Summary

Colour photograph taken at night by Wolfgang Sievers features a ground floor reception area in the newly constructed Kodak Australasia Pty Ltd factory complex in Coburg, 1964.

The reception area is located in building 8 which housed the Kodak Australasia Pty Ltd Head Offices and Sales and Marketing Division. Architect Harry Norris of H A & F L Norris & Associates, created the design for the new factory and individual buildings, while the building contract was awarded to Lewis Constructions Pty Ltd. Building 8 was a steel and concrete framed brick infill structure featuring large areas of window glass and a unique air conditioning system to deal with the high solar loads. It consisted of four sections: the main office building of five floors plus services basement and under car parking area; the services block that consisted of five floors plus basement and additional sixth floor and elevator room; the reception area which was a single floor at ground level with under-floor amenities area (later filled in as a marketing theatre and entertaining area) and the computing centre block which was a single floor at ground level with under floor access for computer services.

The still uncompleted Coburg factory complex was officially opened on 14 April 1961 by the Prime Minister, Robert G. Menzies with Dr. A Chapman, President of Eastman Kodak Company, in attendance. The complex was the national headquarters of Kodak Australasia Pty Ltd and its manufacture of silver halide photographic products. It replaced the Abbotsford factory where Kodak had been operating since 1908. The Abbotsford premises eventually closed in 1966.

Wolfgang Sievers is widely recognised as one of Australia's most significant architectural and industrial photographers. He pioneered a modernist photographic style influenced by the Bauhaus, and his work celebrates industry and the worker. Sievers was commissioned to document the newly constructed Kodak Coburg plant. He subsequently took several hundred black & white and colour images that highlighted the modern architectural and industrial design features of the complex.

Kodak manufactured and distributed a wide range of photographic products to Australasia, such as film, paper, chemicals, cameras and miscellaneous equipment. Its client base included amateur and professional photographers, as well as specialist medical and graphic art professionals who used photography, x-ray and other imaging techniques.

This photograph is part of the Kodak collection of products, promotional materials, photographs and working life artefacts collected from Kodak Australasia in 2005, when the Melbourne manufacturing plant at Coburg closed down.

Description of Content

Photograph of a ground floor reception area of an office building. To the left and running diagonally across the image is a wall of curtained windows and double glass doors. The back wall features a marble patterning. Inset in the roof is a series of fluorescent strip lights. The main floor is a blue-grey linoleum and there is a brown carpeted area with a desk facing the doors and an office chair. In the foreground is a coffee table with armchairs positioned around it. The furniture is streamlined, simple and modern.

Physical Description

Colour photograph printed on medium weight paper, landscape format, white border.

More Information

  • Collection Names

    Kodak Heritage Collection, Wolfgang Sievers Collection

  • Collecting Areas

    Images & Image Making, Working Life & Trades

  • Acquisition Information

    Donation from Kodak (Australasia) Pty Ltd, Ms. Kate Metcalf - Kodak (Australasia) Pty Ltd, 2005

  • Acknowledgement

    Courtesy of Kodak (Australasia) Pty Ltd.

  • Place & Date Depicted

    Coburg, Greater Melbourne, Victoria, Australia, 1964
    The latest possible date has been established for a group of internal and external, black and white and colour photographs of the Kodak factory complex in Coburg, from the invoice sent to Kodak by Sievers itemizing the commissioned photographs with a serial number 3562.The invoice is dated 28th August 1964 [see HT 20552]. A note in the invoice mentions the postponement of some external images until landscaping had been completed suggesting a later date, possibly 1965 [circa 1965, serial number 3613].

  • Organisation Depicted

    Kodak (Australasia) Pty Ltd, Coburg, Greater Melbourne, Victoria, Australia, 1964
    The latest possible date has been established for a group of internal and external, black and white and colour photographs of the Kodak factory complex in Coburg, from the invoice sent to Kodak by Sievers itemizing the commissioned photographs with a serial number 3562.The invoice is dated 28th August 1964 [see HT 20552]. A note in the invoice mentions the postponement of some external images until landscaping had been completed suggesting a later date, possibly 1965 [circa 1965, serial number 3613].

  • Photographer

    Wolfgang G. Sievers AO, Coburg, Greater Melbourne, Victoria, Australia, 1964
    The latest possible date has been established for a group of internal and external, black and white and colour photographs of the Kodak factory complex in Coburg, from the invoice sent to Kodak by Sievers itemizing the commissioned photographs with a serial number 3562.The invoice is dated 28th August 1964 [see HT 20552]. A note in the invoice mentions the postponement of some external images until landscaping had been completed suggesting a later date, possibly 1965 [circa 1965, serial number 3613].

  • Format

    Photograph, 8 in. x 10 in., Colour

  • Inscriptions

    Back, stamp: 'WOLFGANG SIEVERS/Photographer/9 COLLINS ST., MELBOURNE C.1./TELEPHONE 63-4021' Back, handwritten, pencil: 'EC-3562 ED'

  • Classification

    Manufacturing & industry, Photographic products, Factory interior views

  • Category

    History & Technology

  • Discipline

    Technology

  • Type of item

    Image

  • 2D format

    250 mm (Width), 201 mm (Height)

  • References

    Beale, N, The History of Kodak in Australia, Coburg, no date. [Link 1] “A Brief Process Based Site History, Kodak (Australasia) Pty Ltd, Coburg Plant” Kodak (Australasia) Pty Ltd, 2007 Pamphlet, "Milestones in the History of Kodak (Australasia) Pty. Ltd", Kodak (Australasia) Pty. Ltd., 1985 Leggio, Angeletta "A History of Australia's Kodak Manufacturing Plant", Topics in Photographic Preservation, Volume Twelve, 2007 Ennis, Helen "Intersections: Photography, History and the National Library of Australia", National Library of Australia, Canberra, 2004

  • Keywords

    Buildings, Factories, Interior Design, Interior Views, Manufacturing Plants, Offices, Photography, Reception Desks, Making History - Kodak Collection