Tuesday, September 25, 2012

Lister House (Brisbane Clinic), Wickham Terrace

Architect Raymond Clare Nowland is best known for buildings he designed on behalf of the Department of Works in the recessionary 1930s, such as the Petrie Terrace police barracks, the Mayne Medical School and Brisbane Dental Clinic.

Nowland also had a private practice, and one of the buildings he designed in that capacity was a specialist medical centre on Wickham Terrace. It was called Lister House after Sir Joseph Lister, the pioneer of antiseptic surgery. Here is a photograph of it.
(Photo: © 2012 the foto fanatic)

The Courier-Mail of 15 June 1925 noted that the company Lister House Ltd was formed with capital of £25,000 - its intention was to acquire land and buildings and turn them to account:
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(Photo: trove.nla.gov.au)

Drs LJ Jarvis Nye, John Bostock and John Power used the American Mayo Clinic as a template to create an ultra-modern group practice with shared facilities to provide the latest in diagnostics and treatment. They engaged Nowland to prepare the plans for the building, and he subsequently called tenders for its construction in The Courier-Mail of 2 August of that year.
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(Photo: trove.nla.gov.au)

The tender was won by JJ Green and Co for £7,000, building approval was granted on 10 September 1929, and the building was erected in 1930.

Raymond Clare Nowland was also a WWI veteran, as a result of which he was treated for the effects of mustard gas and was also Mentioned in Dispatches. He was later a recipient of the Coronation Medal in 1953, presumably for his contribution to architecture.

Lister House is still a specialist medical centre today - it is more commonly known as Brisbane Clinic.

Click here for a Google Map.



  1. Lister House had very interesting (perhaps Georgian) architecture, I think. Not necessarily what we might have expected from 1920s modernists.

    Perhaps the architects were constrained by a small space, or some other technical issue.

  2. Having visited this building numerous times, it has a very nice exterior, whilst the interior still retains a very traditional layout scheme - there are also framed drawings inside on the walls that might maybe original layout/plans.

    Great post about an interesting building with history.

  3. Sorry for the delay in publishing/commenting. I am curently travelling in Asia and not getting to the computer much.

    The posts are auto-publishing until I return.


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