Perth: Council House (Australia)

Council House

St. Georges Terrace, Perth, Australia

Howlett & Bailey (1960-63)

Council House, Perth by Howlett & Bailey 02_Stephen Varady Photo ©

The very first time I saw a picture of Council House I was struck by the beauty of its design. It was many years before I travelled to Perth to see it for myself. By that time it had been repaired and restored and glowed in the sunshine, and I was even more struck by the beauty of its design.

In 1959 Perth City Council ran a competition for a new Council administration building to be ready in time for the hosting of the Commonwealth Games in 1962. The jury included Harry Seidler and Leslie Perrot, and from 61 entries, Jeffrey Howlett and Don Bailey, two young architects who worked together at Bates Smart and McCutcheon in Melbourne, were selected as winners.

Council House, Perth by Howlett & Bailey 19_Stephen Varady Photo ©

The most significant feature of the facade are the t-shaped sunshades that create a wonderful rhythm across the faces of the building. This and other details about the competition, the building design and its restoration and refurbishment, including essays by Geoffrey London and Robert Bell, can be found in the publication 50 Years – Council House produced by the City of Perth.

Council House, Perth by Howlett & Bailey 05_Stephen Varady Photo ©


Further Information:

Place: Council House Wikipedia,

Architect: Howlett & Bailey

Photographer: Stephen Varady

Review: 50 Years – Council House, AIA Award 2010, WA Gov. Arch. Historic Overview, ArchitectureAU (5 Nov 2015), ArchitectureAU (1 Mar 2006)

Map: Council House Map








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