grey granite that maintained the general aesthetic but slightly reduced the overall texture of the building.

 

Policy 25                               Any further work to the facades of the building should match as closely as possible the existing detailed relationships of cladding and framing and the present materials.

 

Doors, Windows & Grilles

The pattern and detail of the existing doors, windows and grilles on the building facades are an integral part of the original design and its subsequent modification. Minor alterations to original door and window openings are acceptable provided they do not significantly affect the visual perception of the original design aesthetic.

 

Policy 26                               Before considering any changes to the pattern of fenestration on the building an assessment of the potential impacts of such changes should be undertaken to ensure that they do not significantly affect the appearance or character of the place.

 

Policy 27                               Any new doors, windows or grilles should respect the appearance, proportions and materiality of the original components existing façade to minimise visual impacts on the exterior of the RBA Head office building. 

 

Roof

The roof of the RBA building was designed as a ‘floating’ plane generally devoid of significant plant and equipment.  Roof works carried out in c2001 included the construction of lift overruns associate with two new lifts servicing Levels 16 to 20 together with safety barriers. Some further minor modification of the roof area is acceptable provided this approach is maintained.

 

Policy 28                               Additional structures or equipment can be located at roof level provided they are set back from the building edge sufficiently to avoid breaking the skyline in important views from pedestrian areas in Martin Place.

 

Policy 29                               Any new major items of equipment or structures on the roof should where possible be contained in simple enclosures screened from view of overlooking buildings.

 

Garden

The garden adjacent to the Macquarie Street boundary was designed to contain examples of Australian native flora.  The original plants and trees have progressively been replaced with exotic species, and are no longer consistent with the original design philosophy of the building and its setting.  Restoration of the original concept is desirable where possible, taking into consideration the microclimate of the garden, the pollution and water requirements of any new plantings.

 

Policy 30                               Future changes to the Macquarie Street Garden area should consider the original design concept as an opportunity to regain significance.

 

8.2.4           Interior Fabric

The internal character of the building is an area of secondary heritage significance with all of the spaces and finishes of the original design having been substantially modified in the 1990s refurbishment to provide safe working environments, meet changing needs and replace worn and damaged finishes. Further changes to aspects of the interior of the building should be guided by an assessment of the potential significance of the individual parts and components. Change for change sake is not an acceptable approach to the conservation of this building. Spaces identified as underutilised or redundant following changes to banking operations or servicing requirements, may be adapted subject to a separate review of the potential reuse and likely impacts on heritage values, and recommendations as to whether the action should be referred for advice and approval under the EPBC Act.  Where possible, adaptation of spaces should be in keeping with the original design intent, but should be clearly discernible as new work.

 

The special form and details of the surviving original fabric of the ground floor public areas and entrance foyer are an important part of the original design intent and, though now partly modified, should be retained and conserved.

 

The principal interior spaces throughout the building including the general offices, the lift interiors, the staff recreation areas and the executive areas have been remodelled in recent years. Where any original fabric and details survive intact, they should be conserved and supported by sympathetic design solutions. Where new designs are proposed, they should be sympathetic to the original design intent but contemporary in design.

 

Interiors Generally

Apart from the refitting for safety and servicing, all of the original interior spaces of the building have been modified by later alterations and refitting of the various departments to meet contemporary standards. A few significant portions of the building have however maintained their original character and are therefore significant components of the places cultural heritage value. These areas have been identified elsewhere in this report and are confined to public and circulation areas and the executive areas of the upper floors.

 

The future treatment of all interiors of the building should aim to maintain the original design character without reproducing exactly the lost building fabric.  Where possible building fabric ranked as having ‘Exceptional’ or ‘High’ heritage significance in this report is to be retained and conserved.  

 

Policy 31                               All areas of the interiors identified in this report as having ‘Exceptional’ or ‘High’ heritage significance are to be retained in situ and conserved. Conservation may include adaptation for contemporary use but should maintain those aspects identified for their significant contribution to the place as a whole.

 

Policy 32                               New interiors created within the building should have consideration for the original design intentions but may be a contemporary interpretation of that intent using compatible materials and sympathetic  design.

 

Floor Finishes

The RBA Head Office building contains a number of floor finishes, laid over a reinforced concrete substrate.  Original granite and  marble floor finishes have generally been retained in situ and repaired, however other original floor finishes have been replaced or covered since 1965.

 

Where possible new floor finishes should continue to reflect the hierarchy of spaces and finishes throughout the Head Office building as described in 1966:

 

Space

1966 floor finish

Ground floor forecourt, entrance:

Narrandera grey granite

 

Vestibule and lift lobby:

Narrandera grey granite

 

Ground floor public space areas and Level 11 Boardroom:

 

Wombeyan grey marble

General office areas and executive areas:

 

Heavy duty Australian wool carpet

Vaults, basement areas, cafeteria and lounge areas:

Jackson River block parquetry

 

Policy 33                               Granite and marble floor finishes installed on the ground floor vestibule, ground floor public spaces and Boardroom are to be retained in situ and conserved as evidence of the original architectural design intent. 

 

Policy 34                               Johnson River block parquetry located in the vaults is to be retained in situ and conserved as evidence of the original architectural design intent.  New floor finishes can be installed over original timber floor subject to an assessment of the likely impacts on heritage values, physical damage of the block parquetry and reversibility of the action.

 

Policy 35                               Other floor finishes can be retained, adapted or replaced with new finishes compatible with the original design intent.  Fabric proposed for removal should be assessed, consistent with the process outlined in Significant Impact Guidelines 1.2 (Commonwealth of Australia, 2013) and the endorsed Reserve Bank of Australia Heritage Strategy 2019-2021, for likely impacts on Commonwealth Heritage values and photographed in place prior to its removal.  The design of replacement floor finishes should be selected to achieve a co-ordinated aesthetic result.

 

Walls

There are few areas of original wall finishes remaining within the building. Marble and granite wall finishes are significant and should be retained and conserved.  Wombeyan marble was used extensively for walls at the ground floor vestibule and lift lobby.  Walls of lift lobbies located from the Mezzanine to Level 16 were finished with Ulam (Rockhampton, Qld) marble.  Other areas of the building feature walls and counters of Footscray basalt and Gepps Cross slate.

 

Early descriptions of the finishes describe ‘Demountable Timber Panelling’ and ‘Demountable Wall Linings’ located between Levels 4 and 15 (inclusive),  to allow the areas to be re-configured periodically, and in the 1990s sections of demountable walls were removed to create large open-plan offices.[49]  Executive suites and the Boardroom were subdivided with brick walls and removable wall panelling. 

 

Demountable  linen fabric wall coverings have been replaced at least once and no longer represent the original fabric, although they are important in demonstrating the original design intent and maintaining the architectural character of spaces located at Levels 11 and 12.  There are no surviving original vinyl wall finishes remaining in any part of the building.

 

Some original timber panelling has been retained at Levels 11 and 12, and in isolated office and lift lobbies within the building.  Works carried out in 2014 included the relocation of timber panelling at Levels 11 and 12 to suit the re-configured floorplan.

 

Policy 36                               All surviving original stone wall cladding has significance for the place in interpreting the original design intent and character and should be retained and conserved as part of any programme of continuing maintenance and repair.

 

Policy 37                               New wall tiling where selected should be compatible with the established character of the building.

 

Ceilings

All of the original feature ceilings throughout the building have been previously removed or modified.  General office areas have replacement metal pan ceilings with a square proportion. Suspended plasterboard ceilings installed in, or after 1979, have been retained in basement, storage and utilitarian spaces throughout the building.

 

Policy 38                               Surviving ceilings installed on or before the opening of the RBA Head Office building in January 1965, including the anodised aluminium ceiling above the ground floor vestibule and public spaces, are be retained and conserved as evidence of the original design intent and detailing. 

 

Policy 39                               Suspended acoustic ceilings throughout the building date from 1979 and afte, andr can be retained or replaced, subject to an assessment of likely impacts on Commonwealth Heritage values.  The design of new ceilings is to take into consideration the original design intent, should consider the overall character of the building to enhance the architectural character and design intention of the original building.

 

Policy 40                               Consideration should be given to the replacement of exisiting ceilings in spaces identified as having ‘Exceptional’ or ‘High’, including the Boardroom and Governors Suite. The design of new ceilings is to take into consideration the original design intent, should consider the overall character of the building to enhance the architectural character and design intention of the original building.   

 

Policy 41                               Luminaires, air-conditioning grilles and fire detection items in the ceilings can be replaced when required or to meet statutory requirements.  The design of replacement ceilings should take these elements into consideration to achieve a co-ordinated aesthetic result.

 

Policy 42                               The appearance of the ground floor foyer is highly visible from both Martin Place and Macquarie Street, and its original architectural character should be maintained whenever changes are made to ceilings or services integral to it.

 

Windows

Windows throughout the building are presently compatible with the original design character. Where changes may be proposed, windows of similar character should be utilised.  Detailing of sills, reveals and spandrels etc should be also followed.

 

Policy 43                               Details of windows that are replaced or new windows inserted into the Head Office building should closely match the original glazing suite and its surrounding details.

 

Doors & hardware

Many doors throughout the building are surviving fabric from the initial construction phase and have significance for their quality of design and finishes. This is particularly true of the full height leather covered doors in executive areas and those doors with specifically designed Black Bean timber frames and reveals that match furniture in the building.  Much of the original stainless-steel hardware throughout the building survives, although much of it has been repaired and/or adapted for present day security and compliance.

 

Policy 44                               Leather finished doors forming part of the Boardroom and Governors Suite are to be retained in location and conserved.  Where adaptation of the building results in the removal leather finished doors, doors are to be salvaged for future re-use.    Salvaged doors are to be labelled, protected and stored together with door furniture and hardware for future re-use on site.  In the event of doors being relocated within the RBA Head Office, they are to be installed in a manner compatible with the original design intent and detailing. r.  

 

Policy 45                               Surplus, damaged or deteriorated leather covered doors can only be disposed of, if it is not considered a significant action after a self-assessment or alternatively through an EPBC Act approval.

 

Policy 46                               Hardware may be replaced to meet statutory or functional requirements provided it matches the material and finish of the original and does not detract from the overall architectural character of the affected space or the building interior generally.


 

Lift Lobbies

The lift lobbies throughout the building are partially intact and generally represent the original design character and finishes. Changes to the lobbies have been to ceilings, carpets, lighting and colours of the lift doors.

 

Policy 47                               Where possible retain all surviving lift lobbies, including marble wall cladding. Timber panelling is to be salvaged and stored for re-use or incorporated in proposed fitout. Other design elements may be varied, but should be generally compatible with the original design intention shown in photographs dated 1966 or earlier.

 

Lift Cars

The lifts throughout the building have been completely refitted and do not represent the original design character.

 

Policy 48                               The refitting of the existing lifts is an acceptable action and should be carried out in a manner that is visually compatible with and integrated with the general character of the surviving lift lobbies.

 

8.2.5           Services

Services within the Reserve Bank Head Office building have undergone considerable change during the history of the place to meet demands for changing technology and demands on the building arising from changing functions and use. This process is normal and typical of late twentieth- century buildings that rely heavily on mechanical and electrical services for their effective operation. Further changes should take into consideration the original design intent, architectural character and significance of affected spaces.

 

Policy 49                               The design, location and installation of new and replacement services within the RBA Head Office will be assessed by an independent heritage specialist to determine likely impacts on Commonwealth Heritage values of the place prior to works being carried out.

 

Policy 50                               New services within the RBA Head Office building should take into consideration the original design intent in determining their design, location and installation.  Installation is to be carried out to minimise visual and physical impacts on spaces and building fabric identified as having ‘Exceptional’ or ‘High’ heritage significance in Section 5.6 of this Heritage Management Plan.

 

Policy 51                               Where and when necessary, technical services can be upgraded or replaced as required to enable the Head Office of the Reserve Bank of Australia to continue to carry out their Charter under the Reserve Bank Act 1959, as amended, and continue to occupy the place subject to an assessment of likely impacts on Commonwealth Heritage values and where appropriate advice and consent approval under the EPBC Act

 

8.2.6           Integrated Art Works

A number of art works were specifically commissioned for inclusion in the Reserve Bank building at the time of its original construction and are integrated into the building fabric.  Integrated artworks that demonstrate Commonwealth Heritage values (Criterion F and H) include:

-         The main Foyer (Ground Floor level) wall mural sculpture by Bim Hilder.

-         The Podium plaza sculpture by Margel Hinder, together with its original design maquette for the sculpture.

-         The brass lettering text of the Bank’s charter set on a black granite wall in the main foyer.

-         Commemorative plaque for the completion of the building.

 

The Bank emblem originally located on the western parapet wall (exterior) of the building, constructed in cast aluminium with green enamelled finish designed by Gordon Andrews, has been removed from the Phillip Street elevation.

 

Policy 52                               The commissioned public art works displayed in the Reserve Bank building should be retained and conserved as an integral public component of the building. Professional advice on the care and maintenance of the art works should be sought.

 

Policy 53                               A continuing programme of public exhibitions of the Bank’s collections should be part of any curatorial policy for the Bank.

 

8.2.7           Views and Vistas

The Reserve Bank of Australia head office building occupies a prominent site at the corner of Martin Place and Macquarie Street, Sydney, and in close proximity to several buildings identified as having heritage significance, including buildings identified as demonstrating Commonwealth Heritage values and National Heritage values.  It is an important element in the important historic streetscapes of Martin Place and Macquarie Street (Criterion E).  It forms a gateway feature at the eastern end of one of the cities principal pedestrian thoroughfares.  Changes to the RBA building should take into consideration the impact of the works on significant views from surrounding streets and areas including Queen Square, Phillip Street or the Domain.

 

The RBA Head office building is visible in some views from Hyde Park Barracks, which is included on the National Heritage List (Place ID 105935) and is part of the World Heritage Listing of ‘Australian Convict Sites’.  Under the EPBC Act, the Reserve Bank is obliged to protect Commonwealth Heritage values and National Heritage values of other places in the vicinity.

 

Policy 54                               Additions to the Reserve Bank of Australia Head Office building should be located to minimise adverse visual impacts on views to the building from Martin Place and Macquarie Street.  

 

Policy 55                               Views from the pedestrian level of Martin Place and Macquarie Street to the ground floor foyer of the RBA Head Office building are to be retained in keeping with the concept of openess and transparancy underpinning the design of the building

 

8.2.8           Moveable Heritage

The Reserve Bank of Australia possesses a collection of furniture, including tables, chairs, credenzas and desks, acquired or commissioned as part of the original fit-out or the 1970s additions to the building.  Significant furniture associated with the RBA Head Office, or held by the RBA, has been assessed as part of a separate report held by the Reserve Bank of Australia. 

 

The 1960s and 1970s furniture has generally been refurbished, resulting in the replacement of the original wool coverings and upholstery.  Those surviving articles of furniture purchased or designed specifically for the building, having heritage significance, should be retained. 

 

The Reserve Bank of Australia maintains an art collection and numismatics collection which, although associated with the institution generally, may not be specifically associated with the Head office building located at 65 Martin Place, Sydney, but may be protected under other statutory legislation such as the Archives Act 1983.  Those collections, acquired under successive governors, may have historic, artistic, monetary or ethnographic significance in their own right apart from their association with the RBA.  Artworks, apart from fixed wall murals and sculptures, and numismatics collections are not addressed specifically in this Heritage Management Plan.

 

Policy 56                               Fixed artworks and artworks/objects with a specific association with the original character of the Reserve Bank Building should be retained and conserved and appropriately displayed within areas of the building for which they were commissioned or purchased.

 

Policy 57                               RBA professional staff with appropriate qualifications and experience will, as part of their roles at the Bank, prepare a curatorial plan and advise on specialist collections and the engagement of specialist consultants as appropriate.

 

Policy 58                               The Reserve Bank of Australia should seek specialist advice in relation to the conservation, display or disposal of non-fixed artworks and numismatics in its ownership.

 

Policy 59                               The surviving furniture and associated articles of the original fit-out form an integral part of the place and assist in the interpretation of the original design intent. These items should be retained and conserved pending the preparation of a curatorial policy for the building’s contents.

 

Policy 60                               Where appropriate original furniture associated with specific areas of the building should be retained in those areas.  Removed items preferably should be stored or displayed elsewhere within the building.

 

8.2.9           Protection of Commonwealth Heritage Values

The Head Office of the Reserve Bank of Australia demonstrates Commonwealth Heritage values, and is currently included on the Commonwealth Heritage List that is attached to statutory protection under the Environmental Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act 1999.  Should the property be sold, the Reserve Bank of Australia shall ensure the ongoing protection of fabric that demonstrates Commonwealth Heritage values, including the exterior of the Head Office building, the surviving original; materials and detailing of public and circulation spaces in the building.

 

Policy 61                               In the event the Head Office building of the Reserve Bank of Australia is transferred from Commonwealth agency ownership, the building should be nominated for inclusion on the NSW Heritage Register to ensure ongoing statutory protection of its demonstrated heritage values.

 

Policy 62                               Subsequent listing on any heritage inventory should reflect the information contained in this assessment and any other information confirmed from existing archival collections.

 

Policy 63                               Integrated artworks and significant heritage fabric of the Head office are to be retained in situ in the existing building regardless of who owns the building situated at 65 Martin Place Sydney.

 

Policy 64                               The Reserve Bank of Australia should follow the process set out in their Heritage Strategy 2019-2021 should it divest the Head Office building from its ownership.  The process shall ensure the ongoing protection of the statutory Commonwealth Heritage values identified for the Head Office building, and the fabric that demonstrates these values.

 

Policy 65                               The design of modifications and additions to the exterior of the Reserve Bank of Australia Head Office building must take into consideration likely impacts on Commonwealth Heritage values and National Heritage values demonstrated by the Bank building and other places located nearby.

 

8.2.10       Review of Heritage Management Plan

This Heritage Management Plan must be reviewed regularly in a manner consistent with that set out in Section 341X of the EPBC Act.  The reviewer must publish a notice inviting public comment and taking those comments into consideration in relation to the effectiveness of the plan in protecting the Commonwealth Heritage values of the place, and whether it is consistent with Commonwealth Heritage management principles.

 

Policy 66                               This Heritage Management Plan must be reviewed at least once in every five-year period in a manner consistent with that set out in Section 341X of the EPBC Act, but no later than September 2024.

 

Policy 67                               Any review of, or amendments to, this Heritage Management Plan must be undertaken by the person occupying the position Manager, Facilities (Workplace Department) in association with a suitably experienced heritage consultant.  The Heritage Review Panel is responsible to ensure these revisions occur and the required consultation is programmed and implemented.

 

Any amendments to this Heritage Management Plan should address the issues set out in the regulations of the EPBC Act, including:

a)       Identification of those undertaking the review and the procedures used;

b)       An assessment of whether the plan addresses the matters prescribed in the regulations including the Commonwealth Heritage management principles;

c)       An assessment of the effectiveness of the plan in protecting and conserving Commonwealth Heritage values;

d)       Recommendations for the improved protection of values where necessary;

e)       Outline how new and changed information that may have come through monitoring, community input and further research will be incorporated into the revised management plan; and

f)        Details of any significant damage or threat to the heritage values.

 

Policy 68                               This Reserve Bank of Australia may, in writing, amend this plan or revoke and replace this plan provided they follow the procedures contained in section 341S of the EPBC Act.

 

8.2.11       Interpretation and Promotion of Commonwealth Heritage values

The history of the Reserve Bank of Australia is interpreted to the general public through a permanent museum exhibition located on the ground floor level of the Head Office building, at 65 Martin Place, Sydney.  The exhibition draws on a range of archival material, including documents and furniture, held in the Reserve Bank of Australia Archives.  The museum is opened to the public during business hours.

 

Policy 69                               The Reserve Bank of Australia will maintain a public museum and interpretative exhibition including the history of the Reserve Bank at their Head Office, Martin Place Sydney, and ensure it is accessible to the general public during business hours.

 

Policy 70                               The Reserve Bank of Australia will continue to include a heritage section on its existing website to promote the Head Office building and provide information sufficient to allow the public to understand the significance of the place and describe statutory Commonwealth Heritage values demonstrated by the place.

 

8.2.12       Access and Security Arrangements

The Reserve Bank of Australia is a financial organisation, primarily responsible for formulating and implementing monetary policy within Australia.  The building located at 65 Martin Place houses the Head Office of the Reserve Bank of Australia, including offices for the Governor and Board of the Reserve Bank.  Much of the work carried out within the building relates to information and documentation that is commercially sensitive, and is not freely available to the general public.

 

The ground floor level of the Head Office contains a banking chamber where financial transactions take place.  The Reserve Bank of Australia has a duty of care to its staff to ensure a level of security in areas where coinage and paper money is stored or transactions take place.  Entry to sections of the building is therefore restricted, and entrance to levels other than the ground floor is by appointment only.

 

Policy 71                               The Reserve Bank of Australia may adapt the ground floor entrance and banking chamber to meet security requirements following an assessment of likely impacts, provided the changes do not visually detract from the architectural character of the original space or adversely affect the Commonwealth Heritage value of the place.

 

Policy 72                               The vehicular entrance to the loading bay and basement areas of the Reserve Bank of Australia Head Office can be adapted to meet security requirements subject to an assessment of likely heritage impacts on the Commonwealth Heritage values demonstrated by the place.

 

8.2.13       Protocols for the Management of Sensitive Information

The Head Office of the Reserve Bank of Australia, as a banking institution, undertakes monetary transactions and therefore requires storage of cash holdings.  The building houses a number of secure areas, including strong rooms and offices that have restricted access.  The current configuration of some floors and office areas is not generally available for security reasons.

 

Policy 73                               Where an action to either the secure executive area or strongroom area is required to be referred to the Minister for consideration under the EPBC Act, the Reserve Bank of Australia should request plans of the affected area are not disclosed to the general public.

 

8.2.14       Community Consultation

The Reserve Bank of Australia is prominently located at the southwest corner of the intersection of Martin Place with Macquarie Street Sydney.  Martin Place is identified as significant heritage streetscape by the Council of the City of Sydney, and the RBA building has been identified as a significant architectural element within the Sydney Central Business District.  Works that are likely to impact the appearance of the building generally, or its’ presentation within Martin Place will involve community consultation. 

 

Policy 74                               The Reserve Bank will identify and liaise with stakeholders where proposed changes to the Head Office building will have a visual impact on views within Martin Place.

 

Stakeholders are likely to include:

-         Australian Heritage Council, https://www.environment.gov.au/heritage/organisations/australian-heritage-council

-         NSW Department of Environment and Heritage (Heritage Council), https://www.environment.nsw.gov.au/heritageapp/heritagesearch.aspx

-         The Council of the City of Sydney, https://www.cityofsydney.nsw.gov.au

-         Interest groups such as the National Trust of Australia, https://www.nationaltrust.org.au/nsw/ : Australian Institute of  Architects, https://www.architecture.com.au/  and the National Archives of Australia,

-         Owners of heritage-listed buildings in the vicinity.

 

-         Where appropriate the Bank will identify and consult with the Indigenous people with rights and interests in a place or collection that are considered to have Indigenous heritage values. The publication titled Engage Early Guidance for proponents on best practice Indigenous engagement for environmental assessments under the Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act 1999 (EPBC Act),Commonwealth of Australia, 2016, will be used by the Bank as a guideline when consulting in particular with indigenous groups.

 

Policy 75                               The Reserve Bank will, in keeping with best-practice Commonwealth Heritage values, and where appropriate liaise with stakeholders on issues relating to the identification, management and use of places or associated items consistent with the community consultation process contained in the Reserve Bank of Australia Heritage Strategy 2019-2022 or the current version.

 

8.2.15       Records of Intervention and Maintenance

Maintenance works that may affect the statutory Commonwealth Heritage values of the Head Office are to be referred to the Head RBA Workplace Department and its heritage consultant for approval prior to carrying out any changes.  Records of intervention and maintenance are to be retained consistent with the Reserve Bank of Australia Heritage Strategy 2019-2021.

 

Policy 76                               The Head of the Workplace Department will ensure existing maintenance files for the Head Office building are upgraded to include the following information:

a)       Identification of the location of the repair works.

b)       Signature of person authorising works, and statement verifying the works would not adversely impact on the identified Commonwealth Heritage values or the fabric or a Statement of Heritage Impact where appropriate.

c)       Description of the works including photographs where necessary.

d)       Name of the contractor or person undertaking the works.

e)       Start and completion dates of the repair works.

 

 

 


9.0              policy implemenTation

9.1                Responsibility for Implementation of Policies

The Workplace Department of the Reserve Bank of Australia is  responsible for overseeing works carried out to all property in their ownership, including those demonstrating Commonwealth Heritage values.

 

In keeping with the management structure outlined in the Reserve Bank of Australia’s Heritage Strategy 2019-2021 all proposed major changes to heritage fabric or use of heritage buildings shall be referred to the Heritage Review Panel for review and approval, or referral to the Minister where appropriate under the Act.

 

The Assistant Governor (Corporate Services) shall appoint a Heritage Consultant, together with RBA staff associated with the management of heritage places, including equipment, furniture, fittings and articles associated or connected with the building or the structure, and other heritage specialists as required.

 

The Head of the Department shall be responsible for the implementation of policies contained within this report, as described in their Heritage Strategy 2019-2021.  Minor changes, relating to maintenance and day-to-day use of building, would generally be approved by the Head of the Workplace Department in consultation with the Heritage Expert.

 

9.2                Funding

In keeping with the Reserve Bank of Australia Heritage Strategy 2019-2021, the organisation will continue to set aside appropriate funds to ensure the preventative maintenance and conservation of the Head Office building can be carried out.  Funding for other future changes to the building will be made through the existing organisational structure.

 

9.3                Review and Monitoring the Heritage Management Plan

This Heritage Management Plan must be reviewed at least one in every five-year period in a manner consistent with that set out in Section 341X of the EPBC Act.  The policies contained in Section 8.2.10 of this report outline the content of any review of the Heritage Management Plan prepared for the RBA Head Office, Martin Place Sydney and nominates the person within the Reserve Bank of Australia’s Corporate Structure responsible for carrying out any review.

 

The reviewer must publish a notice inviting public comment and taking those comments into consideration in relation to the effectiveness of the plan in protecting the Commonwealth Heritage values of the place, and whether it is consistent with Commonwealth Heritage management principles.

 

The Head of Workplace Department shall be responsible for monitoring, reporting and overseeing the review and acting on information where necessary to protect the identified Commonwealth Heritage values of the Head Office building.

 

The Head of Workplace Department will review the works register for the Head Office building annually to monitor the condition of fabric to ensure the identified Commonwealth Heritage values are managed according to best–practice heritage management principles and Commonwealth Heritage Management principles.

 

9.4                Resolution of Conflict between User Needs and Heritage Significance

The Reserve Bank of Australia may, from time to time, be required to deal with a conflict between the existing or proposed use of a property and conserving the heritage significance of that place.  For example, the spatial requirements of the Reserve Bank of Australia may change, and surplus areas of floor area within the Head Office may be leased to separate entities or subsidiaries of the Bank.

 

Generally the Head of Workplace Department, or his/her nominee, will report to and advise the Governor on the resolution of conflict arising from user needs and heritage significance.  Major changes to the building or the use of spaces are to be reviewed by a suitably experienced external Heritage Specialist preferably at an early stage of the proposal so any conflict between proposed works and heritage issues are resolved before the Reserve Bank of Australia commits to a particular course, and also to review documentation prior to notifying the Minister as required under the EPBC Act.

 

Where the Bank’s use of a property is in conflict with the conservation of its heritage significance, preference should be given to those uses that are most compatible with the items significance.  Early and informal liaison with relevant heritage stakeholders may be an integral part of this process.

 

If attempts to reconcile the use of the building with its heritage significance fail, reference should be made to the Reserve Bank of Australia’s Heritage Strategy 2019-2021.

 

9.5                Recommended Ongoing Maintenance Works

9.5.1           General Guidelines

A number of substantial changes have been made to both the interior and exterior of the Head Office building since it opened in 1964.  Changes to the building made after 2001 have been guided by the policies contained in the Conservation Management Plan (2001) and the Heritage Management Plan (2012) prepared for the RBA Head Office building by NBRSARCHITECTURE.  All future works will, in part, be guided by this Heritage Management Plan following its adoption.

 

The implementation of conservation works is prioritised as follows, based on the condition of the fabric at the time of inspection:

 

Priority

Timing

Action

Priority 1

< 1year

Actions to be taken to rectify problems that could result in imminent risk of damage, loss or deterioration of significant fabric, areas or infrastructure.

 

Priority 2

1-5 years

Actions planned and implemented within 1 to 5 years after the adoption of this Heritage Management Plan by the Workplace Department of the Reserve Bank of Australia to reduce risk of damage, loss or deterioration of significant fabric, areas or infrastructure.

 

Priority 3

5-10 years

Actions planned as part of a long-term conservation or cyclical maintenance program, to maintain and enhance significance.

 

 

The Head Office of the Reserve Bank of Australia has been well maintained under the direction of the Workplace Department.

 

Priority 1             (a)          Adopt this Heritage Management Plan as the primary document to guide future changes to the Head Office, Martin Place of the Reserve Bank of Australia.

(b)          The Head of Workplace Department of the Reserve Bank of Australia will nominate a position within that Department to be responsible for overseeing the implementation of this Heritage Management Plan, and provide training to ensure the RBA is aware of their obligations under the EPBC Act 1999, as amended and other heritage legislation.  Training should be a minimum of one day, followed by continuing professional training of a half day per year.

(c)           Carry out urgent repairs to building fabric if and when required.

 

Priority 2             (a)           Engage a suitably qualified heritage consultant to interpret this Heritage Management Plan and to provide heritage advice to the Workplace Department as necessary.

(b)           Set aside an appropriate budget to carry on the cyclical maintenance program.  This budget should be a proportion of the amount described in the current version of the Reserve Bank of Australia Heritage Strategy.

(c)            Review the existing cyclical maintenance plan to ensure the significant heritage fabric scheduled in this report is correctly identified and specific maintenance issues addressed in the cyclical maintenance program.

 

Priority 3             (a)            Continue to implement the long-term conservation and maintenance program.

(b)           Prepare and submit a report to the Minister monitoring the condition of Commonwealth Heritage values identified for the Head Office, Martin Place.

(c)            Revise this Heritage Management Plan within a five-year period and submit a copy to the Minister as required under the EPBC Act 1999.

 

9.5.2           Exterior of the Building

The Statement of Heritage Significance and the conservation policies generally reflect the importance of the exterior fabric of the building and the consequent need for appropriate conservation.  The exterior of the Head Office building is identified on the Commonwealth Heritage List for demonstrating Commonwealth Heritage values Criterion A, Criterion D and Criterion E.

 

Extensive changes were made to the exterior of the Head Office in 1974–1980 when major extensions to the building were completed, and in 1993 when the building was re-clad with granite panels following deterioration of the original Wombeyan marble panels.  The overall appearance and fenestration pattern of the elevations of the building have high significance demonstrating the architectural characteristics of the post-World War II International style in Australia.

 

Priority 1

a)       Address non-compliances of the façade of the Reserve Bank of Australia including replacement of glass, upgrading windows to address energy efficiency requirements and structural loadings.

b)       Progressively inspect all external balustrades and handrails associated with the public areas of the building and where necessary adapt elements, in consultation with a suitably experienced heritage consultant, to meet the current requirements of the Building Code of Australia.

c)       Adaptation of external windows and grilles to suit internal changes subject to an assessment of likely impacts on Commonwealth heritage values of the RBA Head Office building.

 

Priority 2

a)       Progressively address external security consistent with Commonwealth Government directives.

b)       Periodically inspect external artworks to ensure their ongoing conservation and maintenance as part of the place.

 

Priority 3

a)       Following the completion of major refurbishment works continue the implementation of the Bank’s long-term conservation and maintenance program.

 

9.5.3           Interior of the Building

Priority 1

a)       Retain and conserve spaces and components ranked as having ‘Exceptional’ or ‘High heritage significance in this HMP.

b)       Undertake a review of the accommodation requirements of the Bank and re-allocate internal spaces to address the current and predicted organisational structure of the Bank.

c)       Develop a strategy for the installation and/or replacement of services throughout the building

d)       Liaise with in-house staff and specialist consultants to ensure the ongoing protect of significant heritage spaces and components that demonstrate Commonwealth heritage values.

e)       Upgrade facilities within the building to address statutory requirements including lavatories, access, fire safety, equipment.

 

Priority 2

a)       Monitor the condition of surviving interior finishes and conserve to maximize the expected life of the original fabric where possible.

 

Priority 3

a)       Continue to implement the long-term conservation and maintenance program.

 

9.5.4           Setting of the Head Office

Priority 1

None recommended.

 

Priority 2

None recommended.

 

Priority 3

a)       Continue to implement the long-term conservation and maintenance program, including maintenance and care of garden (corner Macquarie Street and Martin Place)

 

9.6                Planned Maintenance

The Reserve Bank of Australia currently maintains the fabric of the Head Office building as part of an on-going cyclical maintenance plan, which includes regular inspections and monitoring of the building fabric.  It is intended that the current maintenance regime be reviewed to ensure significant heritage fabric and spaces are addressed and the plan maintenance program continued. 

 

Future works to significant heritage fabric would be carried out by persons with relevant expertise and experience to interpret this Heritage Management Plan and to undertake work to the Head Office of the Reserve Bank of Australia.

 

Where necessary, the staff of the Reserve Bank Workplace Department should seek advice in locating suitably qualified Conservation architects, engineers, fire protection specialists, historian, archaeologists and craftsmen from the Australian Heritage Council or other organisations.  Contact details of the Australian Heritage Council are as follows:

 

Australian Heritage Council

GPO 787 Canberra ACT 2601

Phone: 02 6274 1111

http://www.environment.gov.au

 

Australia ICOMOS is a professional association that has no statutory authority over the site.  It can provide assistance on conservation philosophy and best-practice conservation advice on culturally significant places.  Contact details are:

 

Cultural Heritage Centre for Asia and the Pacific

Faculty of Arts, Deakin University

Burwood VIC 3125 Australia

Phone: 03 9251 7131

http://www.icomos.org/australia

 

The following organisation, while having no statutory authority over the subject property, may be able to provide technical advice or assist in located specialled expertise where required:

 

NSW Department of Environment and Heritage

Heritage Branch

3 Marist Place, PARRAMATTA NSW 2150 or

Locked Bag 5020 PARRAMATTA NSW 2124

Phone: 02 9873 8500

http://www.heritage.nsw.gov.au

 

 

The RBA Head Office building is located at the corner of Martin Place and Macquarie Street,  and is located within the Macquarie Street Special Character Area identified Council of the City of Sydney

 

City of Sydney

Town Hall House, Level 2, 456 Kent Street, ,Sydney NSW 2000

GPO Box 1591, Sydney NSW 2001

Phone: 02 9265 9333

Email: council@cityofsydney.nsw.gov.au

https://www.cityofsydney.nsw.gov.au/

 

 


 

10.0          Bibliography

10.1            Primary Sources

City of Sydney Archives

-         Miscellaneous photographs and places

-         1836 Subdivision of Sydney

-         1880 Percy Doves Plan of Sydney

-         1910 Roberts & Moffat Map of Sydney

 

National Australian Archives

 

NSW Land Registry Services

-         Various Old Systems Dealings, Torrens Titles and Deposited Plans including:

Deposited Plan 0980134

 

Reserve Bank of Australia Archives

-         Plans

-         Photographs

 

Sydney Water Archives

-         Plan Room / Miscellaneous drawings

 

10.2            Published Sources

Australia ICOMOS.  2013.  Australia ICOMOS Burra Charter.  Australia ICOMOS: Sydney. (http://australia.icomos.org/wp-content/uploads/The-Burra-Charter-2013-Adopted-31.10.2013.pdf)

 

Australian Dictionary of Biography.  Melbourne: Melbourne University Press.

 

Alpin G., (Editor).,  Sydney Before Macquarie: A Difficult Infant, UNSW Press, Sydney, 1988

 

Apperley, R., Irving, R. and Peter Reynolds.  A Pictorial Guide to Identifying Australian Architecture, Angus & Robertson Pty Ltd, Sydney, 1989.

 

Fowles, Joseph.  Sydney in 1848, 1848, National Trust of Australia (NSW), facsimile edition reprinted 1973.

 

Gibbs, Shallard & Co.  An Illustrated Guide to Sydney 1882, first published by Gibbs Shallard & Co., Sydney, 1882, Re-printed by Angus & Robertson Publishers, Sydney, 1981.

 

Kerr, Dr James Semple. The Conservation Plan. (6th edition) National Trust of Australia (NSW), 2004.

 

Maclehose, James.  Picture of Sydney and a Strangers Guide in NSW for 1839, first published by J Maclehose, Sydney, 1839, Re-printed by John Ferguson Pty Ltd, Sydney, 1977.

 

Rodrigo, Russell.  Banking on Modernism: Dr HC (Nugget) Coombs and the Institutional Architecture of the Reserve Bank of Australia, Fabrications, 26:1, 72-101

 

Sands Sydney & Suburban Directories

 

Taylor, Jennifer.  Post World War II Multistoried Office Buildings in Australia (1945-1967), Unpublished report prepared for the Australian Heritage Commission, April 1994.  Report research and preparation by Susan Stewart.

 

TKD Architects.  Modern Movement Architecture in Central Sydney: Heritage Study Review. Unpublished report prepared for the City of Sydney, January 2018 Issue C.  Report prepared by Dr Roy Lumby.

 

 

10.3            Websites and Online Databases

Australian Dictionary of Biography, http://adb.anu.edu.au

 

Australia ICOMOS, http://www.icomos.org/australia

 

Commonwealth of Australia, Department of the Environment and Water Resources, http://www.environment.gov.au

 

NSW Heritage Branch, http://www.heritage.nsw.gov.au

 

NSW State Heritage Inventory, Online Database, www.environment.nsw.gov.au/heritageapp/heritagesearch.aspx

 

Reserve Bank of Australia, http://www.rba.gov.au

 

Trove, online search engine

 


 

11.0          Appendices

11.1            EPBC Act Compliance Checklist

The following table outlines where each of the specific requirements of Schedule 7A (Regulation 10.03B) of the EPBC Act are addressed in this Heritage Management Plan:

REQUIREMENT

COMPLIANCE REFERENCE

(a)        Establish objectives for the identification, protection, conservation, preservation and transmission of the Commonwealth Heritage values of the place; and

Complies: Sections 2.3 & 7.0

(b)        Provide a management framework that includes reference to any statutory requirements and agency mechanisms for the protection of the Commonwealth Heritage values of the place; and

Complies: Sections 6.2, 6.7, 7.0

(c)        Provide a comprehensive description of the place, including information about its location, physical features, condition, historical context and current uses; and

Complies:

Sections 3.0, 4.0 & 11.3

(d)        Provide a description of the Commonwealth Heritage values and any other heritage values of the place; and

Complies:

Sections 5.3 & 5.4

(e)        Describe the condition of the Commonwealth Heritage values of the place; and

Complies: Sections 4.2 & 5.3

(f)         Describe the method used to assess the Commonwealth Heritage values of the place; and

Complies:

Sections 5.2

(g)        Describe the current management requirements and goals, including proposals for change and any potential pressures on the Commonwealth Heritage values of the place; and

Complies: Section 6.7

(h)        Have policies to manage the Commonwealth Heritage values of a place, and include in those policies, guidance in relation to the following:

 

                   (i)            The management and conservation processes to be used;

Complies: Section 6.0 & 7.0

                 (ii)            The access and security arrangements, including access to the area for indigenous people to maintain cultural traditions;

Complies: Section 8.2.12

                (iii)            The stakeholder and community consultation and liaison arrangements;

Complies: Section 8.2.14

                (iv)            The policies and protocols to ensure that indigenous people participate in the management process;

Complies: Section 8.2.14

                 (v)            The protocols for the management of sensitive information;

Complies: Section 8.2.13

                (vi)            The planning and management of works, development, adaptive reuse and property divestment proposals;

Complies: Section 6.0, 7.0 & 8.0

              (vii)            How unforeseen discoveries or disturbance of heritage are to be managed;

Complies: Section 8.1.6

             (viii)            How, and under what circumstances heritage advice is to be obtained;

Complies: Section 6.0

                (ix)            How the condition of Commonwealth Heritage values is to be monitored and reported;

Complies: Section 9.3

                 (x)            How records of intervention and maintenance of a heritage places register are kept;

Complies: Section 8.2.15

                (xi)            The research, training and resources needed to improve management;

Complies: Section 8.1.4

              (xii)            How heritage values are to be interpreted and promoted; and

Complies: Section 8.2.11

(i)        Include an implementation plan; and

Complies: Section 9.0

(j)        Show how the implementation of policies will be monitored; and

Complies: Section 9.3

(k)       Show how the management plan will be reviewed.

Complies: Section 8.2.10

 


 

11.2            Commonwealth Heritage List Citation

 


 

 


 

 


 

 


 

 


 

 


 

 


 

 


 

 


 

 

 


 

11.3            Outline Historical background of Site Prior to 1959

 

11.3.1       Pre-European Environment and Occupation

The area of the subject site forms part of the land of the Gadi(gal) people, the original inhabitants and traditional custodians of the land within the City of Sydney.[50] The Gadigal are one of about 29 clan groups that are collectively referred to as the Eora Nation. Their territory was located on the southern side of Port Jackson from South Head to around present-day Petersham, and as far south as the Alexandra Canal and Cooks River.

 

There is firm evidence of various Aboriginal campsites within the city, including the ‘KENS’ site between Kent, Erskine, Napoleon and Sussex Streets and the Wynyard Walk campsite.  Further south, a campsite, or ‘midden’ was found on the eastern side of Darling Harbour, in the Darling Quarter, and an unidentified area somewhere near Hyde Park South which was an important gathering place and ceremonial contest ground.

 

Upon European contact, it is thought that some of Sydney’s main thoroughfares, such as George Street and Macquarie Street, followed established Aboriginal tracks.  The area around the harbour was an important hunting, fishing and camping ground for Aboriginal people prior to the arrival of the First Fleet in 1788 and beyond. However, the majority of those that were not killed by the colonists or by introduced diseases soon moved to areas on the outskirts of town, such as La Perouse.  Despite the hardships, Gadigal culture survived.

 

From the 1930s, Aboriginal people from across NSW were attracted back to Sydney suburbs such as Pyrmont, Balmain, Glebe and Redfern, and 1960s changes in government legislation has enabled more Aboriginal people to choose to live in Sydney. Research into the history of Sydney’s Aboriginal people continues to be carried out today and to provide new insights into their life and culture.

 

11.3.2       Early European Settlement in Sydney

Port Jackson (Sydney) was established by the English Government in 1788 as the first penal settlement in the colony of New South Wales.  The early town plan was laid out by the first Governor, Arthur Phillip, with a Government Domain occupying the high eastern ridge and a military establishment on the western ridge.  Convicts were allocated the lower lying valley between the two ridges where the town’s water supply ran in an open stream discharging to the harbour, and the rough land to the west of Sydney Cove known as The Rocks.

 

Urban development in the town was haphazard for the first 20 years, but in 1809 Lachlan Macquarie took up the Governorship and set about making major civic improvements to the town. 

 

Prior to 1810 the whole of the Macquarie Street area was a wasteland known as Farm Cove Ridge with a rough track extending along the ridge linking the Government Domain to Hyde Park and Oxford Street.  The track was given the name ‘Macquarie Street’ in 1810 although the section of road between Bent and King Streets was not officially proclaimed a street until 31st Dec 1840. 

 

Governor Macquarie reserved the eastern side of Macquarie Street for official Government buildings, the first being Sydney Hospital which opened in 1816.  In 1819 the Hyde Park Convicts Barracks, designed by architect Francis Greenway, was opened. 

 

In the early nineteenth century the western side of Macquarie Street, between King Street and what was to become Martin Place, was occupied by offices of the Attorney and Solicitor Generals, the original Wesleyan Chapel built in 1821, a schoolhouse, and a number of small Georgian cottages.  St James’ Anglican Church, which was originally designed as a court house, conducted its first service in 1822. 

 

By 1850 the western side of Macquarie Street had transformed into a fashionable residential area, including Burdekin House, which at the time was referred to as Sydney’s most splendid private residence. 

 

By the 1880s, Macquarie Street was lined with 3 and 4 storey terrace houses and in the area from Hunter to King Street the Sands Sydney and Suburban Directory indicated that the majority of properties were being used as boarding houses or as offices for the medical profession.  In the 1882 Gibbs Shallard & Co’s Illustrated Guide to Sydney the area is described as being lined with terraces “representing excellent specimens of domestic architecture.” These were still to be seen in the drawing by Cedric Emanuel of the subject site prior to the construction of the Reserve Bank building in the 1960s.  A few of these terraces survive further north in Macquarie Street, indicating the earlier scale and character of the area.

 

ST STEPHEN’S PRESBYTERIAN CHURCH, DEMOLISHED 1935.

Figure 50 - General view of Macquarie Street, c1871, photographer unknown.  Note the site of St Stephen’s Church in Phillip Street is now occupied by the Reserve Bank of Australia Head office building.

Source: Historic Houses Trust, RB919.441 VIS Facing page 102 - Record no. 37195.

 

The development of Phillip Street was notably different.  It was much slower to develop retaining much unoccupied land up to the 1850s and its development included a lower class of terrace buildings.  An 1839 publication entitled “Picture of Sydney and Strangers Guide in NSW for 1839 “ described Phillip Street as follows,  “perhaps (there is) no street in the town where the mason and house carpenter appear to have found less employment.”[51]

 

Figure 51 - View of Phillip Street Sydney, looking south, c1885, photographed by Charles Bayliss. The spire of St Stephen’s Church, Phillip Street, is visible to the left of St James Anglican Church spire.

Source: SLNSW, SPF/578, IE1228587

 

By the mid-1860s the southern section of Phillip Street (between Hunter and King Street) accommodated the United Presbyterian Church (which later became St Stephen’s), the White Hart Inn together with various cottages and small businesses.  The Sands Directory confirms buildings were occupied by a painter, blacksmith, dressmaker and a letter-carrier. 

 

During the 1880s the character of Phillip Street changed dramatically when a number of small building were demolished, making way for the construction of larger buildings and factories.  In 1881 John Starkey, who had since the 1860s operated a cordial manufacturing business in Phillip Street, purchased land large area of land on the southern side of St Stephen’s Presbyterian Church and established Starkey’s Aerated Water and Cordial Company.  The cordial factory continued until the site was taken over in 1914 by Hughes Motor Garage.  ‘Selborne Chambers’, a three-storey office building was constructed in 1896 to house members of the legal profession.  Mrs Lucy Weir ran a boarding house on the southern side of Starkeys’ Factory from 1904 to 1912 and the Georgian town house, formerly St James’ Parsonage, located on the southern side of St Stephen’s Church was later used as the offices of Starkey’s Limited.

 

By the 1920s several three and four storey office buildings had been erected at the southern end of Phillip Street, close to St James’ Court, to accommodate members of Sydney’s legal profession.

 

11.3.3       The Construction of Martin Place

Martin Place commenced as a narrow lane called Moore Street which ran between George Street and Pitt Street and was widened into a substantial thoroughfare as part of the setting for the General Post Office in 1891. The proposal to extend the new street through to Macquarie Street was first mooted at this time but the depression of the 1890s intervened.  In January 1921, Moore Street was renamed Martin Place.

 

The decision to proceed with the extension of Martin Place was finally implemented by the State Government in 1923 and it was agreed to acquire and sell land on either side of the extension to pay for the new street.  In January 1926 the resumptions were gazetted but the affected properties were leased back to the existing tenants until sufficient funds were available for the works.

 

Figure 52 – Diagram showing the areas resumed by the Council of the City of Sydney in the 1920s to facilitate the eastern extension of Martin Place.  The site purchased for the RBA in 1957 is shown shaded.

Source: Sydney Morning Herald, 28 June 1923, p.12

 

In 1926 the Municipal Council of Sydney purchased a number of properties in Macquarie and Phillip Streets in anticipation of the extension of Martin Place east to Macquarie Street[52].  These properties included those which would later be demolished for the building of the Reserve Bank head office building.

 

Funding cuts and altered traffic flow proposals hampered progress on the Martin Place extension for some years.  Works commenced in June 1934 when Martin Place was extended from Castlereagh Street to Elizabeth Street and the final extension to Macquarie Street was opened in April 1935.

 

Much discussion had taken place as to the form and function of the space created by the extension of Martin Place.  It was finally concluded that the extension would accommodate the types of businesses seeking prestigious city centre addresses and would not only transform that part of Sydney but boost real estate values and the Council’s rate returns.  The Town Planning Association wrote in December 1932 that the significance of Martin Place as a “show street” be recognised, that all street corners be splayed or rounded and that all buildings be a uniform height of 150 feet.[53]  Post-war developments in and around Martin Place however paid less attention to the civic design needs of the space than to maximisation of site potential.

 

In 1957, the site at the top of Martin Place on the southern side, was purchased by the Commonwealth Bank as the location for the first Reserve Bank of Australia building which opened in 1964. The Bank of NSW building erected on the opposite corner is almost contemporary with the Reserve Bank and occupies a similar footprint providing a gateway effect at the top of Martin Place.

 

The closure of Martin Place to traffic and its creation as a major civic space was finally realised in the period between 1968 and 1978.  During this time the street was progressively pedestrianised as a civic plaza.

 

The NSW Railway Department owned easements along Macquarie Street and Martin Place  intended for use as part of the proposed Eastern Suburbs Railway system.  In March 1959 the Reserve Bank agreed that on completion of purchase the 60 Martin Place site, it would transfer the easement adjacent to its Macquarie Street frontage to the Railways Department without charge.  The Transfer and Grant of Easement were executed by the Bank on 3 December 1959. Following a protracted and sporadic planning process, the station was finally put into service in 1980.

 

11.3.4       Development of the Site prior to 1959

The Reserve Bank of Australia separated from the Commonwealth Bank of Australia following the passing of the Reserve Bank of Australia Act in 1959.  The Act included a requirement that the head office of the Reserve Bank of Australia was to be located in Sydney, and housed separately from the Commonwealth Bank, or any other banking institution.  Several sites within the central business district of Sydney were already under consideration by the late 1950s.

 

On September 9th 1957, the Director-General of Works (Dr Lodge) recommended the site located at the eastern end of Martin Place, owned by the City Council would be most suitable to construct the head office for the newly formed Reserve Bank.  The land, which was a residue of the Martin Place Resumption Scheme had an area of 1 rood 36 perches, known as Lots 10 and 11 Martin Place, Sydney[54]

 

A further two sites were purchased by the Reserve Bank when it was extended in the late 1970s.

 

11.3.5       Macquarie Street Properties, 1821-1959

The Macquarie Street land relating to this study originally formed part of allotments 3, 4, & 5 of Section 41 of the Sydney subdivision, regularised by crown grant in the early 19th century. The earliest buildings occupying these lots included the first Wesleyan Chapel built in 1821 and subsequently used as a Unitarian Chapel in 1850, a Wesleyan School House also built in 1821 and purchased in 1843 by the trustees of the Roman Catholic Church to be used as a school (demolished c1876).  On lot 4 stood a free-standing Georgian house occupied by Mr Williams a solicitor and on Lot 5 a Georgian cottage occupied by Madame Bone.  These are shown in Joseph Fowles publication Sydney in 1848, p 80.

 

By 1875 this part of Macquarie Street was characterised by three and four storey residential terrace houses, in keeping with the northern section of the street rest of Macquarie Street. 

 

A row of three, 3 storey Italianate terrace houses known as “Lucretia Terrace” was erected on part of Lot 3 in c1876[55], following the demolition of both the school and the church.  These were initially numbered 243-245 Macquarie Street, but were re-numbers as 219 to 223 in 1880.[56] 

 

Henry Williams’ free standing Georgian House remained on Lot 4 (see Figure 53Figure 53) until 1891 when John Starkey, the new owner of the site, demolished the cottage and erected two, 4 storey late Victorian terrace houses with attic dormers and chimneys.  Initially numbered 241 Macquarie Street, “Labrador” as it was known, was re-numbered 217 Macquarie Street from 1880.[57]

 

The single storey Georgian cottage on Lot 5 was demolished c1875 along with the two-storey cottage next door, and the new owner, James Mullins built two 3-storey terraces on the site.[58] Initially numbered 239 & 237 Macquarie Street, these terraces were re-numbered 215 & 213 Macquarie Street in 1880.[59]  

 

Percy Dove’s 1880 map of the subject area shows “Lucretia Terrace” (223-219 Macquarie Street) Henry Williams Georgian House not yet demolished at No 217 and James Mullins two terraces at No 215 & 213.  (See Figure 53Figure 53)

 

NPercy Dove with overlay

Figure 53 - Percy Dove's 1880 map of the subject site showing area later occupied by the Reserve Bank dotted.

Source: Mitchell Library SLNSW

 

215 Macquarie Street established itself as a boarding house soon after construction in 1875. From 1891 it became the offices for various members of the medical profession including Dr Joseph Foreman from 1891 until 1899 and Dr LA Harris from 1907 until 1920.  Harris also owned No 215 Macquarie Street from 1918 until his death in 1921.

 

The terraces built at 217 Macquarie Street initially housed the Department of Water Conservation and the Department of Agriculture, and from 1895, “Labrador” was established as a boarding house and run from 1896 until c1945 by Miss Caroline Wilson. The property was used briefly as an RAAF depot in 1943 but by 1959 was let as professional suites.

 

“Lucretia Terrace” (219-223 Macquarie Street) was also initially established as boarding houses[60] but by 1896 the terraces were used as suites for the medical profession.  Dr AJ Syme, a dentist occupied No 223 from 1891 until 1918 while Dr JB Nash was one of the occupants of 219 from 1910 to 1926.  No 221 remained residential chambers until 1923 when it also became rooms for various members of the medical profession.

 

In 1921 the new owner of No 215 Macquarie Street , Mr OJ McDermott, demolished the terrace and built a three-storey brick building with a rendered inter-war facade, known as “Whitehall” on the site. The building, used as medical suites, was purchased by the Municipal Council of Sydney in 1926 along with numerous other sites in Macquarie and Phillip Streets in anticipation of the extension of Martin Place.  It was finally demolished in 1959 for the construction of the Reserve Bank.

 

“Labrador”, No 217 Macquarie Street remained in the ownership of the Starkey family until 1926 when it too was purchased by the Municipal Council of Sydney and finally demolished in 1959 for the construction of the Reserve Bank.

 

219 Macquarie Street, part of “Lucretia Terrace”, and also purchased by the Municipal Council of Sydney in 1926, remained as medical suites housing two practitioners until it was demolished for the construction of the Reserve Bank in 1959.  221 and 223 Macquarie Street were demolished in 1939 to make way for a new three storey building known as “Washington House”.  According to the 1939-42 Rate Books for the Council of Sydney, this building contained 15 flats and offices, a penthouse and two shops located on the ground floor.   This site was not part of the original site for the Reserve Bank but was later purchased by the bank and demolished in 1964 to make way for the construction of the extension to the Bank in the late 1970s.

 

219-215 Macquarie Street

Figure 54 – View of the houses located at 219-215 Macquarie Street Sydney, which were demolished for the construction of the Reserve Bank in 1959.

Source: Reserve Bank of Australia Archives

 

11.3.6       Phillip Street Properties, 1840 - 1959

The Phillip Street land formed part of the original allotments 26, 27, 28 & 29 of the Sydney Subdivision.  Lot No. 26 was granted to James Wild on 29th February 1840 and purchased by the United Presbyterian Church in 1856.  The same year a church building was erected on the site.  This Byzantine structure had additions made to its façade 1866 and in 1875, following the combining of the Phillip Street Congregation with the Iron Church Congregation (St Stephens) in Macquarie Street, the church was renamed St Stephens.  The church remained on the site until it was demolished for the extension to Martin Place in 1935.  The congregation was allowed £114,000 as compensation and a new church was constructed on the site of Burdekin House in Macquarie Street.

 

Lot No. 27 was granted to John Kellick on 30th January 1840.  Numbered 146 and from 1880, 164 Phillip Street,  the site by 1858 contained a two storey above basement Georgian style town house development with a classical colonnade raised on a blind arcaded base.  The building had a simple hipped roof extending forward to form the verandah and symmetrically placed chimneys. Plans suggest the building was divided into multiple occupancies, but remained substantially intact until 1959 when it was demolished for the construction of the Reserve Bank.  The site had a large yard at the rear used initially as stables (see Figure 5) and later as a yard for Starkey’s Cordial factory and workshop area for Hughes Motor Services. (See Figure 6)

 

Lot 28 was granted to James Breckenrigg Jnr in May 1840.  In the 1858 edition of the Sands Sydney and Suburban Directory the site housed the White Horse Inn but by the beginning of the 1860s two small cottages were located on the site. (See Figure 4)  John Starkey purchased both cottages and by 1880 had built on the site his aerated water and cordial brewery.  William Starkey  had already established the Starkey name in Sydney in the 1850s being the largest Ginger Beer manufacturer in the southern Hemisphere and in the 1860's John Starkey was running his cordial factory from a site, a few doors further south in Phillip Street.  The 1880s factory was a purpose- built factory containing all the latest technology and John Starkey is said to have built a “mammoth” business in Australia[61].  Starkey’s Limited remained on the site until 1914.  (See Figures 7 & 8) From 1917 a motor garage and hire Co. was using the site and from 1919 it became the garage and workshops for Hughes Motor Services.  The site, though resumed by the council in 1926, remained a garage until 1948 by which time the building had been demolished and the site was being used as a parking area. 

 

When John McGrath Limited Purchased the Starkey’s factory site around 1918 they also purchased the adjoining land that had previously contained the two cottages located at 170 and 172 Phillip Street.  Both the factory and the cottages were demolished and the land re-subdivided.  On part of Lot 29 & 30, 170 Phillip Street, Hughes Motor Services erected a five- storey office building in 1923 called “Chancery Chambers”.  The ground floor contained the offices for Hughes Motor Services and the floors above housed solicitors and barristers suites. 

 

1910 Map with red line

Figure 55 - 1910 map of the City of Sydney compiled and published by Roberts & Moffat Ltd.

Source: City of Sydney Archives

 

The remaining land which covered part of lots 28 & 29 and numbered 166-168 Phillip Street lay vacant for some time.  The Municipal Council of Sydney Rate Books for 1927 show that the land had been sold to NSW Teachers Limited but it was not until 1939 that Federation House was built on the site.  Teachers Building Limited, as it became known, sold the property to the Reserve Bank of Australia in 1967 and soon after it was demolished for the extension to the Reserve Bank Building which was completed in 1980.

 

Figure 56 - Phillip Street buildings demolished to form the eastern extension of Martin Place, photographed by EG Shaw, 1935.  St Stephen’s Church and the building to its right, St James Parsonage, were subsequently acquired by the Commonwealth of Australia for the RBA Head Office building.

Source: SLNSW, Album ID:1024134, a7850 online.

Figure 57 - General view of St Stephen's (Presbyterian) Church, Phillip Street Sydney, c1934, by Herbert H Fishwick.  The church was demolished in 1935.

Source: SLNSW, PIC/15611/17896

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


 

11.4            Plans, Sections and Elevations showing the proposed RBA Head Office Consolidation project, c1975

 

RBA-1

 


11.5            Land Titles Information

The Reserve Bank site comprises of the following three titles -

 

-         Lot 1 in DP 444499 (Lots 10 & 11 Martin Place), consisting of part of the original allotments 3, 4, 5, 26, 27 & 28 of Section 41 of the Sydney Subdivision with the majority of the land forming Lots 4 and 27.

-         Lot 1 in DP 32720 (Washington House), consisting of part of allotment 3 of Section 41 of the Sydney Subdivision

-         Lot 1 in DP 33919 (Federation House),consisting of part of allotments 28 & 29 of Section 41 of the Sydney Subdivision

 

Lot 26

1840                       Crown Grant to James Wild dated 28th February

1856                       Purchased by the Trustees of the United Presbyterian Church

1875                       Transfer of ownership to the Trustee of St Stephens Presbyterian Church Sydney

1935                       Transfer to Municipal Council of Sydney

1937                       CERTIFICATE OF TITLE Vol 4873 Folio 42 dated 24th September

The Municipal Council of Sydney (See Later Titles)

 

Lot 27 (PA 4895) Site of 164 Phillip Street

1840                       Crown Grant to John Kellick dated 30th January

1850                       Conveyance dated 30th March Bk. 25 No. 95

Oswald Bloxsome & W. Iceton

1852                       Land leased back to John Kellick

1853                       Conveyance dated 26th May Bk 37 No. 691

Falkner Hope Bartlett

1866                       Conveyance dated 12th December Bk. 192 No. 648

To John Williams

1879                       Conveyance dated 15th July Bk 192 No. 915

To John Starkey

1879                       PRIMARY APPLICATION No. 4895 dated 31st July

John Starkey of Sydney, cordial manufacturer being 21 perches Lot 27 in Section 41 of the City of Sydney, Value £3600 occupied by John Matthews as a yearly tenant

1880                       CERTIFICATE OF TITLE Vol 481 Folio 90 dated 23rd January

John Starkey, cordial manufacturer, allotment 27 Section 41

1898                       Application by Transmission No. 10667 dated 31st October

The Permanent Trustee Company of NSW Limited

1903                       Transfer No. 375441 dated 31st August

To Frank Oswald Starkey of Sydney Ginger Beer Manufacturer

1910                       Application by Transmission 28th July

To E.M. Starkey, Albert Ernest Starkey and Robert George Priddle

1910                       Transfer No. 589386 dated 11th July

To E.M. Starkey

1915                       CERTIFICATE OF TITLE Vol 2574 Folio 244 dated 18th May

Ethel May Starkey

1915                       Transfer No. A 184001 dated 3rd February

To William Williamson builder

1922                       Transfer No. A 830728 dated 1st June

To Fanny Williamson of Vaucluse, widow & Kate Ruthford Munro wife of Roy Munro of Vaucluse, builder

1922                       Transfer No. A830728 dated 20th June

To John Bryson of Mosman, gentleman, Russell Sinclair of Nth Sydney, refrigerating engineer, Henry Adamson of Manly, gentleman as joints tenants.

1937                       CERTIFICATE OF TITLE Vol 4873 Folio 42 dated 24th September

The Municipal Council of Sydney (See Later Titles)

 

LOT 28

1840                       CROWN GRANT dated 30th May

To James Breckenrigg Jnr

1845                       Indenture dated 7th March Bk 8 No 601

James  Breckenrigg Jnr to Charles John Backney (?)

1879                       Indenture dated 15th April

Charles John Backney? to John Starkey

1879                       PRIMARY APPLICATION No. 4873   dated 16th June 1879

John Starkey of Sydney cordial manufacturer

Being allotment 28 section 41 in the City of Sydney

1880                       CERTIFICATE OF TITLE Vol 503 Folio 196 dated 4th August

John Starkey of Sydney, cordial manufacturer being allotment 28 Section 41 in the City of Sydney

1898                       Application by Transmission No. 10667 dated 31st October

The Permanent Trustee Company

1903                       Transfer No. 375441 dated 31st August

To Frank Oswald Starkey, Ginger Beer Manufacturer

1910                       Application by Transmission Dated 28th July

Ethel May Starkey, widow, Alfred Earnest Starkey, Robert George Priddle, solicitor

1910                       Transfer No. 589386 dated 11th July

To Ethel May Starkey

1915                       CERTIFICATE OF TITLE Vol 2574 Folios 234,244

Ethel May Starkey, widow, of Lots 28 (V 503 F196) & 29 (V 262 F 234)

1915                       Power of Attorney 11th July 1910

Ethel Starkey to Robert George Priddle

1915                       Transfer No. A189987 dated 20th July

To Reginald Leslie Baker, physical culture expert

1920                       Transfer No. A569250 dated 27th April

To John McGrath Ltd

1922                       Transfer No. A797652 dated 21st February

To Louis Tranham Latter and John Andrews Broome school teachers, of part (Lot 28 and half Lot 29)

1922                       Transfer No. A871524 dated 27th September

To Hughes Motor Services of part (part of Lot 29)

-----

Lots 28 & part Lot 29 (Federation House)

1922                       CERTIFICATE OF TITLE Vol 3303 Folio 78 dated 18th April

Louis Tranham Latter  and John Andrews Broome school teachers, of part (Lot 28 and half Lot 29)

1928                       Transfer No. B640657 dated 1st March

The Municipal Council of Sydney of part

 

1930                       CERTIFICATE OF TITLE Vol 4404 Folio 134 dated 15th May

LT Latter & Arthur Cousins, school teachers

1936                       Transfer No. C543229 dated 25th September

To Thomas Augustus Murray of Villawood and John Travers of Crows Nest, school teachers

1937                       CERTIFICATE OF TITLE Vol 4852 Folio 108 dated 1st July

To Thomas Augustus Murray of Villawood and John Travers of Crows Nest, school teachers

1937                       Transfer No. C600400 dated 11th October

To Teachers’ Building Limited

 

Vol 5522 Folio 185

 

1966                       CERTIFICATE OF TITLE Vol 10284 Folio 73 dated 6th April

Teachers Building Limited

 

1967                       Transfer No. K 7(9)44718 dated 5th May

Reserve Bank of Australia

 

Part Lot 29 & Lot 30

1922                       CERTIFICATE OF TITLE Vol 3382 Folio 192 dated 2nd November

Hughes Motor Services Limited of part of Lot 29

 

1927                       CERTIFICATE OF TITLE Vol 4089 Folio 32 dated 12th December

Hughes Motor Services Limited of part of Lot 29 and Lot 30 a building known as Chancery Chambers (No. 170 Phillip Street) Built 1923

 

Converted to computer folio 1/75424

 

Lot 4

1835                       CROWN GRANT dated 7th February

To John Hardy of Lot 4 of Section 41 of the City of Sydney being 19 perches

 

1835                       Release dated 31st October   Book H No. 907

To Elizabeth Williams

 

1854                       Conveyance dated 2nd June Bk 32 No. 357

John Williams Snr to John Williams

 

1857                       Conveyance dated 11th January Bk 20 No. 495

Isaac Levey & Elias Moses to John Williams of part of Lot 5 of Section 41

 

1857                       Settlement dated 20th July Bk 170 No. 446

Edward Hargrave, Francis Smith Williams, Richard Hardgrave and John Williams

 

1884                       Conveyance dated 9th October No. 271 Bk 298

R. Hargrave, John Williams and others to John Starkey

 

1887                       PRIMARY APPLICATION No 7084 dated 30th August

John Starkey of Sydney, cordial manufacturer of Lot 4 and part of lot 5 for £6000.

 

1888                       CERTIFICATE OF TITLE Vol 880 Folio 173 dated 8th May

John Starkey of 20¾ perches being Lot 4 and part of Lot 5 Section 41

 

1898                       Application by Transmission No. 10667 dated 31st October

The Permanent Trustee Company of NSW Limited

 

1903                       Transfer No. 375440 dated 31st August

To Alfred Ernest Starkey of Sydney, gentleman

 

Leased to Caroline Wilson of Sydney, boarding house keeper (No. 217 Macquarie Street)

 

1925                       CERTIFICATE OF TITLE Vol 3723 Folio 118 dated 5th May

Alfred Ernest Starkey of Sydney, gentleman

 

1937                       Vol 4873 Folio 42 dated 24th September

The Municipal Council of Sydney (See Later Titles)

 

–---------------------------------------------------------------------------

1937                       CERTIFICATE OF TITLE Vol 4873 Folio 42 dated 24th September

The Municipal Council of Sydney

Pt Lot 3 granted to Benjamin Carvosso, Walter Lawry & Ralf Mansfield on 9th Jan 1821

Lot 4 granted to John Hardy on 7th Feb 1835

Lot 7 granted to John Farrell 30th Jan 1840

Pt Lot 27 granted to John Kellick 30th Jan 1840

Lot 6 granted to Jemima Jenkins 29th Feb 1840

Pt Lot 22 granted to James Wild 29 Feb 1840

Lot 26 granted to James Wild on 29th Feb 1840

Lot 5  granted to Simon Lear on 30th March 1840

Pt Lot 28 granted to James Brackenrigg the Younger 30th May 1840

Lot 23 granted to James Templeton & Richard Nugent 30th May 1840

Lot 9 granted to Thomas Burdekin 31st July 1840

Pt Lot 10 granted to Frederick Manton 30th Nov 1840

Pt Lot 21 granted to Mary Roberts 30th Nov 1840

Lot 8 granted to James Wild 31st Dec 1840

Lot 25 granted to Joseph Hyde Potts & Charles Thompson the younger 13th Jan 1841

Lot 24 granted to James Jolly 20th May 1851

 

1949                       CERTIFICATE OF TITLE Vol 5931 Folio 59 dated 18th February

The Municipal Council of Sydney

Being

Pt Lot 3  granted to Benjamin Carvosso, Walter Lawry & Ralf Mansfield on 9th Jan 1821

Lot 4 granted to John Hardy on 7th Feb 1835

Pt Lot 27 granted to John Kellick 30th Jan 1840

Pt Lot 6 granted to Jemima Jenkins 29th Feb 1840

Pt Lot 22 granted to James Wild 29 Feb 1840

Lot 26 granted to James Wild on 29th Feb 1840

Lot 5  granted to Simon Lear on 30th March 1840

Pt Lot 28 granted to James Brackenrigg the Younger 30th May 1840

Pt Lot 23 granted to James Templeton & Richard Nugent 30th May 1840

Pt Lot 10 granted to Frederick Manton 30th Nov 1840

Pt Lot 21 granted to Mary Roberts 30th Nov 1840

Lot 25 granted to Joseph Hyde Potts & Charles Thompson the younger 13th Jan 1841

Pt Lot 24 granted to James Jolly 20th May 1851

 

1959                       Transfer No. H 244203 dated 22nd June

To the Commonwealth Bank of part

 

1960                       CERTIFICATE OF TITLE Vol 7885 Folio 129 dated 8th April

Commonwealth Bank of Australia

Being all from Section 41

Pt Lot 3  granted to Benjamin Carvosso, Walter Lawry & Ralf Mansfield on 9th Jan 1821

Lot 4 granted to John Hardy on 7th Feb 1835

Pt Lot 27 granted to John Kellick 30th Jan 1840

Pt Lot 26 granted to James Wild on 29th Feb 1840

Pt Lot 5 granted to Simon Lear on 30th March 1840

Pt Lot 28 granted to James Brackenrigg the Younger 30th May 1840

 

1960                       Transfer No. H517381 dated 11th August

To Reserve Bank of Australia

 

1989                       Converted to computer folio 1/444499 dated 24th October

 

Washington House   221- 223 Macquarie Street

1821                       CROWN GRANT dated 9th January

To Benjamin Carvosso, Walter Lawry & Ralf Mansfield being allotment 3 of Section 41

 

1925                       PRIMARY APPLICATION No. 27421 dated 14th December

Application for Certificate of Title by the Municipal Council of Sydney

Notice of resumption of land

 

Vol 4872 Folio 42

 

1939                       CERTIFICATE OF TITLE Vol 5036 Folio 199 dated 28th April

Anthony Charles of Sydney, investor, pt lot 3

 

1941                       Transfer No C 981 880 dated 22nd January

Barney Goldroad Barripp of Bellevue Hill, investor

 

1943                       Application by Transmission dated 29th January

The Union Trustee Company of Australia Ltd, Samuel Goldroad Barripp of mascot, hotel keeper, Fay Deborah Levy wife of Leonard Henry Jacques Levy of Bondi, investor and Louis Sydney Allen of Sydney solicitor.

 

1946                       Death of SG Barripp dated 20th February

 

1946                       Transfer No. D 465643 dated 1st March

To Colin Anderson of Gunnedah, medical practitioner

 

1947                       Transfer No. D 625718 dated 4th February

To Francis Clunes Kirkpatrick of an undivided one tenth share (Vol 5730 Folio 179)

 

1946                       Transfer No D625726 dated 29th August

To Valma May Brennan of two undivided one fifth share (Vol 5732 F 174)

 

Residue Vol 5731 Folio 167

 

1947                       CERTIFICATE OF TITLE Vol 5731 Folio 167 dated 30th September

Colin Anderson of Gunnedah, medical practitioner

 

1958                       CERTIFICATE OF TITLE Vol 7473 Folio 249 dated 5th March

Colin Anderson of seven undivided one tenth shares

 

1964                       Transfer No. J 571420 dated 5th February

To the Reserve Bank

 

1964                       CERTIFICATE OF TITLE Vol 9672 Folio 100 dated 3rd April

Reserve Bank of Australia

 

Converted to Computer Folio 1/ 32720

 


11.6            Sands Directory Listings

 

PHILLIP STREET

1858

United Presbyterian Church

146 (164)                Dr Salter

148 (166)                White Heart Inn - Owen Laughlen

150 (168)                Walter Kimber

152 (170)                Mrs Amy Howard

154 (172)                William Walker

156 (174)                Henry Villis

Paynes Building

1865

United Presbyterian Church

146 (164)                John Kellick - builder

148 (166)                Mrs Green - Dressmaker

150 (168)                W.G Robinson - plumber

152 (170)                George Smith

154 (172)               

156 (174)                Henry Elliott

Paynes Building

1870

United Presbyterian Church

146 (164)                John McFarlane

148 (166)                Louis Menser

150 (168)                Vacant

152 (170)                Charles Ullbery

154 (172)                Grosvenor Bunster

156 (174)                Mrs Webb

Paynes Building

1875

United Presbyterian Church

146 (164)                Canter Coleman - importer

148 (166)                Christian Chichen

150 (168)                Fanny Cottrell

152 (170)                John Dew

154 (172)                Robert Murray

156 (174)                John Lewis

Paynes Building

1880

St Stephens

164          J.Matthewson - boarding house

166          William Williams

168          Mrs Sarah Allen

170          Patrick Lyons

172          John Daly

174          Mrs H.C Harper

Paynes Building

1882

St Stephens

164          J.Starkey - aerated water & cordial maker

166         

168         

170          vacant

172          John Daly

174          vacant land

1884

St Stephens

164          J.Starkey - aerated water & cordial maker

166         

168         

170          Mark Graham

172          John Daly

174          Selborne Chambers

1890

St Stephens

164          J.Starkey - aerated water & cordial maker

166         

168         

170          G.Benton

172          G.Benton

174          Selborne Chambers

1895

St Stephens

164          J.Starkey - aerated water & cordial maker

166         

168         

170          G.Benton - plumber

172          G.Benton

174          Selborne Chambers

1902       

St Stephens

164          J.Starkey - aerated water & cordial maker

Venn.E

Miss Shadforth - teacher of pianoforte

170          Mrs E. Fletcher

172          Mrs E. Nicholson

174          Selborne Chambers

1905

St Stephens

164          J.Starkey - aerated water & cordial maker

off           Venn.E

164          St James Rectory

170          Lucy Weir - boarding house

172          Lucy Weir

174          Selborne Chambers

1910

St Stephens

164a        J.Starkey - aerated water & cordial maker

 

164          St James Rectory - Rev Sydney Marsden

170          Lucy Weir - boarding house

172          Lucy Weir

174          Selborne Chambers

1912

St Stephens

164a        Starkeys’ Limited

164          Mrs Beatrice Huck “The Carlton” - residential chambers

170          Lucy Weir - boarding house

172          Lucy Weir

174          Selborne Chambers

1914

St Stephens

164a        Starkeys’ Limited

164          Mrs Beatrice Huck “The Carlton” - residential chambers

170          Joseph gent

172         

174          Selborne Chambers

1915

St Stephens

164a       

164         

 

170         

172         

174          Selborne Chambers

1916

St Stephens

164a       

164          Theosophical Society headquarters & Sydney Branch

170          Motor garage & Hire Company

172         

174          Selborne Chambers

1917

St Stephens

164a       

164          Motor Garage & Hire Co. - Porter & Davis

170         

172         

174          Selborne Chambers

1918

St Stephens

164a        Phillip Motor Garage - R.O. Hughes

164         

170         

172         

174          Selborne Chambers

1919

St Stephens

164a        Hughes Motor Services

164          Mrs E.M. Reed

170         

172         

174          Selborne Chambers

1920

St Stephens

164a        Hughes Motor Services

164          Mrs M Kelly - residential chamber

170         

172         

174          Selborne Chambers

1923

St Stephens

164a        Hughes Motor Services

164          Mrs M Kelly - residential chamber (5 barristers)

170         

 

172         

174          Selborne Chambers

1924

St Stephens

164a        Hughes Motor Services

164          Mrs M Kelly - residential chamber (3 barristers)

170          Chancery Chambers - ground + 4 floors 9 solicitors & barristers

172         

174          Selborne Chambers

1925

St Stephens

164a        Hughes Motor Services

164          Mrs M Kelly - residential chamber (3 barristers)

170          Chancery Chambers - ground + 4 floors 9solicitors & barristers

172         

174          Selborne Chambers

1927

       St Stephens

164     Checker Cab Co. (A/sai Ltd)

164     Mrs M Kelly – residential chamber (3 barristers)

170-72  Chancery Chambers

 

 

174     Selborne Chambers

1928

       St Stephens

164     Hughes Motor Services

164     Mrs M Kelly – residential chamber (3 barristers)

170-72  Chancery Chambers

174     Selborne Chambers

1932/3

           St Stephens

164     Hughes Motor Services

164     Offices

 

170-72  Chancery Chambers

174     Selborne Chambers

 


 

MACQUARIE STREET

1858

215 (239)                Anthony Thompson - fruiterer

217 (241)                Henry Williams

219 (243)                Roman Catholic School

221 & 223               Unitarian Chapel

 

1870

215 (239)                Thomas Kating

217 (241)                Henry L. Alexander

219 (243)               

221 & 223               Unitarian Chapel

(245)                       Rev J. Pillars

1876

215 (239)                237-239 - in course of erection

217 (241)                H.C. Jones - boarding house

219 (243)                243 - 247 - in course of erection

221 & 223              

1880

215          Mary Hayes - boarding house

217          Mrs Annie Wilson - boarding house

219          J.Grogan - boarding house

221          Miss Hayes - boarding house

223          Mrs Francis Cowell - boarding house

1891

215          Joseph Foreman - surgeon

217

217a       

219          J.Grogan - boarding house

221          Mrs Sylvester - boarding house

223          A.J. Syme - dentist

1892

215          Dr Joseph Foreman

217          Water Conservation

217a        Dept of Agriculture

219          J.Grogan - boarding house

221          Mrs Sylvester - boarding house

223          A.J. Syme - dentist

1894

215          Dr Joseph Foreman

217         

217a        Dept of Agriculture

219          J.Grogan - boarding house

221          Mrs Sylvester - boarding house

223          A.J. Syme - dentist

1895

215          Dr Joseph Foreman

217          Mrs H.R Boulton Boarding House

217a        Mrs L Lender - boarding house

219          A.Jarvine Hood - surgeon

221          Mrs Sylvester - boarding house

223          A.J. Syme - dentist

1900

215          J.S Robertson - dentist, S.H. Williams - dental surgeon, Mrs M.A. Rankin - caretaker

217          Miss C. Wilson  - Boarding House

217a        Mrs J Lender - boarding house

219          A.M Will - physician

221          Rev W.I.C Smith, Rev W.R Mousey, C of E

 

 

223          A.J. Syme - dentist

 

1910

215           4 medical

 

 

217          Miss C. Wilson  - Boarding House

217a        Mrs N. Job - boarding house

219          J.B Nash surgeon, W.Kelty - physician

221          H,C Taylor Young, - surgeon, Ernest E. Spicer - dental surgeon, Miss lambert - caretaker

223          A.J. Syme - dentist, W.M. Paul - dental surgeon, John Waller - caretaker, W.Hunter - dental surgeon

1920

215          4 medical

217          Miss Wilson - boarding establishment

219          J.B Nash surgeon, James N. Wilson - dental surgeon

221          Misses G & M Hughes - boarding establishment

223          5 medical

 

1923

215          13 medical “Whitehall”

217          Miss Wilson - boarding establishment

219          J.B Nash surgeon, James N. Wilson - dental surgeon

221          6 medical

 

223          6 medical

 


11.7            Sydney City Council Rate Book Search

11.7.1       Phillip Street

PHILLIP STREET

No.

Occupier

Owner

Type

Floors

Rooms

1871 Rate Book

 

Presbyterian Church

 

 

 

146

C.Coombs

John Williams

House

3

11

148

C.Andrews

James Brechenrigg

House

2

9

150

Fanny Cottrell

Estate of ----

House

1

4

152

John Dew

Mary Roberts

House

1

3

154

Robert Murray

Mary Roberts

House

1

3

156

 

Mrs ----

House

2

4

1877- 79  - Rate Book

 

St Stephens

 

 

 

146

J. Matthewson

John Williams

House

3

13

148

I.Andrews

James Brechenrigg

House

2

11

150

John Brogden

John Starkey

House

1

4

152

Patrick Lyons

Mary Roberts

House

1

3

154

David Robinson

Mary Roberts

House

1

3

156

L. de Spencer

Mrs Gould

House

1

4

1880- 81  - Rate Book

 

St Stephens

 

 

 

164

J. Matthewson

John Williams

House

3

13

166

Mr W. Davis

John Starkey

House

2

8

168

Mrs Allen

John Starkey

House

1

4

170

Patrick Lyons

Mary Roberts

House

1

3

172

John Daly

Mary Roberts

House

1

3

174

Mrs H Harper

Mrs J Gould

House

1

5

1882  - Rate Book

 

St Stephens

 

 

 

164

J. Starkey

J. Starkey

House & Brewery

3

24

166

 

 

 

 

 

168

 

 

 

 

 

170

Mark Graham

Mary Roberts

House

1

3

172

John Daly

Mary Roberts

House

1

3

174

Mrs H Harper

Building in course of erection

 

 

 

1891  - Rate Book

 

St Stephens Presbyterian Church

 

 

 

164

J. Starkey

J. Starkey

House & Brewery

3

24

166

 

 

 

 

 

168

 

 

 

 

 

170

G. Benton

J. Starkey

House

1

3

172

G.Benton

J. Starkey

House

1

3

174

Selborne Chambers

Commercial Building & Invest. Co

 

3

38

1899-1901  - Rate Book

 

St Stephens Presbyterian Church

 

 

 

164

J. Starkey

J. Starkey

House & Brewery

3

24

166

 

 

 

 

 

168

 

 

 

 

 

170

G. Benton

J. Starkey

House

2

8

172

G.Benton

J. Starkey

House

 

 

174

Selborne Chambers

Commercial Building & Invest. Co

 

3

38

1902-1906  - Rate Book

 

St Stephens Presbyterian Church

 

 

 

164

off

 

Estate of the late J. Starkey

factory, stables & land

3

10

164

Hooper Shodforth

Estate of the late J. Starkey

House & School

2

1

166

 

 

 

 

 

 

168

 

 

 

 

 

170

G. Benton

Estate of the late J. Starkey

House

1

8

172

G.Benton

Estate of the late J. Starkey

House

 

 

174

Selborne Chambers

Commercial Building & Invest. Co

 

3

38

1907-1910  - Rate Book

 

St Stephens Presbyterian Church

 

 

 

164

off

Arthur C. Starkey

Frank A Starkey

factory, stables

2

5

164

William Carr Smith

Frank A Starkey

House

2

11

166

 

 

 

 

 

168

 

 

 

 

 

170

Lucy Weir

Frank A. Starkey

House

1

8

172

Lucy Weir

Frank A. Starkey

House

 

 

174

Selborne Chambers

Commercial Building & Invest. Co

 

3

38

1918-20  - Rate Book

 

St Stephens Presbyterian Church

 

 

 

164

off

G.V. Hughes

Trustees St Stephens

House garage & workshops

 

 

164

 

 

 

 

 

166

 

John M. McGrath Ltd

Land

 

 

168

 

 

 

 

 

170

 

 

 

 

 

172

 

 

 

 

 

174

Selborne Chambers

Commercial Building & Invest. Co

 

3

38

1921 - Rate Book

 

St Stephens Presbyterian Church

 

 

 

164

off

RO Hughes

Trustees St Stephens

garage & workshops

3

 

3

164

Mary Kelly

Trustees St Stephens

House

2

14

166

 

John M. McGrath Ltd

Land

 

 

168

 

 

 

 

 

170

 

 

 

 

 

172

 

 

 

 

 

174

Selborne Chambers

Commercial Building & Invest. Co

 

3

38

1926 - Rate Book

 

St Stephens Presbyterian Church

 

 

 

164

off

Hughes Motor Services

Trustees St Stephens

garage & workshops

3

3

164

Mary Kelly

Trustees St Stephens

House

2

14

166

 

 

 

 

 

168

 

 

 

 

 

170-72

Chancery Chambers

Hughes Motor Services Limited

 

5

68

174

Selborne Chambers

Commercial Building & Invest. Co

 

 

38

1927- 28  - Rate Book

 

St Stephens Presbyterian Church

 

 

 

164

off

Checker Cabs Co.

Municipal Council Sydney

garage & workshops

3

3

164

Mary Kelly

Municipal Council Sydney

House

2

14

166- 68

 

NSW Teachers Limited

Land

 

 

170-72

Chancery Chambers

Hughes Motor Services Limited

Offices

5

68

174

Selborne Chambers

Commercial Building & Invest. Co

Offices

3

38

1930  - Rate Book

 

St Stephens Presbyterian Church

 

 

 

164

off