The building reflects an important period of development in the city during the 1930s as well as the association of this area of the city with professional premises. It is an excellent and rare expression of the Functionalist style meeting a need for continuous natural light, through bands of windows, to accommodate wool-broking activities. Such an uncompromising approach to the Functionalist tradition of office design is rare in the CBD. The building's scale, proportions and materials are contextually appropriate for its location in one of the city's most important historic streetscapes in Bridge Street and skilfully addresses its prominent corner site. The later conversions reflect important changing uses in the CBD.
This building was originally known as 44 Bridge Street and later as Booth House (after the owners Frederick H. Booth & Sons.) It was designed by Brewster and Manderson and was constructed by William Hughes & Co in 1937-38. Housing several offices, the building was particularly designed to provide continuous natural light on three sides, an important consideration for the wool brokers housed there (especially the samples rooms). The building was considered to be particularly important for its use of colour. The principal components of the exterior included sandstone, red granite, salmon coloured brickwork (darker on window heads and sills), green faced mullions and steel windows painted in rich brown and delicate green. Inside, the ground floor was covered in red and brown rubber tiles and biscuit coloured walls featuring bands of brown glass bricks and brown skirtings. A variety of materials were also noteworthy including Queensland Maple and copper glazing. The interior has been substantially altered largely due to the conversion of former office spaces. Restaurants were introduced to the basement and ground floor in 1975 and 1977.
Designer/Maker: Brewster and Manderson Architects
Builder/Maker: William Hughes & Co.
Construction years: 1938-1938
Other name: Bank of New South Wales
Type of item: Built
Category: Commercial Office/Building
Lat: -33.8648114543594 Long: 151.209754407072
44 Bridge Street, Sydney, NSW 2000