Archive for October, 2009

A letter published in The Mercury, 31 October 2009.

Murray Street offices a delightful design

The building causing such controversy at 10 Murray St is one of Hobart’s best-designed 1960s office buildings. Dirk Bolt, who played a big part in its design, was one of the most prolific and successful design architects of his time.

Bolt is a man of great integrity who inspired many Tasmanian contemporaries, like myself, by his ability at a time when Hobart was developing fast with many fine multi-storey office buildings, and others, being built. This building was a delightful place in which to work, on a very special site, with its column and beam grid, large windows, efficient air conditioning and lighting. For it to be described as “a very poor building” by a fly-in architect is inaccurate and insulting to a very talented architect. It should not be demolished.

Graeme Dean
South Hobart


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Text of advertisement in The Mercury from the Sullivans Cove Waterfront Authority, 31 October 2009:


Notice is given that an application for a planning permit under Section 57 of the Land Use Planning and Approvals Act 1993 and an application for heritage works approval under Section 32 of the Historic Cultural Heritage Act 1995 have been received by the Authority.

Location: “Parliament Square” – the land bound by Davey & Murray Streets and Salamanca Place and part of the rear of Parliament House, Hobart (lots 1 & 2 and part of lot 3 of Central Plan Register No. 8496)

Proposal: Demolition, mixed use development comprising offices, art & cultural centre, eating establishments & hotel (bar), civic square & car parking, building alterations & additions, road works and public urban space building, works & furniture.

These applications can be inspected at the Authority’s office at 5 Franklin Wharf, Hobart between 9 am and 5pm weekdays. Any person may make a representation in relation to an application by writing to the Chief Executive Officer at GPO Box 2114, Hobart 7001 or by emailing info@waterfront.tas.gov.au.
Representations should be received by 4pm, Monday 16 November 2009.

Hadley Sides
Chief Executive Officer

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Click here to view a photo essay by Hobart photographer Thomas Ryan, including some recently added views of the interior.

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The Mercury 28 October 2009

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A letter published in The Mercury, 24 October 2009.

Demolition dud

The people of Hobart, the State Government and Treasurer Michael Aird may not want to hear from a retired northern architect regarding the proposed demolition of 10 Murray St to make way for the city’s proposed new Parliament Square. Nonetheless, I consider it would be crazy to demolish it.

Architect for the proposed development, Richard Francis-Jones has said 10 Murray St is a “very poor building” (Mercury, October 21). From drawings exhibited depicting the new development, one could equally and reasonably conclude it will be a very poor square.

Most disturbing is the ineffectiveness of the Heritage Council. Its existence seems pointless.

Jim Dickenson

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A letter published in The Mercury, 23 October 2009.

Demolition of Hobart office block a big mistake

I agree with architect Dirk Bolt (Mercury, October 21) that 10 Murray St should be preserved and not demolished. Demolishing it reinforces the message of a throw-away society as well as ignoring its architectural merits.

The Murray St precinct has different periods, spanning Georgian to Modernism. To say 10 Murray St detracts from the feel of Hobart is like saying the Princes Wharf shed detracts from Salamanca Place.

Many 20th century buildings are shunned by people who think history and beauty comes only from buildings of the 1800s.

What will those who believe 10 Murray St doesn’t fit say to the proposed government offices that will be ultra-modern?

Thomas-Liam Ryan
St Helens

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