140 St Georges Terrace

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140 St Georges Terrace
140 St Georges Terrace, November 2017.jpg
Former namesAMP Building
General information
TypeOffice tower
LocationCnr St Georges Tce & William St,
Perth, Western Australia
Coordinates31°57′15.16″S 115°51′22.72″E / 31.9542111°S 115.8563111°E / -31.9542111; 115.8563111Coordinates: 31°57′15.16″S 115°51′22.72″E / 31.9542111°S 115.8563111°E / -31.9542111; 115.8563111
Construction started1972
Roof131 m (430 ft)
Technical details
Floor count30
Floor area29,800 m2 (321,000 sq ft) (lettable)[1]
Lifts/elevators14 (including freight)
Design and construction
ArchitectForbes and Fitzhardinge

140 St Georges Terrace is a 30-storey skyscraper in Perth, Western Australia. Opened in 1975, the 131-metre (430 ft) tower was known as the AMP Building or AMP Tower after its owner and former flagship tenant, AMP Limited. The building became the tallest completed skyscraper in Perth in 1975, a title which it held only until 1976, when Allendale Square was opened.

Site history and construction[edit]

The old AMP Chambers at the corner of St Georges Terrace and William Street
The interior of the old AMP Chambers in 1954

The site at the corner of St Georges Terrace and William Street known as "Carr's Corner"[3] was purchased by AMP in 1910,[1] and in 1915 the AMP Chambers designed by Oldham and Cox were built on the corner.[5] This six-storey building was clad with sandstone, and the interior was decorated with jarrah.[6]

The top of the building featured an iconic bronze statue, which became a landmark atop the chambers.[7] The 12-foot (3.7 m) high statue depicted four figures: a central figure symbolised protection, and it was flanked by a man, woman and child.[8] Weighing around 2,000 pounds (910 kg), the sculpture was hollow with a wooden base and was thought to have been made in Europe.[8]

When AMP announced plans to demolish the building and erect in its place a modern skyscraper, the National Trust refused to classify the building as in need of protection.[5] The Trust Administrator N.J. Armitage instead applauded the development and the open space that would be created in the forecourt of the new tower.[5] Although the building could not be saved from demolition, the iconic statue atop it was saved by Clive Rutty and purchased by millionaire collector Lew Whiteman, who paid $1000 for it. When the statue was removed from the building on 19 March 1972, a piece of wood was found within it with the names on it of the four men who erected it in October 1914.[8] AMP later asked to buy the statue back from Whiteman, and he told them they did not deserve it.[9] After the death of Whiteman, the statue was bought at auction for A$60,800 by the land developers, Sherwood Overseas, and placed in its current position as a contribution to public art. It now stands in the centre of a lake of Floreat Waters, on the western side of Herdsman Lake.[10]

The developers were allowed to build their tower beyond the allowable plot ratio because of planning concessions awarded in return for the provision of public amenities, namely the open space in front of the building and seats provided for the public.[5] A further bonus was given for the linking of the development with the Elders development across St Georges Terrace.[5] Demolition of the old building started in May 1972;[5] construction on the foundations of the office tower then proceeded, and the construction of the tower was completed in 1975.[3]

AMP Building taken from St George's Tce

The building originally housed an observation deck on the 29th floor, offering sweeping views across the central business district. However, when both its west and east views were blocked by the construction of the BankWest Tower in 1988 and Central Park in 1992, this observation deck was closed.[2]


When the tower was first built in 1975, an "iconic" commissioned sculpture by Howard Taylor was installed in its forecourt. The sculpture, entitled "The Black Stump",[11] was constructed of concrete and mosaic tile[12] and weighed more than 28 tonnes (62,000 lb).[11] It was relocated to the University of Western Australia in 1990,[11] where it has remained beside the Octagon Theatre ever since.[13]

The building was used by AMP as its state headquarters from its opening in 1975 until 2002 when most of its staff moved to West Perth offices.[14] The last AMP staff shifted out of the building in 2003.[14]

AMP Building taken from William Street

Since 1997, the tower has been used as a launching pad for some shells in the annual Lotterywest Skyworks fireworks display.[15]

Owned by AMP companies since 1915, the building was put on the market by owner AMP Asset Management in 2000 and was expected to fetch A$80 million.[1] A Perth-based syndicate headed by Brett Wilkins offered to buy the tower for between $75 and 80 million.[16] However, the property failed to sell,[17] and remained within AMP ownership. In August 2005,[18] the building was sold by AMP Life Statutory Fund No 1 to the AMP-managed Australian Core Property Portfolio for $153.5 million.[19]


The tower seen in the centre of this photo, nestled between 108 St Georges Terrace and Central Park

In 1992, the building underwent refurbishment,[1] but this was mostly only minor cosmetic refurbishment.[20] Coinciding with the completion of Central Park, the $15 million project was conducted by Multiplex. The refurbishment involved a facelift for the ground floor lobby, including polished granite flooring, wall panelling and coffered ceilings with concealed lighting, improved revolving doors, new glass and planter boxes.[11] The facelift also saw the repaving of the building's forecourt with cobblestone, new landscaping, further public seating and the integration of the tower's underground car parking with Central Park's.[11]

Despite the 1992 refurbishment, by 2000 the building was already widely regarded as in need of an upgrade.[21] In 2003, when the building was "almost empty",[22] an extensive refurbishment of the building was undertaken, at a cost of A$34 million.[4] The largest office tower refurbishment in Perth's history,[4] work started in April 2003.[22] The refurbishment was mostly an internal one, refreshing office floors and replacing building services such as air conditioning and lifts.[20] The bulk of the facade remained unchanged, aside from a new "two-storey high, 15-metre long bronzed-glass canopy" at ground level. The glass of the canopy is coated with small white dots which have a shading effect during the day, but uplighting produces a white ceiling effect at night.[20] This canopy was intended to give the tower a more prominent entrance.[4] The refurbishment also involved the installation of new conference facilities.[23]

The 2003 refurbishment was designed by architects Cox Howlett & Bailey Woodland,[20] and the refurbishment contract won by Multiplex.[4] The project took until 2005,[24] finishing on-time and on-budget.[22] The refurbishment was a success, with the building going from "sparesely occupied" at the start of the refurbishment project to "practically full" in 2006.[22][24] The refurbishment was also expected to give the tower a "4.5 Australian Building Greenhouse Rating" due to its new, energy-efficient lifts, air conditioning, window tinting and double glazing.[22]


The tower seen from the corner of William Street and Hay Street

140 St Georges Terrace features a service core design, with the concrete core containing the lifts and two stairwells. The perimeter of the square cross-section tower features load-bearing columns, allowing the office floors to remain mostly column-free.[25] The building has one service lift and twelve passenger lifts: six for the low-rise portion of the building (floors 1–14) and six for the high-rise (floors 15–28).[25] The low-rise and high-rise portions of the building are clearly visible on the exterior of the building, as they are separated by a plant level.

The base of the tower is located 15 metres (49 ft) above sea level,[3] and the roof of the building rises 131 metres (430 ft) above the street below.[2] The building has 28 office levels, in addition to the ground floor, basement levels and plant room. According to Emporis, the 29th (top) floor was once an observation level which closed following the construction of the taller BankWest and Central Park towers around it.[2] The floor-to-floor height in the tower is 3,660 mm (144 in), and the ceiling height is 2,740 mm (108 in).[25] The building has 29,800 m2 (321,000 sq ft) of net lettable area,[1] and has an underground car park with 260 spaces.[1]


  1. ^ a b c d e f g Egerton-Warburton, Virginia (28 June 2000). "AMP Tower in City Tipped To Sell For $80m". The West Australian. p. 60. The 33-level, A-grade office tower on the corner of St Georges Terrace and William Street is selling by expression of interest which is expected to close in August. ... The building, which was opened in 1975 and refurbished in 1992, has 29,800 m2 (321,000 sq ft) of net lettable area. There is a small retail building annexe of 300sqm known as the Qantas building on the site. The property has been owned by AMP since 1910. The complex has 260 underground car spaces and retains a 40 per cent interest in the nearby Central Park public car park.
  2. ^ a b c d "AMP Building, Perth". Emporis. Retrieved 22 November 2008.
  3. ^ a b c d Seddon, George; David Ravine (1986). A city and its setting: images of Perth, Western Australia. Fremantle: Fremantle Arts Centre Press. pp. 191, 249. ISBN 0-949206-08-3.
  4. ^ a b c d e Low, Catie (9 April 2003). "Multiplex wins $34m tower rejig". The West Australian. Multiplex has been awarded a $34 million contract to refurbish the AMP building in a project touted as the biggest office tower refurbishment in Perth's history. The building, at 140 St Georges Terrace, was built in 1975. ... Multiplex director John Flecker said the refurbishment would give the building a more prominent entrance.
  5. ^ a b c d e f Gregory, Jenny (2003). City of light: a history of Perth since the 1950s. Perth: City of Perth. pp. 207–208. ISBN 0-9594632-5-9.
  6. ^ Shawcross, John (20 July 2005). "Submission to the Productivity Commission Inquiry into historic heritage" (PDF). Productivity Commission. p. 2. Archived from the original (PDF) on 5 August 2008. Retrieved 17 November 2008.
  7. ^ Amalfi, Carmelo (17 April 1997). "Mystery of AMP Bronze". The West Australian. p. 44. The sculpture, which sat on top of the AMP building from 1915 to the 1960s, is regarded as part of WA's heritage. The sculpture was knocked down, reportedly to a WA property developer, for $60,800, about $55,000 more than was expected.
  8. ^ a b c Staff writer (20 March 1972). "[Removal of statue from AMP building]". The West Australian. p. 1.
  9. ^ Gould, Vanessa (15 March 1997). "A Dream Comes Under The Hammer, Accusations Fly As Whiteman Treasures Are Destined To Leave WA". The West Australian. p. 1. It explained why he had such a love of objects from WA's past, such as old farm implements or the impressive bronze statue of a family group which once graced the top of the old AMP building. (Clive Rutty saved this from the demolition workers, recognising the high-quality copper-work of the European sculptor. He offered $1000 for it and had police block the roads to enable a truck to take the enormous statue to Guildford. His problem was he didn't have $1000 and could not contact Mr Whiteman. Luckily, Mr Whiteman came home in the nick of time, loved it and paid for it. When AMP later offered to buy it back, Mr Whiteman told them they didn't deserve it.)
  10. ^ "Statues, Herdsman Lake". Retrieved 1 October 2013.
  11. ^ a b c d e "AMP gets a face lift". Multiplex News. Multiplex. December 1990 – January 1991. p. 8.
  12. ^ "Howard Taylor". Asia-Pacific Triennial of Contemporary Art. Queensland Art Gallery. 2002. Retrieved 17 November 2008.
  13. ^ "Sculpture receives maintenance work". Western Suburbs Weekly. 26 June 2007. p. 6. AN iconic work originally commissioned for the AMP Tower in the city in 1975 is to be overhauled, 17 years after it was relocated to the Octagon Theatre at the University of WA.
  14. ^ a b Cook, Tracey (4 June 2003). "AMP remnant has left the building after almost three decades in CBD". WA Business News. After nearly 30 years as a tenant in the AMP Building, AMP Financial Services has relocated the remainder of its staff to its West Perth office. ... An original tenant since the building was built in 1975, the financial services company had used the AMP building as its head office and, at one stage, had occupied six floors, employing more than 100 people.
  15. ^ Fitzpatrick, Catherine (25 January 1997). "Police Warn About Drink at Skyworks". The West Australian. p. 3. Some of the shells will be launched from the top of the AMP building for the first time.
  16. ^ Gibson, Dawn (7 December 2000). "AMP Tower Bid A Fillip For CBD Sales". The West Australian. p. 46. A syndicate headed by property consultant Brett Wilkins has put in an offer for Perth's AMP building, potentially bringing to an end a run of failed office building sales in the CBD. AMP Henderson Global Investors is understood to have accepted an offer of between $75 million and $80 million, the price range targeted when the 33-level office tower was put up for sale in June.
  17. ^ Gibson, Dawn (9 May 2001). "Terrace Sale Ends CBD's Lean Times". The West Australian. p. 61. Mr Agostino said the sale should restore some confidence to the Perth market after several failed sales last year, including the trophy Central Park tower and the AMP building.
  18. ^ Low, Catie (27 September 2006). "Terrace investors clean up". The West Australian. p. 51. The AMP building at 140 St Georges Terrace changed hands in August last year in a deal worth $153.5 million. The 34-level property has close to three times the office space of number 45, as well as a retail building occupied by Qantas.
  19. ^ Staff writer (22 December 2006). "Perth CBD property sales double in 2006 to $853m". WA Business News. The biggest sale in the latest year was of 140 St George's Terrace (formerly the AMP Building) for $153.5 million by AMP Life Statutory Fund No 1 to the AMP-managed Australian Core Property Portfolio.
  20. ^ a b c d Longley, Griffin (4 December 2002). "$30m revamp for landmark AMP". The West Australian.
  21. ^ Gibson, Dawn (13 September 2000). "Freehills Key To Westralia Tower". The West Australian. p. 53. The 33-level office tower, which is on the market, opened in 1975 and is widely considered in need of an upgrade despite a refurbishment in 1992.
  22. ^ a b c d e Petchell, Lee-Anne (23 March 2005). "$34m upgrade pays off for 140 St Georges Tce". The West Australian. p. 65.
  23. ^ Low, Catie (13 August 2003). "Law firm signs up". The West Australian. Jackson McDonald is the first major tenant to sign a lease in the former AMP Building, which is undergoing a $34 million refurbishment. The law firm will take levels 25, 26 and most of 27 in the 28-level office tower after negotiations with CB Richard Ellis director of commercial leasing Andrew Denny. The refurbishment of the office tower includes an upgrade of the building services, an extension to the group-floor lobby and the addition of new conference facilities.
  24. ^ a b Jacobs, Marsha (26 January 2006). "Focus shifts to refurbishment". WA Business News. Several other office buildings have been successfully refurbished in recent years, including a $34 million makeover for 140 St Georges Terrace. The upgrade began in 2003, and ended last year, with the once sparsely occupied building now practically full.
  25. ^ a b c "140 St Georges Terrace – Building Specifications – Overview". Retrieved 17 November 2008.

External links[edit]