What is significant?
Victor Horsley Chambers was constructed between 1922-26 for Victor Horsley of Horsley and Evans Costume Manufacturers for leasing as professional chambers. It was designed by W A M Blackett of Blackett and Forster architects. It is a five storey building in the Georgian Revival style constructed in concrete and brick with a stone facing. The ground floor facade is faced with smooth banded rustication and relates directly to the nearby Treasury building. The first floor level has symmetrically arranged windows with a pedimented triple window in the centre. On the fourth storey there is a cantilevered balcony with iron railing. The windows to the second and third floors are twelve-pane double-hung sashes and the walling on these upper floors is rendered. A balustraded parapet crowns the composition. Behind the ornamented facade is the lobby and lift with metal cage lift shaft with concrete wrap-around stair.
How is it significant?
Victor Horsley Chambers is of architectural and historical significance to the State of Victoria.
Why is it significant?
Victor Horsley Chambers is architecturally significant is an early example of the Georgian Revival style which became increasingly prevalent from the mid 1920s. The building is significant for its polite classicism and the conscious attempt to blend in with neighbouring structures.
Victor Horsley Chambers is historically significant to the State of Victoria for its associations with some of the nation's most prominent medical practitioners, including Sir Victor Hurley.
History of Place:
This building was constructed in 1922-26 for Victor Horsley of Horsley and Evans Costume Manufacturers, 240 Bourke Street Melbourne. It was designed by leading architects Blackett and Forster. The building replaced on the site a twelve-roomed brick building which had been owned by Walter Coates Glover of Toorak. The new owners, Victor Horsley Chambers Pty. Ltd., had purchased the site for 56,000 pounds. Victor Horsley Chambers Pty. Ltd. owned the property until 1936 when Manchester Unity Fire Insurance Company paid 74,500 pounds for it and in June 1971 the current owners acquired it. It has been tenanted largely by the medical profession ever since it was constructed and in fact was obviously constructed as an investment building.
According to Geoffrey Mewton, ( a pupil of Blacket, Forster and Craig architects) the building was designed by Hugh Craig. Mewton said of Craig that he believed Australian architecture should be developed from the work of Greenway and other early colonial architects. This is not particularly surprising, given the positive reception to the publication of Hardy Wilson's 'Old Colonial Architecture in New South Wales and Tasmania' (1923), which led to a renewed interest in colonial and specifically Georgian architecture.
(from notes on file)
Associated People: Victor Hurley