Sunday, November 15, 2009

Holyman House - Launceton

Architect Roy Sharrington Smith was born in Launceston in 1892. He designed a wide range of modernist period buildings in Northern Tasmania, many being built in Launceston. He has left a visual mark on Tasmania's urban landscape which included a wide variety of buildings ranging from commercial projects, school buildings, houses and churches.

Holyman House is arguably Launceston’s stand-out Art Deco period building and demonstrates the skills of the firm H.S East and R Smith wonderfully in a four storey Deco masterpiece right within the heart of the CBD. Holyman House was originally designed and built for the Holyman family's shipping and airline businesses. The ground floor originally housed National Airways, then Ansett and now Harvey World Travel.

An advertisement in the Examiner newspaper in 1936 featured a pictorial depiction of what Holyman House was to look like with the headline of the day pronouncing the new design as a “handsome new building for Brisbane Street”. The ad went onto say that there was to be “a booking hall for air and sea passages, a motor showroom, and a large shop on the ground floor”

The ground floor has been altered many times compared to the rest of the building aspect from its original Art Deco interior decorations, having lost these period features, but the levels above the ground floor retain many original attributes of the Art Deco period. Once inside and heading upwards from the ground floor, massive cement support beams strut horizontally above the staircases, and the curving balustrades complement the straight lines of these support beams. Long narrow corridors on each of the upper floors support many office spaces.

Holyman House - one of Tasmania's landmark art deco buildings.

The above is an excerpt from my story and photographs "An Art Deco Connection - Roy Smith & his Launceston Buildings".My story and photographs featured in the Art Deco & Modernism Society Journal, Spirit of Progress Spring 2008 and can be purchased by clicking here

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About the project

Join me (Thomas Ryan Photography) on a photographic project documenting Tasmanian 20th Century Modernism from the 1930's to the 1980's. The entire project gallery of 1000+ images and counting can be viewed on my website under art projects. I have been undertaking this project for over a decade.

My portfolio of commercial and art projects can be seen on my website and I can be contacted here as well. All photographs are copyright of Thomas Ryan Photography. Unauthorised use is prohibited. Contact me for all enquires

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