May 31, 2009

Perth's Abandoned Buildings - Part 2

Where to begin? The Pacific Motel (and licensed restaurant) is superbly located right on the Highgate/Mount Lawley border. A convenient part of town - the Queens Hotel, restaurants, and shopping, are just a few metres away. It's a quick bike ride to the middle of the city.

Balconies are provided to all rooms.

The hallways have had a recent renovation.

Guests can opt for either a north facing standard suite, with Mount Lawley district views...

..and en suite...

..or one of the more spacious, south facing deluxe rooms...

..with Perth CBD views...

..and of course, en suite.

Look, there's no way, at this point, to keep the charade going. This place is quite simply a scary, derelict, abandoned, and crumbling motel. Having formerly lived on this street (6 years ago), I was pretty amazed to see just how bad this building had got. Answer? Pretty fucking bad! Even at its peak, when it was open, the place was scary. Room rates by the hour. Piano bar full of hookers, but...all of that pales in comparison to this utterly disturbed piece of art, currently on display in room 318 (open 24 hours).


The pool.

Pretty certain I will be having nightmares tonight.

So, I am pretty much without speech. A crack den in the middle of Mount Lawley. This was a really disturbing place.

On that note, more of Perth's abandoned buildings, coming soon!

May 27, 2009

Perth's Abandoned Buildings - Part 1, of many more to come...

Abandoned Fremantle Power Station. Pretty hard to do this building justice with photos. The scale of the interior space is huge, open, with soaring ceilings and impeccable interior design. Formerly, there must have been 10,000 panes of glass. Now, there's about three. Despite our best efforts to remove this oversight by the designers, we couldn't throw any bricks high enough to take out the remaining eyesores. Buildings like this are an integral part to the diversity and culture of any modern city. Thankfully, the entire structure has been heritage listed, and there are plans in place to preserve the artwork and remaining fixtures, including a vintage Datsun 120Y sedan.

On this day, visitors to this abandoned building included photographers, artists, and models. Progressive parents had bought their children down to play. One young child was particularly proud of his collection of empty spray cans (thousands litter the floor), his father, not so impressed with the haul. Males, females, young and old. There were no laws, no restrictions, no rules. Smoking inside was OK. Spontaneous conversations were struck with complete strangers. A friendly vibe filled the air. A perfect juxtaposition of respect, and anarchy.

EDIT : There is now a PART TWO of this building, with other area's of magnificent decay! CLICK HERE for Part Two)

To get a sense of the scale, in the first photo, look at the man, standing in the background just above the yellow tag. At a guess, I would say an eight level apartment block could be built entirely inside this space, with room to spare.

Another of Perth's cultural and architectural highlights for sure.

May 23, 2009

Perth + Brutalism + Iwan Iwanoff + Curtin University

Yes, I know. But this really is the last of the Perth brutalism series. Nicely capped off with a tribute to Iwan Iwanoff, all of the photos today were taken at Curtin University - Perth's own little slice of brutalism in the burbs. Just around the corner from the Iwanoff sculpture, is a tribute to the other great heroes that also died in 1986 - Lionel Ritchie, Billy Ocean, and Falco.

Now, there is only one type of building that has more of an impact, and looks better, than a concrete brutalist box - a crumbling, abandoned building. Nothing beats a crumbling building. Nothing. Hands down. So, enjoy the last of Perth brutalist architecture (really!) you will see on this blog for some time (probably).

Coming soon - Perth's abandoned buildings...

May 21, 2009

Brutalism in Perth - the saga continues.

A psycho-analyst would have a field day explaining what makes people love, and hate, brutalist architecture. Suffice to say, its rough, raw, geometrical, edgy, and, well -  brutal. Perth has more than its fair share of brutalist structures, much to the pleasure of many locals. Brutalist buildings, once you see them in real life, are burnt into your mind. Not many buildings can make that claim. This will be the last part of the Perth Brutalism feature (for now).... until I win lotto, and build a house so brutal that the concrete will bleed. 

In the meantime, enjoy this Wellington Street gem. Once known as Consolidated House.

May 19, 2009

Perth - Isolated and Brutal

Perth's CBD is midway through a construction boom. City Square BHP Tower, 270 metres, expected to be completed sometime in 2012, will be the tallest office tower in Australia. Under construction on a tiger-snake infested swamp in the very heart of the CBD, the view from the top should be spectacular - a skyscraper or two, and half a million bungalows in every direction. The photo below is the rear of the construction site, at the back of St Georges Tce -  main street.

East Perth train station, East Perth. Perth's best transportation terminal interior. The exterior, is as brutal as they come. From here, you can catch trans-continental train 4352 kilometres, ending in Sydney. Yes, Perth is genuinely the most isolated mainland capital city on Earth. The nearest city is Melbourne, with Sydney being slightly further away. From there, the third closest city is not even on the same continent. 

More Perth brutalism. Perth CBD. I heard that Charles Landry was not a fan of Perth's brutalist structures. Whenever I think of Charles Landry, I always think of The Simpsons "monorail! monorail! MONORAIL!" episode. Note to Landry: you suck! 

South Bronx. No, Perth doesn't have ghettos. Perth CBD, May 2009. 

May 11, 2009

Brutalism - Perth's best examples of brutalist architecture

Brutalism. Perth's brutalist architecture polarises opinions. Geometric, concrete, 1960's and 1970's stylings. Often out of place, even alien. But what exactly is brutalist architecture? Well, I'm no architect, but it seems to be that any building that would look particularly good with a commie flag on its roof, is most likely an example of brutalism. Here is a selection of Perth's best.

Council House, Perth, 1963. Howlett and Bailey won a national design competition, and here is first place. During the 1990's, the future of this building was in doubt, it was facing demolition. It has appeared on lists of Perth's most hated buildings. People, wake the fuck up.

Commonwealth Bank, Perth, date unknown. Well, this will polarise for sure. A rough concrete tower, in the sea of mediocrity.  Built today, any building on a Terrace facing site would have every surface clad with the latest shade of triple glazed eco-glass. This building says - "fuck you, don't even think about coming in, we will rip your fucking balls off and feed them to you, and you may never actually escape". Perfect for a bank, then.

Perth Concert Hall, 1973, Perth. Again, Howlett and Bailey design the perfect building for a CCCP flag. Speaking of commies, the opening day was attended by Gough Whitlam.

Christian Science Sunday School, Perth. What the hell happens inside this building? Christian, scientists? Apparently they believe that anything evil is an illusion. Somebody forgot to tell their architect. Harry Seidler (a bit of a brutalism fan himself) must have tripped balls when he realised how good QV1 looks with this brutal block in the foreground.

Hale School Memorial Hall, Wembley Downs, 1961. This is the first brutalist styled building in Australia. Concrete, rough, and imposing. Actually, when you put brutalism and all-boy schools together, the jokes pretty much write themselves. I photo-shopped out the empty SAO packet, a stop-watch, and a Chinese flag, lying on the grass in front.

Just a taste of "Perth Brutalism Part 2 - 1970's, Hello!" (located in East Perth). This interior shot is taken from inside one of Perth's most hated buildings. More photos of this, soon...