Royal Australasian College of Surgeons

Architect: Leighton Irwin 1933

City of Melbourne | C18

Building Description

The Royal Australasian College of Surgeons building occupies an irregular island site on the north-eastern edge of the CBD. The land was reserved by Lieutenant-Governor C.J. La Trobe in 1852 ‘for educational purposes’. A school was built here in 1853-54, designed by A.E. Johnson. This building stood for 80 years before being demolished in 1933 to make way for the new College building. The building was designed by Leighton Irwin and Roy Stevenson in the ‘stripped classical’ style. It is constructed of dark brown bricks set in Flemish bond with bands of black header courses. The metal windows are framed by scalloped rendered borders. A stringcourse at first floor level further articulates and balances the wall surfaces. The monumental sandstone portico, with its square column shafts supporting the lofty pediment, is the main feature of the façade. The building was originally conceived as a pavilion, a freestanding structure set in its own landscape. Additions made in the 1960s, and again in 2003, have altered the nature of the building and the gardens. The Royal Australasian College of Surgeons building was awarded the RVIA’s Street Architecture Medal in 1937, and is listed on the Victorian Heritage Register.

What's On

Visitors will be given a presentation on the history of the site, the Old Model School, and how the College came to acquire the land, followed by a tour of the significant spaces of the original building.


250-290 Spring Street, East Melbourne 3002, East Melbourne VIC

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