Orica House (ICI House)

During the conference, delegates had the opportunity to see a lot of tall building “firsts,” including the Orica House, which was one of the first freestanding, curtain-walled commercial skyscrapers in Australia. Touring the Orica House introduced participants to the country’s take on the style of the 1950s American office building, after which the building was modeled. The tour leader, Tim Leslie, Studio Director, Bates Smart, explained why the building symbolizes progress and modernity, and why it was the gateway to the construction of tall buildings that preceded it.

Program Organized by:

Speaker Position & Company
Tim Leslie  Studio Director, Bates Smart

About This Program Location

Orica House

About Orica House

Erected during a building boom underway in Melbourne during the 1950’s, the ICI Building, as Orica House was originally known, was the first proposal to challenge regulations limiting height in Australian cities. When the plan for Orica House was first introduced in 1955, Melbourne’s buildings were limited to 11-12 stories in height. Influenced by the form of American office building constructed in the early 1950s, the building was proposed to cover only a portion of the site, leaving the remainder as a setback plaza and landscaped garden, positioned as a public amenity and trade off in exchange for surpassing the previously imposed height restriction. The building was then approved in 1957 and led to Melbourne becoming the first Australian city to revise its height limitations in… Read More

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