Perucci Shirts Pty Ltd Factory

Location

2-6 Ballarat Street BRUNSWICK, MORELAND CITY

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Heritage Overlay Number

HO385

For further details, contact the local council or go to Planning Schemes Online.

Level of Significance

Included in Heritage Overlay

66837

Statement of Significance

What is Significant?

The building at 2-6 Ballarat Road, Brunswick, is a modernist factory comprising a sprawling sawtooth-roofed production building and a double-storeyed office/showroom on Ballarat Street. The latter presents a particularly striking facade, with a projecting concrete-framed and fully-glazed upper storey and a sloping lower level with tiled cladding, plain black columns and tinted paving. Designed for Yakka Overalls Pty Ltd in 1955 by architects A K Lines, Macfarlane & Marshall, the factory was subsequently occupied by Fletcher Jones (1966-1982) and Perucci Shirts (1983-2008).

How is it Significant?

The factory is of historical, architectural and aesthetic significance to the City of Moreland.

Why is it Significant?

Historically, the factory is significant for associations with a succession of important Australian clothing manufacturers that have become household names (AHC Criterion H.1). Built in 1955 for Yakka Overalls Pty Ltd, it provides evidence of the post-war expansion of an important local company after it had outgrown two earlier premises in Brunswick. The building marks a significant phase in the ongoing development of this company, which saw it move to even larger premises in Broadmeadows in 1964 and to establish additional factories in regional Victoria and New South Wales in the 1970s. In the same way, the building's occupation by the Warrnambool-based firm of Fletcher Jones demonstrates the expansion of that company's industrial activity into the Melbourne metropolitan area due to the local unavailability of skilled workers. With its subsequent occupation by Perucci Shirts until very recently, the building has been continuously occupied by the clothing manufacturers for more than fifty years. Once cited as Brunswick's last remaining clothing factory, the building thus demonstrates a significant sub-theme in the industrial history of the municipality (AHC Criterion A.4).

Aesthetically, the building is significant for its Ballarat Street frontage: a bold and striking modernist composition that is virtually unaltered and thus remains highly evocative of the 1950s period (AHC Criterion F.1). The projecting upper storey, with expressed concrete frame and fully glazed window wall, is typical of fine commercial and industrial design of the era, while the ground floor, with its plain black columns, tinted concrete paving and inward sloping wall being particularly distinctive elements. Overall, the building exhibits a notable (and notably rare) level of physical intactness, consequent to being continuously occupied for more than fifty years by companies engaged in the same industry.

Description

The Perucci Shirt Factory is a large brick industrial building comprising a double-storey office/showroom block, fronting Ballarat Street, and a sprawling single-storey production building behind. The latter is utilitarian in its form and detailing. It has a sawtooth roof clad in corrugated cement sheeting, and a plain red brick facade to Ovens Street with large steel-framed window bays at its south end, a vehicle entry with steel roller shutter, and a elongated strip window with steel-framed hopper and fixed sashes.

The smart Ballarat Street frontage is articulated as three distinct components that express various functions within. The western half of the facade is realised in stark red brick, with a row of five small square windows at each level. These windows are enlivened by projecting surrounds of glazed brick in a contrasting pale green colour, and contain steel-framed pivot sashes. The eastern half of the facade is divided longitudinally into a projecting upper level and a receding lower level. The former is defined by a projecting concrete frame that encloses a fully-glazed wall with continuous bays of steel-framed full-height windows.

At ground level, there is a large vehicle entrance to the right side, with a steel roller shutter. The facade thence recesses inwards at a slight angle to form a narrow entry porch, with three plain black columns that support the underside of the floor above. The porch is paved with rectangular concrete slabs in a red and grey chequerboard pattern. The angled wall, clad with glazed white tiles, has large metal-framed shopfront windows with fixed panels of textured glazing. There are two entrances: one facing the street and a second set at a right angle at the eastern end of the porch. Each has a pair of glazed doors with stainless steel kickplates and metal handles of a distinctive trapezoidal form, all highly evocative of the1950s period.

The building has some wall-mounted sheet-metal signage on its south and north elevations, dating from the Perucci period (c.1983). These bear that company's name, in distinctive cursive script, with the Italian phrase 'per uomo' (ie 'for men'). One of the signs on the Ballarat Street facade includes the helpful descriptor: 'actual makers of craftsmen tailored shirts in the European tradition'.

Heritage Study Moreland - Brunswick MAC Heritage Analysis and Review, Context Pty Ltd, 2007
Year Construction Ended 1955
Municipality MORELAND CITY

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