The Musings Of An Opinionated Sod [Help Me Grow!]

Heartitecture …
May 28, 2007, 8:00 am
Filed under: Comment

Ages ago I wrote how the uber-wealthy seemed to be happy to invest in charities and/or art rather than glorious and majestic architecture – and I commented how I found this sad because places like the Taj Mahal don’t just enhance the World, but actually have the potential to make things better for all of humanity.

Anyway, I bring this up because near our house there is a new temple about to be opened and I find it quite exciting.Sure it’s not the Taj Mahal [what is!] … and yes, it is representing a particular religion rather than being a humanity symbol …  but the fact something like this still gets built in this day and age of greed, materialism and ego makes me happy.

I think I am going soft.

14 Comments so far
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This post hits a nerve with me.

When I was in London I remember walking down Regent Street and looking up at some of the architecture. It blew my mind the history and elegance that a lot of the buildings projected. Living in a relatively new country like Australia, we don’t have the history, and it saddens me because in the future what will people looking up see here? Tinted glass and metal…

The city where I live, Melbourne, is quite young and the city has gone through some major redevelopments over recent years. There was a project known as the “city square” precint which sounded very exciting. Having travelled through Europe (especially Italy) and seeing how much a lively and inviting city square can enhance a city, I was GUTTED to find that MY city square consited of a mixture SAND and gravel square outside a posh hotel with a small water feature that is now turned off because of the drought. How lame. They had the potential to create something really impressive and original right in the heart of the city right next to Federation Square and went for artsy fartsy minimalism that wouldn’t catch the eye of a wandering fly looking for a shit to land on.


Comment by Age

The problem with Australia Age … especially in the 70’s … was that the country was so desperate to be viewed as a modern, vibrant city that any connection to it’s past [read: colonial, criminal] was either washed over, ignored or obliterated in favour of [what are now] tall eyestores either in concrete, glass or pebble stone.

Remember, had the Unions not stepped in and banned its workers from demolishing the Rocks, one of Sydney’s oldest and most popular areas would not exist anymore.

Even now I think there is too much denial of history – but hopefully it is not as bad as it was 20 years ago … especially as places like Martin Place are encouraging modern interiors to old facades, which is far better than replacing them in their entirity with steel and glass.

Saying that, Federation Square is bloody awful!

Comment by Rob

Fed Square has warmed on me. It’s become a real “space” in Melbourne. During summer it’s got restaurants, cafe’s, live music, street performers, beautiful lighting and a great atmosphere.
It’s also a fantastic home for watching big screen soccer matches enmasse which is something sports mad Melbourne was missing desperately.

Comment by Age

If you can’t knock it down – embrace it eh!?

Comment by Rob

Thank you for writing this post Robert. Its so nice to read someone celebrate the importance of design/architecture. Is this Jill’s influence or just your natural forward thinking? 🙂

Comment by Jemma King

I like this post. I read an article in the Sydney mag a fair while back and it had great then-and-now pics from around Sydney. It showed all the beautiful, decorative buildings that existed throughout the city but were torn down. It made me so sad that these buildings were lost.

Even the unit I own in Sydney is in an old building that used to be a wool shed or something of the sort. It was then turned into units with a gothic theme. I’ve seen a pic and it was such a striking building with huge columns extending from the roof into the sky. These were later cut off to turn it into an Art Deco style building, which is still nice, but it would be great if it remained gothic style.

Comment by Jade

One thing I loved about Hong Kong was the wonderful temples. Some of them are absolutely stunning.

Its good to see that these kinds of buildings still have a place.

Comment by Rob Mortimer

here, here, to all of the above.

Comment by lauren

As I wrote in my Taj Mahal post – I swear to God, archetecture has the power to unite the World far better than the UN or any other such political group. If something can attract millions to go and see something – which then infuses them with a glimpse and understanding of another culture – then surely they will go away with more acceptance and tolerance.

Maybe my hippy side is coming out again!

Comment by Rob

Even the hardest nailed stella drinking wife beating football lout would stop for a split second over that building.

Comment by Rob Mortimer

They would … but probably to paint I LUV MUM on it! 🙂

Comment by Robert

Or the name of their football team; probably Stoke City!

But at least for that split second…

Comment by Rob Mortimer


Comment by Robert

Haha, very true.

Comment by Rob Mortimer

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