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    Harry Seidler’s Shell House gets recognised for heritage value

    Branko Miletic

    Situated near the Victorian state parliament on the corner of Spring and Flinders Streets in Melbourne’s CBD, Shell House, the 28-floor tower designed by Harry Seidler and built by the Grollo family in 1989, has now been added to Victoria’s heritage list.

    According to the chair of the Heritage Council of Victoria Stuart Macintyre, “Shell House has been loved by architects, designers and the general public for a long time.”

    “It is the only high-rise tower designed by Harry Seidler in Victoria,” he said.

    Its popularity with the design community has ensured that it won a number of awards over the past two decades.

    In terms of overall style, Shell House is an example of a late modernist building, while in terms of sculptural effects, McIntyre describes it as having a “…curved and interlocking shell-like shape - enhanced by artworks such as the mural ‘Bathers and Pulpit Rock’ by Arthur Boyd and Charles Perry’s sculpture, ‘Shell Mace’ at the Spring Street entrance.”

    According to McIntyre, the artworks have also been included in the building’s heritage registration.

    Shell House is among several Harry Seidler-designed high-rise buildings still standing both here and overseas – some of which also have heritage listing, such as Australia Square, the one-time highest office block in Sydney.

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