Venice pavilion competition

5 March, 2008

Cafe Di Stasio are sponsoring another competition to design a new Australian Pavilion for the Venice Biennale, details are here. Thanks to Kirk for this and also to the massive ad taken out by Cafe Di Stasio in The Age on the weekend.

*sigh* if only it could actually get built…


Silence is golden

21 January, 2008

Happy new year arkatekts, hope you’ve caught up on some sleep in the time from the last post.

There doesn’t seem to be a lot of news in the world of Melbourne architecture, yet. Perhaps when everyone has had a few more weeks back at work it will start to pick up a bit. Not that everyone doesn’t seem to be pretty damn busy again already. Or looking for a job, there seems to be a bit of that happening at the moment.

In the next month or so we’ll see the new architecture program at Monash swing into action though. According to the newspaper supplement, they admitted 75 students, with approximately half of those coming from high school. Very interested to see how things work out for the study of architecture at Monash; from what I’ve heard it will be a damn good course (but they lose points for the absolutely bloody awful music on their webpage, oh god I’m in cafe del mar hell). The renderings of the building reno by WSH look good.

RMIT‘s admission figures seemed to be down to me at 51, but that was HECS places and let’s face it, architecture is a cash cow for universities, they get in as many full fee paying students as they can because they provide the cash. Desperately needed cash because government funded places are so under-funded, no university could possibly run with HECS students alone.

And Melbourne, well, it is impossible to tell what is going on there, what the hell is a Bachelor of Environments anyway? I’m not necessarily against the Melbourne Model (or the Bologna Model, which is basically what it is), hell, I can think of a lot of advantages to being able to change your mind about architecture and simply be able to change your major, rather than going into a whole new degree, I can think of a lot of people who would have benefited from that.

Something that has happened over the holidays that I think deserves a mention is that the old Melbourne power station demolition has begun. I may be the only person in Melbourne who is actually sad about this, I actually like that building in all it’s greyness. It may not be “pretty” but it was I think a really interesting part of the history of the city in both functional and aesthetic terms. Now no one would consider generating electricity so close to where it is actually used (I’m sorry but a few wind turbines on roof-tops don’t count), it seems that the only functions allowed in any new building in the city are offices, apartments and shops, as though life consists entirely of work, sleep and shopping. And I like it’s concrete grunginess! Sick of slick panels everywhere that just make real buildings look like bad renderings.

Oh well, I suppose it’s only heritage if it’s pretty isn’t it?

According to this forum, Peddle Thorpe are the architects of the proposed scheme, the developers are Soldis Capital.

There are some great photos here.

Another bunch of boxes for the CBD

14 December, 2007

The Age today produced a particularly wonderful piece of journalism, singing the praises of none other than themselves!

The Age render

Yes, they’ve unveiled plans for their new building. They like them so much they’ve written about it twice. Bates Smart are the architects and Grocon will build the thing (according to their media release, they’ve already started).

It will be on the south west corner of Collins and Spencer, with a nice big lawn out the front and some colourful bits (in the render at least) and will be 5 Star, but basically it just looks like yet another collection of intersecting boxes in search of any meaning or contextual relevance.

Perhaps that is a bit harsh, I’ve only seen two renders after all. Unfortunately Bates Smart website doesn’t have any more info though.

The ambience of Camberwell

30 November, 2007

It appears that the Camberwell Station redevelopment is back! And the NIMBY’s aren’t happy.


Apparently even Randall Marsh‘s mum wasn’t too happy with her son’s take on the site. And you can be sure that everyone’s favourite conservative liberal art types, Geoffrey Rush and Barry Humphries, will be up in arms loudly holding forth with their very own version of Pauline’s “I don’t like it”. The resident’s action group spokesperson is priceless though “This is worse than we expected, apart from a small strip of land near the station, the entire site will be covered in buildings and the ambience of Camberwell will be destroyed forever.”

Yes dear, what will happen when those dreadful people move in to live in the apartments? They might even be something other than white anglo-saxon protestants, heaven forbid! Because really, all of these new houses that Melbourne needs, can’t they just build them somewhere else? Those new housing estates are frightfully ugly, but at least one doesn’t have to look at them. Yes, send those people out there, somewhere else away from me and my time warp.

There is also the small issue of “the ambience of Camberwell”, does this woman see nothing odd about talking about the ambience of some train tracks?

Unfortunately, there aren’t any more images on the Wood Marsh site and I can’t even find a site for the developer, Tenterfield.

Oh no, not the view!

24 November, 2007

Apparently the view from the St Kilda Esplanade over the current concrete carpark to the beach is “unique” and must be saved! Personally, I assumed it was just another view of the beach and a somewhat unlikely one at that, fewer people walk along the footpath on the side of the Esplanade that has beach views than the other side where all of the actual (current) buildings are. That and the fact that you can look at the beach from a few other places in St Kilda…


But no, apparently it appears that ARM + Citta’s St Kilda Triangle will alter the view from the upper Esplanade. Never mind the fact that there is a seriously ugly carpark sitting in the middle of that view at the moment, or the fact that the views from the new development will be of the beach. Now, apparently there is a planning provision in place that says that beach views can’t be blocked, but being in contravention of a planning law is a different thing than sheer NIMBY-ism.

Are we still living in the bloody picturesque?

richmond + cardiff = ???

25 October, 2007

zaha hadid’s fantastic cardiff bay opera house never did get built, the city of cardiff in their wisdom chose something that looks like a beetle instead, but it appears that rothe lowman are trying to revive the ill-fated project. in richmond.

zaha, cardiff:

zaha in cardiff

rothe lowman, richmond:

rothe lowman richmond

there also appears to be a touch of the laban centre about the gills…