Sydney Architecture Images- Gone but not forgotten

Caltex House


Eric Milton Nicholls
(began work for Walter Burley Griffin in 1921 at the age of 19. After the Griffins left for India in 1935 Nicholls continued their practice).


167 Kent Street


Built- 1955   Renovation 1999


Late 20th-Century International


Australia's first all concrete skyscraper! built by Lend Lease (Civil and Civic) 1955-57

Steel frame. Height (architectural) 72m (roof) 60m Floors (above ground) 20


Summary The 28 storey Stamford on Kent was formerly the 15 storey Caltex House in Kent Street, Sydney.
Caltex House was built in 1957 and was office. Four decades later it became a luxury apartment block.
In 1996, the bldg was sold and gutted and 10 floors added to give height at 27st/90m high. The new bldg was completed in 1999 and was called Stamford Plaza.
Below- the building today-
STUDY 3 Caltex site

Australia;s tallest building on completion
72m from rear elevation with 20 storeys.
28,000sqm off space,
carpark-425 spaces
fastest lifts in Australia at the time 213m per min.
At time of construction the height limit was still 46m/150ft above mean footpath level of main entrance.The site had a 12m height dif from Kent st to Gas Lane. By taking advantage of this height dif, another 4 floors could be added to design. Plans were submitted to council and approved in June 1955.Approval for a 20storey, 5 levels for carparking, ground floor as shops/showrooms and 13 office floors. The 5 level carpark was Australia's largest privately owned carpark.
The swift construction back in 55, meant a new floors every 14 days instead of
he elevated site had some 2 st terraces which were quickly razed. The hard rock had to be dynamited to attain the required depth.

Builder's vision saw Sydney grow and fortune shared

By Adele Horin October 23 2002

Australia's corporate leaders could take a leaf out of Dick Dusseldorp's book. At a time when chief executive officers are accused of being greedy, myopic and uncaring, Dick Dusseldorp's story stands in stark contrast.

The man who created the giant Lend Lease corporation showed that profitability and corporate responsibility were compatible.

Not only was Mr Dusseldorp an innovative and successful property developer, he believed in sharing the fruits of the company's success with workers and clients.

"He would look askance at today's myopic focus on short-term returns, and on shareholders interests alone," said Lindie Clark, the author of a new Dusseldorp biography.

Many issues in the crisis of corporate governance could be addressed if more companies emulated his philosophy, she said.

At last night's launch of the biography, Finding a Common Interest, The Story of Dick Dusseldorp and Lend Lease (Cambridge University Press), friends and colleagues recalled the man who helped build modern Sydney - Caltex House, Australia Square, the MLC Centre, Blues Point Tower, and "everything under the sails" at the Opera House. "He was a builder," said the architect Harry Seidler, "in more than one sense of the word."

Mr Dusseldorp, who died in April 2000, was a businessman with heart. When he established Lend Lease soon after his arrival from Holland in 1951, he was appalled at the plight of Sydney's building workers. "He gave us continuity of work, and he shared the increased productivity gains," said Jack Mundey, then head of the Builders Labourers Federation. "It was a unique culture of dignity and respect."

The Lend Lease "culture" was a byword for progressive management. It was built on Dusseldorp's philosophy that workers, shareholders and customers should share rewards. He introduced employee share-ownership plans that extended down the hierarchy, and a profit-sharing scheme.

He also felt an obligation to the community. He left public open space on the Australia Square site when others advised him to fill it with shops.

But his success - Lend Lease's share price climbed for decades - was also built on shrewdness, determination and innovation.

Ignoring the opposition, he created the first listed property trust (in which small investors could buy and sell shares in building complexes). He forged the concept of strata title. And when he took over MLC, he introduced a revolutionary way to invest that is now commonplace.

He was " a great capitalist when making the profits, and a great socialist when distributing them," recalled David Thorne, a Lend Lease executive.

Tom Uren, minister for urban and regional development in the Whitlam government, said "think what this country would be like if we'd had more people like Dusseldorp around".