REWIND: From The Australian, September 9, 1996
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.