Beacon House (former MLC [Mutual Life and Citizens' Assurance Company Ltd] Building)


181-191 Victoria Square ADELAIDE

Architecturally, the former MLC building is a highly developed example of the International Style of light, steel framed, curtain wall skyscrapers, and is the most sophisticated example of the building type erected in Adelaide and Australia. Designed in 1955 by Osborn McCutcheon of the Melbourne architectural firm Bates Smart McCutcheon, it represents a peak of design and construction achievement for this innovative firm. The building is widely regarded as an outstanding representative of both the International Style and the development of light steel frame construction with integrated building services, and demonstrates a degree of creative, aesthetic and technical achievement unmatched in any other building of its type in Australia. Historically, the building is associated with the post-war development and growth of the insurance industry, and the MLC Company in particular, and is indicative of the company's status in the South Australian economy, reflected in the deliberate development of a modern landmark building as its South Australian headquarters. [Condensed / Adapted from: Bruce Harry & Associates 'Former MLC Building, 185 Victoria Square, Adelaide, Conservation Management Plan' Vol 1, August 1997]