43 Hardware Lane

A photograph of 43 Hardware Lane.
Hardware House
43 Hardware Lane
Floors (above-ground)
Architect / architectural firm
J. V. Ward
Construction firm
Concrete Building Company
Construction start date
Construction end date
Architectural style
Interwar Chicagoesque
Current Tenant(s):
Past Tenant(s):
  • Area Four. (Café).
  • Costume Factory. (Unknown).
  • Downstream. (Design agency).

Hardware House was designed by J. V. Ward and built by the Concrete Building Company in 1926 for the eponymous Hardware Club, a social club for members of the hardware industry, as a clubhouse. The building was opened in October, 1926, at a ceremony performed by the Lord Mayor Sir William Brunton, himself a member of the Club. Hardware Lane took its name from the building. The six-storey building comprised "dining, card and reading rooms, bathrooms, billiard room, library, lounge and a suite of offices", with "sample rooms" on the sixth floor for use by members. In the mid-1980s, the building became an exclusive and popular nightclub.

Hardware House occupies a prominent corner in the precinct. Externally, the reinforced concrete building adopts a straightforward multi-storey composition with glazed shopfronts at ground floor level and five more massive floors above, capped by an overhanging bracketed cornice. The ground floor retains the broad form of its two original shopfronts with original leadlight glazing to highlight windows. Lower lights have been altered. The corner to the intersection is notable for a decorative canted corner and corbelled first floor designed to reduce vehicle impacts. The upper floors are largely without ornament, apart from rendered signage spelling 'Hardware House' to the Little Bourke Street façade accompanied by simple circular decorative devices to pilasters along to both frontages. Window joinery to the upper levels has been altered although the original pattern of fenestration and the broad character of the building survives. An additional storey was added to the building in the relatively recent past.

Building manager / body corporate / owner's corporation
Allard Shelton