National Library of Australia
Following a limited competition, the Sydney architectural firm Bunning & Madden (B&M) in association with Tom O'Mahony were chosen in 1961 to design the National Library of Australia building on the shores of Lake Burley Griffin. The principal architect, Walter Bunning, came up with a design for a large central building flanked by two smaller buildings to be constructed over a 40 year period. The first stage of the library, the central wing, was opened in 1968. During the next few years, the lower ground floors were completed. In 1979 the firm was contracted to carry out an extension of the podium on the lake side of the building. After a contracted dispute with trade unions in 1983, it was decided that the asbestos in the library's roof should be removed. Progress on the library podium extension was also troubled by a major fire in 1985. In 1988 B&M's formal association with the library ended.
The files in the Bunning & Madden papers consist mostly of correspondence between B&M, their builders, subcontractors and the National Capital Development Commission (NCDC) which had the responsibility for overseeing all development in the Parliamentary Triangle.
Please refer to the collection's catalogue record for the access conditions (http://nla.gov.au/nla.cat-vn2974694).
Copying and publishing of unpublished manuscript material is subject to copyright restrictions. For such material, written permission to publish must be obtained from the copyright holder(s). Copying of unpublished material for research purposes is permissible 50 years after the death of the creator of the material.
Items from this collection should be cited as '[Title or description of manuscript item], Records of Bunning and Madden, National Library of Australia, MS 9871, [box number and series and/or file number]'.
Some of the plans drawn by B&M are held in the NLA's Pictures Collection.
For: architectural hardware; bookstacks; bronze work; built-up roofing; bulk excavation, fencing and haul roads; carpet floor covering; copper roofing; demountable partitions; exposed aggregate finishes; external masonry
For: fire alarms; flooring; forecourt fountain; fountain pool finishing; internal bronze work, exterior balustrade standards; internal fibrous plaster; internal marble work; joinery items; kitchen & tea room equipment; lift installation; luminaries; pneumatic tube conveyor; selective vertical conveyor; masonry work; special doors; vinyl fabric wall coverings; suspended metal ceiling
Completed by the site architect, Noel Potter, during construction of the NLA building. It has brief entries about major daily activities on all B&M projects in Canberra at the time.
For : detailed planning; bulk excavations (includes test results of slate & marble to be used); joinery details; marble tenders
NLA site meetings, 1964-68, between the architects, builders and contractors; Architects co-ordination meetings, 1968-69, between the architects, builders and contractors; Library Building Working Committee, 1964-68, between the architects and officers of the NCDC and the NLA.
Includes results of geological survey of the site
Includes information about Walter Bunning's trip overseas in 1961 to study library design, and correspondence with library consultant, Keyes Metcalf, and the chairman of the NLA Council, Sir Archibald Grenfell Price. Also contains some costings and receipts for material, a copy of the architectural brief, fire safety reports, and some minutes of the meetings of the Library Building Working Committee
Includes geological test results of Travertine & Carrara marble
(includes Keys Metcalf's final report on the library)
(includes Douglas Annand's notes on his design of the NLA's Coat-of-Arms)
Has a few letters to 1978
PDC Constructions, also known as Clementsons, was the building contractor
Concerning the NLA project, between the main office of B&M in Sydney and its Canberra branch established in 1964. Includes schedule of finishes - paints, vinyls and woods used in various areas
Re mechanical services (fire alarms, vertical conveyor, pneumatic tuble, air conditioning, electrical sub-contract); fountain (consists mainly of plans); furniture (includes designs of furniture for the Arts building at the ANU); furniture fittings
Re bronze windows; roof & ceilings; internal bronze and special doors; sanitary fittings; handrails
Re stone masonry; electrical
Re structural; includes a folder of plans of amendments
Re airconditioning, 1964-70
Mechanical, 1964-68 (roofing, sumps and pumps, gravel grouting, concrete core)
Fire protection, 1966-70
Contracts with PDC Constructions (builders) and Chubbs (bronze work); list of daily routine checks and monthly maintenance; articles about marble; Johns & Waygoods Ltd tender for the lifts; results of Commonwealth Experimental Building Station test on 'The Resistance to Freezing and Thawing of two exposed Aggregate Finishes'; master key schedule; correspondence between B&M and the electrical subcontractor, Julius Poole; return of employees, 1966-67; electrical works
Includes report to Cabinet by the NLA Council on future building requirements, Dec 1970
lighting of main entrance steps & forecourt, 1978-82; re-partitioning, 1975
Re map section relocation, 1978-81 ; Petherick Room repartitioning, 1978-81
damage to external columns (includes reports on, and photos of, tests done of the buckling of the NLA marble columns); Clerks of Work reports
article on designing the new British Library, 1979; Lawrence Field's operational study of the NLA; preliminary signage survey for the NLA, 1988 (has photo of existing signs); operational manual for Shinwa cooling tower