Text from Melbourne Architecture
Former Buckley & Nunn’s Men’s Store
294-296 Bourke Street
1933 Bates Smart & McCutcheon
With its cement-rendered men in knickerbockers and suits, suavely smoking or leaning on their golf clubs, this building’s tall façade was the raciest addition to Bourke Street’s retail heart in the early 1930s. Buckley & Nunn’s Zig-Zag or Jazz Moderne façade reflected the popularity of the new stylized geometries that had come out of Paris at the 1925 Exposition des Arts Decratifs, the place where the term ‘Art Deco’ was born. Sunburst motifs, chevron zig-zags and abstract classical forms frame a steel and glass window that passes over several storeys. In 1934, the Royal Victorian Institute of Architects awarded it its annual Street Architecture Medal.
Above, Buckley & Nunn’s as it looked soon after it was completed, and the next three below, as it looks today in the Bourke Street Mall as part of David Jones.