Nauru House

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Nauru House
Nauru House AON.jpg
Record height
Tallest in Melbourne from 1977 to 1978[I]
Preceded byOptus Centre
Surpassed byANZ at Collins Place
General information
LocationMelbourne, Australia
Coordinates37°48′48″S 144°58′15″E / 37.81333°S 144.97083°E / -37.81333; 144.97083Coordinates: 37°48′48″S 144°58′15″E / 37.81333°S 144.97083°E / -37.81333; 144.97083
Antenna spire190 m (620 ft)
Roof183 m (600 ft)
Technical details
Floor count52
Floor area50,500 m2 (544,000 sq ft)
Design and construction
ArchitectPerrott Lyon Timlock & Kesa

Nauru House (also called 80 Collins Street) is a landmark 52-storey building located in the Melbourne CBD, Victoria, Australia. The building was designed by architectural firm Perrott Lyon Timlock & Kesa and completed in 1977.


By the early 1970s, the tiny Pacific island nation the Republic of Nauru had large funds generated by the sale of phosphate. They established the Nauru Phosphate Royalties Trust (NPRT) to invest the profits in international real estate.[1]

The site was purchased in 1972 for A$19 million by the NPRT for the construction of an investment office tower.[2]

The site included a number of older buildings facing Collins Street and the development was proposed at a time of increasing concern at the loss of the historic buildings of the 'Paris End'.[3] Ogg's Chemist at 80 Collins and the three storey terrace at 84 Collins were demolished by 1972, but attempts to purchase and demolish 76 Collins Street, built in 1855, the exclusive Le Louvre boutique were stymied by the owner Lillian Wightman who refused to sell.[4] The sites of the two demolished buildings, separated by the 1960s four storey Palmer House at 82 Collins, remained as 'gaps' in Collins Street, paved and landscaped, with the space where Oggs Chemist had been as the Collins Street address of Nauru House.

When completed in 1977 it briefly became the tallest building in Melbourne; however, it was not tall enough to take the mantle as Australia's tallest building, with the strikingly similar, but taller MLC Centre in Sydney completed just a few months earlier in the same year. In 1978, Nauru House was surpassed by the first Collins Place tower (architect I.M. Pei) as the tallest building in Melbourne.

Due to cracks and decay in the pebble finish of the concrete, all the structure was encased in matte-gray aluminium in 1991.[5]

Following decades of mismanagement, over-spending and spiralling loans from General Electric, estimated to amount to approximately A$227 million, the NPRT was forced to sell off its international assets.[6][7]

Nauru House was purchased by the Queensland Investment Corporation (QIC) in December 2004 for A$140 million .[8]

A large scale redevelopment of the site was first planned in 2008, with an office tower taller than Nauru House proposed between it and Collins Street, cantilevering over the remaining historic buildings.[9] At the same time, QIC was negotiating to purchase 76 Collins Street, which occurred in 2009, and the Le Louvre business moved to South Yarra.[10] QIC also bought and then demolished the 1960s office block at 82 Collins Street. The final design for the redevelopment by Woods Bagot architects was for a 35 level office tower with a setback from Collins Street, a new podium with shops and an arcade, an 'infill' streetscape on Collins Street, and a 300 room hotel facing Little Collins Street.[11] Construction commenced in 2017, with completion due in 2020.

The new tower is to be known as 80 Collins South Tower, and Nauru House as 80 Collins North Tower.[12]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ McKenzie, Greg (11 March 1976). "Giddy limit in tall storeys". The Age. p. 16. Retrieved 25 April 2011.
  2. ^ Shepherd, Dick (4 February 1972). "Hotel men expected to press for Govt. aid". The Age. Retrieved 25 April 2011.
  3. ^ "The 'Paris end' of Collins Street". National Trust of Australia (Victoria). Retrieved 12 July 2018.
  4. ^ "Le Louvre". Victorian Heritage Database. Retrieved 12 July 2018.
  5. ^ "Nauru House". Construction Engineering Australia. Retrieved 12 July 2018.
  6. ^ Clausen, Lisa (18 May 2004). "Can Nauru Stay Afloat?". Time Magazine. Retrieved 25 April 2011.
  7. ^ Westerman, Helen (24 August 2004). "Nauru House expected to fade away". The Age. Retrieved 25 April 2011.
  8. ^ Westerman, Helen (8 April 2005). "Nauru moves out of Melbourne with $9.9m sale". The Age. Retrieved 25 April 2011.
  9. ^ "THE EVOLUTION OF 80 COLLINS STREET". Urban Melbourne. Retrieved 12 July 2018.
  10. ^ "End nears for legendary Collins St salon". The Age. 29 June 2009. Retrieved 12 July 2018.
  11. ^ "THE EVOLUTION OF 80 COLLINS STREET". Urban Melbourne. Retrieved 12 July 2018.
  12. ^ "80 Collins Street North Tower". 80 Collins. Retrieved 12 July 2018.

External links[edit]

Media related to Nauru House at Wikimedia Commons

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