This section is from the book "Modern Buildings, Their Planning, Construction And Equipment Vol5", by G. A. T. Middleton. Also available from Amazon: Modern Buildings.
The group of offices known as the Stock Exchange Building (Figs. 194 and 195), situated in Pitt Street, Sydney, was erected from designs by Messrs. Sulman & Power, of that city. The planning has been confined to providing large public and call-rooms, together with as much space for revenue production by letting as could be obtained.
This building was erected in conjunction with another which adjoins it, and a central mutual basement stair has been arranged, giving access to a mutual light area, which gives particularly good light to the basement offices. The entrance corridor has been made an attractive feature by the introduction of marble paving and a very fine dado of Australian marble. The front, though simply treated, is both good in colour (being built up of red brickwork and warm brown stone dressings) and effective in mass of light and shade.
The National Mutual Life Association Building, here illustrated in Fig. 196, shows the planning of a large city building upon a restricted site. The work is the production of Messrs. Wright, Reed, & Beaver, of South Australia, whose designs were selected in public competition. The building occupies a commanding site in the principal street of the city of Melbourne, having a frontage of 82 feet to Collins Street and 50 feet to Queen Street, the height from street level to top of corner turret being 140 feet.
The building comprises seven storeys and a basement (eight floors in all), and is of the most substantial character throughout, and replete with all modern conveniences. The basement contains offices to let, also strong-room, engine-room, and stationery-room for the use of the Association, with a private stairway to the ground-floor office. The Association's offices are on the ground floor. At the back of the hall, directly facing the entrance, are three passenger elevators. The first, second, third, fourth, and fifth floors are arranged as offices to let, each suite having strong rooms, etc., and each containing lavatory and other conveniences. The sixth floor is utilised for the boardroom and other offices connected with the Association, and the seventh floor is devoted to caretaker's quarters, etc. All the rooms are large and lofty and thoroughly ventilated, special appliances being supplied for the extraction of foul air, in addition to which fresh air is conducted to each apartment, after being warmed in the winter weather and cooled during the hot months. The building is entirely of fireproof construction, the floors being of terra-cotta lumber and rolled steel joists. The two fronts are carried out in freestone on base courses of polished granite. The finishings of the interior have been carefully designed, the woodwork of the ground floor being walnut and the floors laid with marble tiles and parquetry. The entrance hall is entirely of marble in different colours, and the staircase of marble up to the first floor, and the remainder in bluestone.