• Snelling's model of the Armco building (Max Dupain).

127 Bath Road, Kirrawee, NSW, 1953–56

Sited 32 km from Sydney city, the Armco Steel Company's headquarters included a large steel fabrication factory-warehouse, offices, a 20-desk drafting room and a dining room and kitchen serving 150 people (used at night by the company’s social club).

The one-storey, 12,000-sq-ft building was externally clad with 169 panels of 18-gauge Steelox stainless steel (one of Armco’s main products), with modified crimping to give extra space between panels and minimize reflection. The roof was clad with Steelox panels filled with vermiculite concrete and covered with asbestos felt, aluminium foil, and bitumen.

Internally, ceilings were hung from open web joists and were radiantly heated. Interior walls were face brick and the reception office was cedar panelled. Executive offices opened to a private courtyard garden. Snelling designed all furniture and equipment. Structurally, the interior was designed to display applications of all of Armco’s steel products, including showing open web joists and their connections to the steel studs and steel deck above. Ceilings were radiant-heated throughout. The building’s original flat roof was replaced with a low-pitched roof, with eaves painted in non-original colours. The rear of the factory was extended later.

Sources

—Architecture and Arts. 1957. ‘Administration and amenities building for Armco Pty Ltd, Sydney by Douglas Snelling, architect’, July, pp. 28–29.

—Building Ideas. 1962. ‘A guide to Sydney architecture’, June, pp. 11–24.

—Cross-Section. 1954. 1 August, p. 1.

—Cross-Section. 1955. 1 August, p. 2.

—Pemberton, Gary J. 1984. Douglas B. Snelling: A Monograph of His Works (B. Arch dissertation). Sydney: New South Wales Institute of Technology. Trevillion, James. 1995. The Adventures of Douglas B. Snelling (B. Arch dissertation). Sydney University of Technology, Sydney.