An album of approximately 230 photographs documenting the construction of the AMP Building, 23 King William Street, Adelaide. This impressive 19-storey building, designed by Louis Laybourne Smith in the Classical Revival and Beaux Arts styles and built between 1935 and 1936, survives to this day
Oblong quarto (approximately 265 x 330 mm), 39 blank album leaves, with the photographs (mainly 110 x 70 mm) mounted primarily on the rectos in corner mounts.
Post-bound cloth-covered album, lettered in gilt (according the stationer's label mounted on the front pastedown it is an 'Invicta Photo Album [Small]'); slight wear to the cloth at the extremities; final leaf browned and slightly brittle; 6 images appear to be missing, and one larger image showing the completed building (mounted with tape) now detached; the photographs are generally in fine condition.
The photographs (the majority dated in black ink between May 1935 and June 1936) follow the construction work from the early stages of the steel frame to the installation of the elaborate architectural mouldings, and feature a number of striking images of construction workers against the Adelaide skyline. A cutting from 'The News' October 10, 1934, describing the proposed building and with an artist's rendering of its street frontage, is mounted on the verso of the final leaf. The building's entry in the South Australian Heritage Registers confirms its significance: 'Completed in 1936, it was built as the new State headquarters of the AMP, replacing smaller premises built for the Society on the same site in 1880. The building is also significant for being designed by the notable Adelaide architect Louis Laybourne-Smith, considered one of the key practitioners of architecture in South Australia in the first half of the Twentieth Century. It is architecturally significant as a representative example of a 1930s multi-storey commercial building, now becoming rare in Adelaide, and is of high integrity. Its classically derived form and abstracted details illustrate one of the common architectural styles of the period. It is concrete framed in construction and fully integrates services such as lifts, external shutters and distributed heating systems within a centrally located services core. The building also includes an evaporative mechanical ventilation system, an innovative feature at the date of its construction. (Adapted from Danvers Architects Pty Ltd Conservation Plan 1996)'. This fine record was likely complied for Laybourne Smith's firm, Woods, Bagot, Laybourne-Smith & Irwin.