Parliament House Spring Street, Melbourne VIC

role Architecture value $80 million completed date 1997

Parliament House, Melbourne, is one of Australia's grandest public buildings and represents an aesthetic highpoint that reflects the ideals of the State's founders and Victorian architectural design. In 1996, following an international selection process, peckvonhartel were appointed architects for the completion of the building. The firm consequently completed schematic designs for a construction and refurbishment works. The project was stopped in 1997.

The construction of the original Parliament House commenced in 1856 with the construction of two legislative chambers. Progressive additions included the library (1860), the Queens Hall (1879), the west front and colonnade (1898) and the refreshment room wing (1929). The building nevertheless remains only partially complete and is missing Dome and extensive north and south wings. The latter would connect the main west front to the library and refreshment room wings to the east.

The schematic design developed by peckvonhartel for the building included the construction of these wings, offices to accommodate member’s offices, library facilities and staff offices with underground carparking, loading and storage facilities. Further research into the availability of local stone and stone detailing continued until 2000.

As featured in The Age, 7 September 1996. Photograph: Andrew De La Rue.