In the late 1800s, architects Billing, Peck and Kempter provided much of the design of the Showgrounds for many years.
A family company designed many of the now historic buildings in Melbourne, and were responsible for the much-loved buildings of Melbourne Royal Show.
In 1883, when the Show was held at the then new showgrounds site on St Kilda Rd (near Army Barracks), the local council offered premiums for the best plan and designs for the fencing and buildings required for the new grounds. The first prize of £50 was won by Billing and Son.
The architects would later be appointed the Show’s architects, and tenders were accepted for the contract amounting to £8,744. That’s about $240,000 in today’s money.
At the general meeting of the National Agricultural Society of Victoria Council on 12 January 1886, a committee was set up to investigate a recommendation to erect a grandstand. The architects chosen for that were also Messers Billing and Son. They prepared plans and specifications for a grandstand on the Showgrounds, which would provide sitting accommodation for 2,000 people and not exceed a cost of £2,000. In 1903 they were also paid £100 for a general design in laying out the Showgrounds.
The Sheep Pavilion Architectural at Melbourne Showgrounds was designed in 1929 by Peck and Kemter Architects and the Government Pavilion was also designed by Billing, Peck and Kempter Architects and built in 1918 to primarily promote the Department of Agriculture.