the most impressive and innovative interwar Art Deco buildings
in Australia, this was designed by Emil Sodersten (1901-61) after
he had completed an important tour overseas. At thirty-three years
of age, when CML was designed, Sodersten (like C Bruce Dellit
one year his senior) was a young architect pioneering modern design
in Sydney, with considerably more impact than his conservative
and more established peers.
The V-shaped plan addresses Richard Johnson Square, on the corner
of Bligh and Hunter Streets, with a strong chamfered entrance
which rises the whole height of the building. Behind the entrance
is a courtyard and full-height lightwell which provides good natural
light to each floor. The serrated or zigzag’ window treatment
to the street (also found on the Queensland Insurance Building
in Pitt Street by Sodersten, 1940) allows much greater control
of direct sunlight from one direction, while still allowing a
view from the other. This was also the first private office building
in Sydney to be fully air-conditioned. Fine interior features
and finishes appear in seven types of stone with original fixtures.
The polished stone entrance features bronze sculptures by Rayner
Hoff who had just completed his tour-de-force at the Anzac War
Memorial (427) in Hyde Park.
Taken from:Sydney architecture / Jahn, Graham. Published 1997.