Bob Hawke's prime ministerial office is being brought back to life

As the nation mourns the death of Bob Hawke, the former prime minister's parliament house office is being brought back to life.

In what the leader of the project has described as a "wonderful coincidence", work has been underway for a few months to return the prime ministerial wing at Old Parliament House to as it was during Hawke's tenure.

The wing has previously had touches of the Whitlam and Fraser years, but will soon entirely resemble Hawke's offices from 1983 to 1988.

Museum of Australian Democracy manager of interpretation and development Kate Armstrong, who is refurbishing the prime ministerial wing at Old Parliament House. Picture: Karleen Minney

Museum of Australian Democracy manager of interpretation and development Kate Armstrong, who is refurbishing the prime ministerial wing at Old Parliament House. Picture: Karleen Minney

The office housed administrative staff, including stenographers and secretaries, as well as Hawke's closest advisors. His drivers and personal security were stationed immediately outside the wing.

Museum of Australian Democracy manager of interpretation and development Kate Armstrong, who has overseen the refurbishment, said Hawke was known to greet each staff member as he walked through the office with a "bit of skip" each morning.

Ms Armstrong said Hawke's staff worked long and stress-laden hours, but were buoyed by the 'immense privilege" of working for the highest public office in the country.

"He was an interesting mix, Bob," Ms Armstrong said.

"He put a lot of effort into being personable, and having a consensus-style management, but he was actually remarkably solitary. He was one of those people who were either out [in public], or he would be taking quite a bit of time to be himself. His office was an oasis of calm and it was very much more neat and tidy when you walked in. He was into spending quite a bit of quiet time."

As part of the restoration, office noise recorded by sound engineers will be played over the speakers, creating an atmosphere of a busy work space.

Museum of Australian Democracy director Daryl Karp expected the refurbishment, coupled with Hawke's death, would reinvigorate public interest in the prime ministerial wing of Old Parliament House.

"Ensuring there is an ongoing interest and commitment to our political heritage, our past, our present and, of course, our future is a critical part of what we do here," Ms Karp said.

A condolence book was placed inside Old Parliament House on Friday morning, as tributes to the Labor giant poured in from across the nation.

A lone floral tribute and card lay at the front door of Old parliament house (the Museum of Australian democracy) Picture: Karleen Minney.

A lone floral tribute and card lay at the front door of Old parliament house (the Museum of Australian democracy) Picture: Karleen Minney.

Soon after news of Hawke's death broke late on Thursday, a bouquet of flowers and a letter of thanks was placed at the entrance to the historic building.

It had been joined by a handful of other floral tributes by Friday afternoon.

Visitors to the museum stopped to read the cards, as did those who were at Old Parliament House to pre-poll ahead of Saturday's federal election.

In one of the cards, a mourner wrote: "Bob, you gave us a better country when others could have destroyed it. You never forgot about the ordinary person on the street. Solidarity Forever!".

Another described Hawke as a "visionary and patriot".

"Thank you for the Accord, the social wage, saving the Daintree [and] the Antartic," the message read, in reference to some of the former prime minister's most significant achievements.

One offered a simple message of gratitude.

"Bob, thank you for making Australia the country that it is."