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St Martin's House

Place Details
Place ID 600075
Registration Type State Heritage
Place Name St Martin's House
Alternative Name St Martin's Hospital
Place Classification Built
Place Category Health and Care Services
Place Type Hospital - private
Themes 10 Providing health and welfare services / 10.1 Providing health services
Register Entry Date 21/10/1992

Address 373 Ann Street
Post Code 4000

Cultural Heritage Significance
Principal Period
of Significance
1922c (fabric) 1920s-1970s (historical)
Criterion A St Martin's House is significant as a memorial to World War I servicemen and women. The building also survives as evidence of the nursing activities of the Sisters of the Sacred Advent
Criterion D St Martin's House is significant as a highly accomplished building displaying characteristic Arts and Crafts massing, fine detail and workmanship, and a range of major materials. The building forms an integral part of a group of ecclesiastical buildings and spaces.
Criterion E St Martin's House is significant as a highly accomplished building displaying characteristic Arts and Crafts massing, fine detail and workmanship, and a range of major materials. The building forms an integral part of a group of ecclesiastical buildings and spaces.
Criterion H St Martin's House is significant as a fine example of the work of eminent architect Lange Powell, and a major work of Thomas Keenan, builder.

History St Martin's House was built as a hospital by the Anglican Church as a memorial to those who had fought in World War 1. The name St Martin's Hospital was chosen as the Armistice had been signed on St Martin's day. Designed by Lange Powell, St Martin's Hosptial was built by local contractor Thomas Keenan & Son for approximately £46,000 ($92,000). It was an accomplished design by an eminent local architect with an eclectic repetoire. It was opened and dedicated on 28 November 1922. The hospital was run by the Sisters of the Sacred Advent to care for the sick, and contained seven main wards, single rooms and two operating theatres. The main kitchen was built on the top floor, while smaller kitchens were installed on each floor for food distribution. A children's wing was added in 1940. In 1945 a statue of St Martin, designed by William Bustard and crafted by Jack Muller was set in the Ann Street wall of the hospital. In June 1971 the hospital was closed, and the patients moved to a new hospital at Zillmere. During the 1970s, plans to demolish the building were thwarted by a public campaign led by the Save St. Martin's Committee. Recently the building was renovated, and in November 1990 St Martin's House was opened as the administrative headquarters for the Anglican Diocese. The top floor was converted to living quarters for the Precentor.

Description St Martin's House is built on stone foundations with external walls of brick with sandstone facings, and is roofed with terracotta shingle tiles. The building is organised in plan so as to create a series of protected courtyards around the south transept of St John's Cathedral. This maintains the continuity of the system of closed spaces that surround the Cathedral on three sides. The massing of the building is centred on the service tower which has radiating wings. The tower has three levels and a basement while the remainder of the building is two storeyed. The facade oriented towards the cathedral is the most ornate, with a conical roof over the operating theatre, but that towards the south west with its cloister is also an important part of the building. Openings are a combination of square headed and semi-circular, segmented, and Gothic arches. The exterior is enhanced by the quality of the detailing including: the corbelled brickwork, cruciform rain-water spouts, and the statue of St Martin of Tours in a niche in the western gable. Arts and Crafts elements are clearly evident, and visually there are many similarities with the house most identified with that movement in the United Kingdom, the Red House by Philip Webb. Gothic elements are also present and St Martin's complements the other buildings which form the cathedral group. Internally almost all the evidence of the building's use as a hospital has been lost in its change to office and residential use. Although the joinery has been retained, the northern wards and central corridor have been combined into one large office area and suspended ceilings installed. The original top floor kitchen has been converted into living quarters. The southern verandah is enclosed, and a fire stair has been constructed behind the facade facing Ann Street.

Element Name St Martin's House
Designer Name Powell, Lange Leopold
Style Arts & Crafts
Design Period 1919 - 1930s Interwar period
Builder Name Keenan, Thomas
Construction Period 1922c - 1922c
Construction Method Load-bearing brick
Fabric (Exterior Structure) Brick - faced with sandstone
Fabric (Roof) Terracotta tiles
Roof Form Conical
Place Components Theatre - operating
Other - health/care services: component

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Last updated: 15 March 2013

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