Office buildings continued


Throughout the 1920s a building boom continued in Perth.  After the First World War little immediate change was noticeable in the design of office buildings constructed in Western Australia.  Construction of the Commonwealth Bank - built in a style to mirror that of the General Post Office - began as late as 1930, being completed in 1933.

Between the wars new building techniques using materials and components imported from industrialised Britain and America, began to be employed more widely in Western Australia.  These materials were imported from overseas and began to influence the way in which office buildings were designed and built.  Structural framing of steel and concrete, and the introduction of safe passenger lifts, allowed architects to design taller buildings.  These developments reflected the emergence of a Modern Movement in architecture, a style which rejected the classical and decorative elements of the Edwardian and late Victorian period, still dominant in places like Western Australia.  At this time some of the office buildings being constructed in Perth looked like mini New York skyscrapers.

Following the building down-turn of the Depression, art deco, a less ornate decorative style than the Edwardian classical, became popular in Western Australia.  Hotels and cinema theatres, in particular, as well as some commercial structures like the CML building, employed an architectural style associated with sophistication, modernity and urban living.

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