Built in 1938 by architects Samuel Lipson and Peter Kaad, the Hastings Deering building (then City Ford) represented the latest trends in European ‘International Style’ of architecture. The building was a new corporate headquarters for Hastings Deering Ltd., a name synonymous with the motor industry and Ford vehicle sales and service for over 60 years. The building featured spacious car showrooms, fully-equipped workshops and office space. Occupying an island site between Crown and Riley streets, Sydney, it cost approximately 125,000 pounds to build.
Streamlined and modern, the building pioneered a number of design and structural innovations in Sydney at the time. The elevations were simple horizontal bands of walls and steel framed glazing, and the rounded columns were set back from the external walls, so as to emphasise the sleek curved lines. A revolutionary system of banked spiral car ramps for cars to enter the building and move efficiently between floors, made the best use of limited space on the site. Large flat floor slabs on each level and coffered ceilings were supported by mushroom-headed column construction.
The building has recently undergone a major refurbishment with strict guidelines so as to preserve its architectural significance. One need only take a short stroll around the premises to see the structures, design elements and features that have been so fastidiously preserved.
Yet the building now serves a very modern purpose, housing our beautiful office suite, a hospital, a new generation Woolworths, additional consulting suites/offices and several ultra modern and exclusive apartments.
They just don’t build them like this anymore!