Orica House (former ICI House)
1 Nicholson Street, East Melbourne 3002.
 
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ICI Orica House
Orica House
Summary:
  • Built in 1955-58.
  • Designed by Bates Smart McCutcheon.
  • Listed on the Victorian Heritage Register (no. H0786).
Building Description:

Built for Imperial Chemical Industries (ICI) Australia, the ICI House office building was re-named Orica House when ICI became Orica in the late 1990's.

Orica House is a highly-significant building in Melbourne because:
  • It was the first building in Melbourne to break the 40.2 metre height limit.
  • It was the first 'modern' glass-wall building in Melbourne.
  • It was the first skyscraper built outside the Hoddle Grid.
  • Its construction made significant use of precast reinforced units in structural members and flooring, which was novel at the time.
When constructed, Orica House symbolised progress, modernity, efficiency and corporate power in postwar Melbourne and was being constructed at the time of the 1956 Melbourne Olympics when the city was being showcased on the world stage.

Orica House is 80.4 metres tall and consists of 20 storeys. Most of the original interiors have been removed except for the lift lobbies and the foyer, which itself was sympathetically remodelled in 1989.

The landscaped garden which greets visitors at the main entrance has been preserved and the fountains are all intact.
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