REWIND: From The Aus­tralian, Septem­ber 9, 1996

The Weekend Australian - Review - - Lifelines -

THE Mel­bourne ar­chi­tec­tural firm re­spon­si­ble for de­sign­ing the city’s re­cently re­stored Re­gent The­atre has been se­lected to de­sign the com­ple­tion of the Vic­to­rian Par­lia­ment House. But whether the gi­ant dome which formed part of Peter Kerr’s orig­i­nal 1856 de­sign will form part of the com­pleted project is yet to be de­cided.

An­nounc­ing Robert Peck von Har­tel Trethowan as the suc­cess­ful firm, the chair­man of the Par­lia­ment House Com­ple­tion Author­ity, Mr Bill Bax­ter, said the com­pany would be asked to de­sign the dome and sub­mit con­struc­tion cost­ings be­fore a de­ci­sion was made.

The $80 mil­lion project, due to be com­pleted by mid-1999, will in­volve the com­ple­tion of north and south wings which, al­though part of the orig­i­nal de­sign, were never fin­ished.

The com­plex was de­vel­oped in the lat­ter half of the 19th cen­tury but was halted in the 1890s be­cause of a lack of money and suit­able stone. Mr Bax­ter said ad­di­tional funds would be re­quired to build the dome.

A di­rec­tor at Robert Peck von Har­tel Trethowan, Mr Bruce Trethowan, said yes­ter­day his firm was ec­static at hav­ing been cho­sen to de­sign the com­ple­tion. He said he be­lieved the firm’s track record in de­sign­ing the restora­tion of her­itage build­ings, such as the re­cently com­pleted Re­gent The­atre and the domed of­fice build­ing at 333 Collins Street, had given it the edge over com­pet­ing firms.

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