Project Description

Archival Recording
Client: NGI Investment P/L & Westpac
Commissioned: 2006-2008 and 2016-2017 respectively

The site of the former bank of NSW Head Office is historically significant as the location from 1853 to 1970 of the principal office of Australia’s first & largest private bank. The building itself is associated with the period of commercial optimism that preceded the Great Depression, & also with the prominent architectural firm of Robertson & Marks who have worked on the building since its construction. 341 George Street is aesthetically significant as a substantially intact example of the Interwar Commercial Palazzo style. It contains a richly detailed Banking Chamber, with original fittings, furniture & extensive finishes of marble, scagliola & pressed metal. Some key areas within the office floors of the building (the Executive Floor, the Board Room, Stairways & Safe Deposit Area) have retained their original detailing & provide evidence of state of the art office interiors of the 1930s.
The site is significant for its landmark qualities & together with the adjoining former CBC Bank Head Office it terminates the western vista of Martin Place & forms part of the precinct of historic public & private commercial buildings near the junction of Martin Place & George Streets. The building is also significant for forming the southern enclosure to the Wynyard Street plaza.”

Our Involvement

City Plan Heritage has been engaged over a number of years to provide ongoing heritage consultancy services associated with the heritage interpretation strategy and plan and subsequently for the refurbishment and conservation works for the Westpac flagship branch leading up to their 200 years anniversary. We have worked closely with the graphic designers, architects and lighting consultants as required for the respective scope of works associated with the revealing of the development history and conservation of the significant fabric and upgrading the fit-out as well as external signage and lighting of the façade. We have assisted Westpac in formulising and specifying the refurbishment and conservation works and obtaining approvals from both the City of Sydney and the Heritage Council
of NSW.

Photo credits

1. The original photo of Bank circa 1933-1939, State Library Image (35219) – Hall & Co
2. Future main entrance lighting by Haron Robson
3. Heritage Interpretation Panel image by Slingshot Design.