Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Image Databases

I have added a new link list on the far left of image databases, only three at the moment, but I will add to it as I go. A good place for browsing images of all sorts of things from architecture, to paintings, to drawings, fashion and so on.

Sunday, April 26, 2009

Snapshot, Melbourne

Corner of Coates Lane and Lt Collins St. The Naval and Military Club was built around 1967, though the club itself has been around since the 19th century). It was put into administration back in February. I don't know anything about the architect, I liked the effect of the light and shadow playing across the fa├žade. I was thinking that without the sharp sunlight and the shadows cast by the buildings opposite the facade would be infinitely less interesting, This 1960s brutalism is not my favourite style of architecture, but I do like the way the better examples use basic light and shadow contrasts. The repetitive angular geometry, such as the thin vertical lines of the example above, can be very satisfying to look at, depending on your mood.

Thursday, April 23, 2009

Snapshot, Melbourne

The Nicholas Building on the corner of Swanston St and Flinders Lane. Designed by Harry Norris for Alfred Nicholas, the 'Aspro' king. Dates to 1925-26 and is Norris's most classicising Melbourne building, his other designs include Majorca House just down Flinders Lane and the Coles (now David Jones) building in Bourke St. His career captures the essence of early 20th century architecture, jumping from classicism to art deco and moderne and finally even to the stripped back modernism of the 1950s. This building was actually clad in Wunderlich Granitex, a very modern material that was supposed to wash clean in the rain. Either the drought has got the better of it or that was a slight furphy. Nonetheless one of my favourite buidlings in the CBD, the interior is well worth having a wonder around as well.

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Snapshot, Rome.

I'm not in Rome, unfortunately, but I have a lot of snapshots from the past few years. This is the entrance to the cafe beneath the studio of Antonio Canova, an eighteenth-century sculptor. It is on Via del Babuino, between the Spanish Steps and Piazza del Popolo. As you can see it is crammed full of plaster cast 'sketches' for sculptures, and a few marble busts as well.

Sunday, April 19, 2009

Garden TV

I watched 'Around the World in 80 Gardens' last Tuesday on ABC. Apart from the fact that I am deeply jealous of Monty Don's job and think that I would make a much better host (jokes! ... maybe), I really enjoyed it. It was refreshing to see something about gardens that was about more than just planting seedlings or laying the latest paving. He visited a wonderful range of gardens and reflected on the reasons behind their creation, how they fit within day to day life, or how they reflected high art and design. He also tapped into the idea that gardens are art, but a very different art. He described them as:

The most human of all arts because we inhabit them.
Some of my favourite gardens from the first episode included those of Luis Barragan in Mexico.

Casa Barragan. Photo from here.

Also the wonderfully whimsical and fantastical garden of Los Pozas in Xilitla by Edward James between the 1940s and the 1980s. It reminded me of the Sacro Bosco, at Bomarzo, Italy.

Photos from here.

Sacro Bosco, Bomarzo, Italy.

Saturday, April 18, 2009

Snapshot, Fitzroy.

Gertrude St, Fitzroy on a sunny autumn afternoon. I like the mish mash of old painted signs on the side of the building for a chemist and for cigarettes.

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Autumn in Melbourne

Red leaves and blue skies with wispy clouds. Enjoy wherever you find it.

Sunday, April 12, 2009

Snapshots East Melbourne/Collingwood

Was out wandering in the late afternoon sun today and took some photos.

Clarendon Terrace, Clarendon St. Built in 1857 and nearly demolished in the 1970s. Beautiful building now the headquarters of the Menzies Foundation.

A small church on Oxford St, Collingwood. I was intrigued by it, the sun ghad caught the upper half of its facade so it stood out. I have done some quick research and found a bit of its history.
Originally it was an Anglican church, the only original Anglican church still standing in Collingwood. It was built in 1875 as St Saviours Mission church (such a late nineteenth century name!) founded in aprt in protest that another Anglican church, St Phillips, was charging for use of its pews. It had with street preaching and temperance meetings. It cost three thousand pounds to construct and was comissioned by an influential layman, Charles Baker. It was made of local Collingwood bluestone and was consecrated on 19th December 1880. More here.
Subsequently bought in 1954 by the Russian Orthodox Church and reconsecrated as the russian Orthodox Cathedral Church of the Protection of the Holy Virgin. Not sure when it was built but looks late nineteenth century. Found the info about the sale in this thesis by Michael Alex Protopopov.

An early engraving of the building from the State Library, info here. I'm not sure on the angle, I wish I had had a more careful look now! Will have to go and look again, if this is the facade I photographed (the bell tower and rose window certainly match) it has changed a little, the windows shortened and a door put in, and that side building is gone. Hmmm.

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