KGB Headquarters

Worst Architecture/Carpet/interior design

Guest Post by Mazarina

Lovely words and pictures from Mazarina, although pictures always suffer a little out of a word doc for some reason. Now this building has been frequently suggested for The Worst of Perth, but I have to admit that I like it. A lot. It has some interesting angles. Some people have referred to it as KGB headquarters, but I even like the carpet. Mazarina says…

What says welcome to the ‘State of Excitement’ better than the cutting edge architecture of East Perth train station? I think the yellow skip bin art installation adds a jaunty touch. Perhaps it’s a clever device to catch employees jumping out of their windows.



Break out the corduroy beanbags because it’s ALWAYS 1975 in the office block at East Perth. I’m guessing this is why all the chairs have been unceremoniously dumped in the passage. Unfortunately my camera does not have smell-o-vision, so I couldn’t capture the full vintage charm of the groovy carpet. And of course too much brown was never enough in the 70s, hence the need to couple the carpet with stylish wood panelling. Yeah baby.



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About AHC McDonald

Comedian, artist, photographer and critic. From 2007 to 2017 ran the culture and satire site The Worst of Perth
This entry was posted in not worst, worst architecture, worst carpet, worst interior design and tagged , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

29 Responses to KGB Headquarters

  1. While it has a certain resemblance to Lubyanka (
    “isolated Palladian and Baroque details, such as the minute pediments over the corner bays and the central loggia, are lost in an endlessly-repeating classicizing palace facade, where three bands of cornices emphasize the horizontal lines. A clock is centered in the uppermost band of the facade” the WAGR headquarters is a less interesting building than the KGB building.


  2. Robotnik says:

    Yes. I like this one too, LA. It’s a fine example of Perth brutalism. A great name for a bold and heroic architectural stylee. Curtin University once looked like a city in this style and was easily the best campus in Perth because of it. Reminds me of the futurist buildings in Thunderbirds. I always expect Thunderbird 2 to be landing here instead of the Prospector. Hey, a nomination for ‘worst train’ anyone?


    • WAtching says:

      You’re absolutely right about Curtin. I am still disappointed that they have obscured all of the out of fashion buildings at Curtin. You only need to look at Council House to know why we shouldn’t knock them down when they are out of fashion.

      Sure, the Curtin Buildings are still there, but they cannot be enjoyed from the perspective the architect intended.


  3. lazyaussie says:

    Haven’t “ridden the prozzie” for quite some time Robo.


  4. elwrongo says:

    Well I have to say this building is one of my Perth favourites. An excellent piece of chocolate modernism complete with groovy orange seventies interior. I really like the way its managed to keep its place and space in the landscape too. A standout. Although the KGB did lease floors 2 and 3 from 1972 to 1978 in response to Pine Gap.


  5. BedfordsCrackPotFraternity!! says:

    Are those two massive coin slots above the platform….? Rod Stewart’s got nothin on this!!


  6. Gaz says:

    Known to railway workers as”Bullshit Castle”


  7. BedfordCrackpots!! says:

    The Indian Pacific comes a close second to the Prozzie….and you clearly need a couple of huge $2 gold coins to get it going all the way to Melbourne…


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  11. tom thrett says:

    this building is absouletly awesome. forbes and fitz created an absolutely outstanding and forceful building, in the height of perth regional brutalism. why dont we have more! on a related note, why did the freemasons hall on hte foreshore get knocked down! greatest travesty this city has seen


  12. Mr Q says:

    Ah that takes me back to my time working at the Westrail Center (as it was then). I’m sure the design and colours of the building was entirely about keeping the workforce depressed. Plus you never knew if the lifts were going to take you to the floor you expected…


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  14. Russell says:

    We’ve always refered to this building as “Dr Evil’s”. My favourite detail is the red bolt of lightning on the big roof-top radar dish. This building is mad!
    I really did love the interior though, I think it’s great that everything in there was so well preserved because although it was a total seventies blast, it was all top notch 70’s and I thought it was very stylish and well done. I am saddened to see that the carpet downstairs has now been replaced with a neutral grey and that the terrific 70’s vinyl box chairs are no longer there. Why?? This is Perth’s problem. More needs to be done to recognise our architectual and stylistic gems, no matter which era they represent, and preserve them. It leads to history and character. As it is Perth is seriously lacking in this area because so much is continually pulled down and replaced.


  15. Sylvia says:

    I worked there for a little while a couple of years back and decided then that I worked in the ugliest building in Perth. The interior – mostly that carpet – is the clincher I think. Apparently they got it custom designed for the building. You can still see a few places where it’s been replaced or had something over it and you notice just how much the carpet has faded – it was scarily bright when new.

    The great thing about this building though is that you can go up to the top floor where there’s a balcony with panoramic view of the city and river. A couple of us used to go up on Friday afternoons with a few cans of bourbon and enjoy a chilled out evening there. There was even a fridge to keep the drinks cold!


  16. Rolly says:

    My memory of the carpet was that, if the “Gung-Ho” driving style of the country coach ‘pilots’ hadn’t succeeded to induce motion sickness, the dizzying effect of that floor covering certainly would; and that the depressingly tomb-like ambience of the interior could induce a personal fear of the almighty that the drivers had failed to achieve en-route.


  17. Sam says:

    Ah yes, remember it well – the orange and tan geometric carpet which, by the time I worked there, was so old and worn it had gaffer tape over the holes in it so you wouldn’t trip over and it STANK!

    Friday night bourbons were great though :-)


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  19. BRIK says:

    You know in twenty or thirty years we will be saying that this is stand-out architecture from the 1970’s and we will probably heritage list it (along with the PEC).


  20. The Legend 101 says:

    Oh my God, I know where this is but i dont get why is it a Headquaters place?


  21. mancey says:

    KGB headquarters starred on 720 this arvo. They evern had the original architect on saying how grouse it was. Link


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