Architecture Nerd Alert

This is a combination of engineering and architecture nerdery, really. As I’ve previously confessed, I do like a nice bit of engineering though! Landscape architect David Vago has suggested that once the monorail is dismantled, the remaining skeleton could be recycled into a walkway with vertical gardens. I say woot!

The SMH suggests it might look like this:

I love this. It would open up a whole new layer to the city for foot traffic and bicycles, it would solve the problem of what to do with the ugly support structure and instead of costing buckets to remove and then patch the holes(?), it would also add greenery with the planned gardens. Will it be too exciting for Sydney to contemplate? I hope it’s embraced.

And who can think monorails, and our own atrociously ugly version that didn’t really go anywhere useful or do anything much, without thinking of this?

Architecture Nerd Alert

Christchurch’s cathedral, destroyed in the terrible earthquakes of 2011, is to be replaced by a cardboard cathedral. How’s that for innovative? I love it! Japanese architect Shigeru Ban is heading the project. He’s best known for his work in swiftly rehousing disaster survivors which would seem to make him ideal in this instance.

There are a few images (well a lot but here’s a few) online which are really intriguing.

To me, this looks like a Marae. One of the other kinds of architecture that intrigues me is Maori architecture with its linking of community, family, the people, spirituality and ways to make meaning of the world. I wonder how the Maori communities are feeling about the use of such a profound idiom by an architect outside of those communities? Is it culturally sensitive of him to use such inspiration? I guess we shall find out as the debate increases around the project.

What a beautiful way to replace a fixed stone building of a fixed, and frequently immutable, theology. I hope the parishioners benefit and appreciate what a meaningful building they’ll have in its fragility, connection to history and yet transient state as well given the material means it will return to the earth much more readily than almost any other kind of building. I’m really moved by it.


Architecture Nerd Alert

This amazing building in Dresden, apparently plays music through the various paraphernalia on its face when it rains. I haven’t been able to find a recording of it and I have to admit I wonder if it does or if it’s just beautiful decoration? Either way, it’s really beautiful! And in this video, you can see another stunning yellow building that it’s worth sitting through the jerky footage to get to it. It’s part of the Neustadt Kunsthofpassage which contains five buildings of outrageous and brilliant design and decoration. What’s not to love about buildings like this? I wonder if we can be daring enough to do this in Australia sometime? I hope so!


Architecture Nerd Alert

I live in Sydney and have been in and out of the Sydney Opera House my whole life. I’ve never tired of it and at least once a week I go to the city to walk around it, eat icecream, sit near it or admire it from the Botanic Gardens. The last few years as bars and cafes have grown up around the SOH I celebrate my birthday there. It’s an amazing building viewed from any angle. On the harbour from a ferry is a particular favourite way to view it for me.


Architecture nerd alert

The Erasmusbrug (“Erasmus Bridge”) is a cable stayed bridge across the Nieuwe Maas (English: New Meuse) river, linking the northern and southern halves of the city of Rotterdam, Netherlands.

The Erasmusbrug was designed by Ben van Berkel and completed in 1996. The 802 metre long bridge has a 139 metre-high asymmetrical pylon, earning the bridge its nickname of “The Swan”.

The southern span of the bridge has a 89 metre long bascule bridge for ships that cannot pass under the bridge. The bascule bridge is the largest and heaviest in West Europe and has the largest panel of its type in the world.

Oh my! Why didn’t the Erasmusbrug in Rotterdam come to my attention sooner?! You can read more about this astonishingly beautiful bridge here and here.

Architecture nerd alert

I like engineering too!

This is the Anzac Bridge in Sydney for those not local to me.

In my private life, I like architecture. I like Grand Designs, I even like Dream Homes. Mostly I like architecture whether it’s modern, ancient, superb 18th century or Art Deco. I have a sneaking and growing love for outrageous modernism too. Here’s a little in case there are any more of us architecture nerds out there.

I like this fire station! Although the pic in the newspaper was prettier this is kind of spare and industrial with its own charm as a result.

The Sydney Fire Station in Castlereagh Street (left) was built in 1888 and was extended north in 1907 keeping to the same style. The new station with the glass facade that sits further north was completed in 2003, when the old building was restored.

Thanks to Sydney City blogspot for the info and pic!