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Parliament House

Architect: John George Knight , Peter Kerr 1855

City of Melbourne | C26

Building Description

Victoria’s Parliament House is one of Australia’s oldest and most architecturally distinguished public buildings. Facing the intersection of Spring and Bourke Streets, the west façade with its sweeping steps, elegant lamps and grand colonnades project solidity and strength. Plans for Parliament House were drawn in November 1855 by architect, Peter Kerr. The first stages of the building’s construction were the Legislative Assembly and Legislative Council Chambers in 1856. The Parliamentary Library was completed five years later, with the Vestibule and Queen’s Hall built in 1879. Work on the façade started in 1878, and was not completed until 1892 due to a lack of material. The façade is finished in a mix of basalt, freestone and brick. A flight of 41 steps, some up to 46 metres in length, leads to the vestibule entrance, flanked by 14 ornate triple glow lamps, which were installed in 1891 and restored in 1979. The vision of Peter Kerr for Parliament House has not been fully realised, with the building remaining an incomplete structure. Original plans for the building included a dome to sit atop the Vestibule, which would have made the total height of the Vestibule 42 metres.

What's On

Guided tours are provided by professional tour guides from the Parliament. The House Chambers, Queen’s Hall and the Parliamentary Library are included in the tour route.


Spring Street, East Melbourne VIC 3002, Melbourne VIC


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