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state library of queensland
John Oxley Library

New acquisition: James Birrell Papers

By JOL Admin | 11 February 2013

The State Library of Queensland recently acquired the James Peter Birrell Papers.

Birrell was an influential force in Queensland architecture. He was born in Victoria and attended Essendon High School. He graduated from Melbourne University with a Bachelor of Architecture in 1951. He was appointed Brisbane City Council Architect in 1955. During this time he designed and oversaw many projects, including the:

  • Toowong Library
  • The Centenary Pool and car park on Wickham Terrace
  •  The J.D. Story Administration Building and the Union College Building at Queensland University
  • The campus plan at James Cook University in Townsville

He later went into private practice in Queensland and New Guinea and became a planning consultant to the Indonesian Government.

Other projects included:

  • Papua New Guinea Banking Corporation (PNGBC) (now Bank South Pacific), headquarters –
  • Port Moresby, Papua New Guinea Agriculture Bank - Port Moresby, Papua New Guinea
This material now held at the John Oxley Library, represents not only the projects that this firm was involved with when Birrell was in private practice, but also personal records relating to the life and career of this noted architect.  Further information on the James Peter Birrell Papers and the James Peter Birrell Photographs 1957-1961 can be found via SLQ's One Search.

Janette Garrad - Library Technician, State Library of Queensland




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