[COM] SA Water | 56m | 11lvls | Office

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[COM] Re: #U/C: SA Water | 56m | 12lvls | Office

#541 Post by crawf » Tue Oct 28, 2008 12:45 am

WTF Cruise Ship? :shock:

I like the Federal Law Courts building, though I think VS1 is a more attractive building.

Majority of Adelaidean's wont give a rats about this building, they will just see it as a another office building

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[COM] Re: #U/C: SA Water | 56m | 12lvls | Office

#542 Post by SRW » Tue Oct 28, 2008 12:48 am

For your enjoyment:
Adelaide eyesores
ALEXANDER DOWNER
The Advertiser, 27 October 2008

JUST over two years ago, I attended the opening of the magnificent new Parisian museum dedicated to the world's indigenous cultures known as the Quai Branly Museum.

It is a veritable monument to the indigenous cultures of Africa, South America, Asia, the South Pacific and Australia. Our own Aboriginal artists have made a spectacular contribution to this cornucopia of art.

The Howard government, through Amanda Vanstone and me, decided to contribute financially to the Aboriginal component of the museum.

It has given our first peoples a high profile in a city which justifiably claims to be one of the great cultural centres of the world.

There's more to the Quai Branly Museum than its contents. Architecturally it is a triumph.

It was designed by the famous French architect Jean Nouvel who has recently won the architectural equivalent of the Nobel Prize, the Pritzker Prize.

The building is not clad with the usual stark modern formula of concrete and glass but has a garden attached to its vertical walls. It has to be seen to be believed. If it wasn't for all the architectural wealth of Paris, you'd go there to see this building alone. This is a marvellous example of modern architecture at its best. What a contrast this great building is to recent architectural work in Adelaide.

Last weekend I happened to be in Victoria Square. I spent a bit of time doing what we usually don't do - contemplating the architecture. It's a messy scene. The last decent buildings built there were erected in the 19th and early 20th centuries.

The Supreme Court building is an attractive example of neo-classical British architecture, the old Treasury building is a pretty neo-Georgian public building and the old Moores building (now part of the Supreme Court) and the Torrens building, which houses among other organisations the Carnegie Mellon University campus, are impressive.

The more modern buildings are appalling. The State Administration Centre and the old Reserve Bank building are an affront to the eye. Both must have been inspired by a matchbox.

The Hilton and the SGIC building are not much better. I used to hate the Police Headquarters on Angas Street but it was wisely torn down - to be replaced by the Federal Court building. It's taking me a long time to get used to its strange greens and browns. It's an attempt to do something interesting though.

But last weekend's wander around Victoria Square shocked me. At first I thought I was suffering from a brain explosion. How, I asked myself, could one of those 50,000-tonne cruise ships have docked right next to the Catholic cathedral in the southeastern corner of Victoria Square?

I know Mike Rann is trying to scare us into believing that dangerous climate change is going to lead to rising sea levels which will flood western Adelaide but surely the sea level hasn't risen so far so fast!

I was right; it hasn't. On closer examination I realised this grotesque structure in the heart of our beloved city was not a cruise ship but the new SA Water building. I'm told it cost $100 million dollars to build. The security officers guarding the Ocean Monarch or the Sea Princess, as it should be called, told me they weren't allowed to talk to anyone about the building.

They ever so slightly broke their rules by telling me it was very nice inside. So is a cruise ship. So there we are: right in the heart of our city a new building goes up and it's a monstrosity. It's plain, it's dreary and it's utilitarian. Utilitarian means it works well enough for the people who run our incompetent water policies.

I suppose in that respect it's quite appropriate; a monument to the lack of planning and thought that's gone into South Australia's water system for the last twenty years.

The Adelaide City Council and the State Government should have demanded that a new building in such a sensitive corner of Victoria Square be an architectural triumph.

It should have been a monument to modern creativity, to the limits of our imagination, to the beautification of our city. But no, it's a cruise ship without any water. It will never sail away. It will be there for the rest of our lives.

The site, I'm told, was sold by the Catholic Church. That's quite an irony. After all, the Catholic Church has built some of the greatest buildings in Christendom. They built Notre Dame, St Peter's Cathedral, Westminster Abbey (before the Reformation), the Duomo in Florence and Sagrada Familia in Barcelona to name but a few great Catholic buildings. The SA Water building sums up the fiasco of Victoria Square. For generations, state governments have spurned the opportunity to turn that central square in Adelaide into something spectacular. It's too much to expect that Victoria Square could be one of the world's great city squares like the Grand Place in Brussels or the Plaza Major in Madrid.

But at least it could be an attractive reflection of Australian architecture through the ages.

Because of lack of leadership it's ended up being a hotch-potch of pleasant and ugly buildings with highways bifurcating the square. At the least the traffic could be banned from Victoria Square at the weekends and it could be turned into a social and cultural centre of the city for two days a week. Nothing can now be done about the buildings.

The Adelaide City Council is looking at new plans for Victoria Square (yet again) and good luck to them.

But approving buildings which look like a cruise ship isn't helping.

We need the inspiration of someone like Jean Nouvel and the foresight of the French Government to make the most of the historic places in our city. The SA Water building is an opportunity lost.

* Alexander Downer was Australia's Foreign Affairs Minister from 1996 to 2007.
I think the line to which I've added emphasis (with boldface) pretty much sums up the piece.
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[COM] Re: #U/C: SA Water | 56m | 12lvls | Office

#543 Post by Just build it » Tue Oct 28, 2008 2:35 am

Alexander you silly bastard.....but you know, from some angles it kind of does. :lol:

But who cares, it's been done before.

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[COM] Re: #U/C: SA Water | 56m | 12lvls | Office

#544 Post by Prince George » Tue Oct 28, 2008 2:44 am

I'm a lifelong Labor voter, and I can hardly believe that I find myself saying this: if Downer ran for Premier, I think I'd vote for him.

I haven't said anything about this building because I can see that many many people here really like it and I think that I'm at risk of getting the reputation of a malingering nay-sayer or, worse still, the dreaded N-word :shock:, but from what I have seen of this building (I'll admit, only from the photos posted here) it's a deadly dull grey rectangular box with attached blue-glass curtain. The colours are drab, especially the building's pavement-concrete-grey which deadens the blue/green glass, and the shape of the building lacks detail or ornament to catch the eye other than the random colour placements in the curtain - so the smallest level of detail is the size of a large window. Compare that to, say, the Torrens building: it's ornamented to a tremendous degree, the smallest level of detail there would be about the size of your hand. And it seems entirely appropriate that the zig-zag columns at ground level look like some sort of bear-trap or shark-mouth: it does seem that it has come to devour the square.

And that is by far the worst thing about the building: it could have been built practically anywhere just as it is, it simply has no relationship to speak of with the area around it. This wasn't just any old spot, it was just about the last chance that we are going to have to build something right on Victoria Square. I find it ironic to see people who say that the Marj is a waste of a prime location are happy with this building.

But I can be convinced that I am wrong, and I would like someone who really likes this building to do so. Tell me what you find so attractive about this building, and what it is about it that you would want to see repeated in other buildings. People have said that it should be up for architectural awards, on what basis?

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[COM] Re: #U/C: SA Water | 56m | 12lvls | Office

#545 Post by Norman » Tue Oct 28, 2008 9:31 am

Photos of this building do not do it justice, in person it looks so much more spectacular.

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[COM] Re: #U/C: SA Water | 56m | 12lvls | Office

#546 Post by JAKJ » Tue Oct 28, 2008 11:52 pm

The Reserve Bank building has to be one of the best examples of 1960s architecture in Australia, it truely is a stunning building. Inspired by a matchbox? What an idiot...

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[COM] Re: #U/C: SA Water | 56m | 12lvls | Office

#547 Post by omada » Wed Oct 29, 2008 8:42 am

Why doesn't Downer jump in the Tardis and f*&k off back to Georgian England if he doesn't like modern architecture! The two new buildings we have in Victoria square are the best this city has to offer! And those 60's buildings he denigrated are fine examples of the new modernism that was sweeping the world. But really I'm not surprised this is coming from a guy that formed a conservative, migrant hating, no sorry saying, climate change denying government.

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[COM] Re: #U/C: SA Water | 56m | 12lvls | Office

#548 Post by Prince George » Wed Oct 29, 2008 4:02 pm

Why doesn't Downer jump in the Tardis and f*&k off back to Georgian England if he doesn't like modern architecture! The two new buildings we have in Victoria square are the best this city has to offer!
Did anyone bother to check the building that kicked off his Op-piece, the Quai Branly Museum? This is not some Palladian knock off, this is contemporary architecture. In particular, check out the 200m long living wall. And for the Federal Court building, he's more sympathetic to it than he is to SA Water: "It's taking me a long time to get used to its strange greens and browns. It's an attempt to do something interesting though."

But let's get above name calling (or "resorting to ad-hominem attacks", in Downer-speak :) ): don't try to win a debate by discrediting your opponent, discredit their argument. Downer's complaint isn't against modern architecture, it's against architecture he regards as lazy and bad. Why is he wrong about this building?

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[COM] Re: #U/C: SA Water | 56m | 12lvls | Office

#549 Post by Shuz » Wed Oct 29, 2008 5:12 pm

Downer must have a case of the Downer's.

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[COM] Re: #U/C: SA Water | 56m | 12lvls | Office

#550 Post by AtD » Wed Oct 29, 2008 6:49 pm

Prince George wrote:Downer's complaint isn't against modern architecture, it's against architecture he regards as lazy and bad. Why is he wrong about this building?
In comparison to every other office high-rise constructed in the last five years, this is easily one of the best. It's not a stock-standard box like City Central project or the Gouger Street buildings and it isn't ruined by a massive exposed car park or cooling towers like Flinders Link. Next to the Law Courts, it's the most architecturally interesting high-rise office building in Adelaide for some time. I love how the cladding for the east/west elevations extend over the north and south edges, I love the diagonal supports at the lobby, and I love the colours.

In Melbourne it'd be average. In Adelaide, it's awesome. Here's hoping Aurora, Conservatory and Hills give it a run for its money.

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[COM] Re: #U/C: SA Water | 56m | 12lvls | Office

#551 Post by jk1237 » Wed Oct 29, 2008 7:14 pm

Alexander Downer is a dork, The End :lol: :lol: :lol: :lol:

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[COM] Re: #U/C: SA Water | 56m | 12lvls | Office

#552 Post by Omicron » Wed Oct 29, 2008 8:01 pm

Prince George wrote:
Why doesn't Downer jump in the Tardis and f*&k off back to Georgian England if he doesn't like modern architecture! The two new buildings we have in Victoria square are the best this city has to offer!
Did anyone bother to check the building that kicked off his Op-piece, the Quai Branly Museum? This is not some Palladian knock off, this is contemporary architecture. In particular, check out the 200m long living wall. And for the Federal Court building, he's more sympathetic to it than he is to SA Water: "It's taking me a long time to get used to its strange greens and browns. It's an attempt to do something interesting though."

But let's get above name calling (or "resorting to ad-hominem attacks", in Downer-speak :) ): don't try to win a debate by discrediting your opponent, discredit their argument. Downer's complaint isn't against modern architecture, it's against architecture he regards as lazy and bad. Why is he wrong about this building?
It is to be the highest-rated building in the CBD in an efficiency context yet is the only one in recent memory that does not resort to transparent green-tinted glass to achieve this, doing so instead with a unique glass curtain wall that cleverly incorporates green and blue colours reminiscent of its major tenant and are undoubtedly more vibrant in person than in photos (and could, theoretically, be changed with ease should the colours date in time).

It is an imposing, powerful building that maximises usage of its site and stares down the Commonwealth Law Courts without dominating over the nearby Cathedral.

There is not a single blank wall nor exposed concrete core to be seen on the entire building - the southern and northern facades have a touch of Lumiere Sydney about them, and the eastern facade is simple, clean and modern.

That's a good start. :wink:

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[COM] Re: #U/C: SA Water | 56m | 12lvls | Office

#553 Post by Mants » Wed Oct 29, 2008 11:26 pm

he is entitled to his opinion, as is everybody.

im sure this isn't to everybody's taste... i for one believe that the building could have a much more active street frontage.

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[COM] Re: #U/C: SA Water | 56m | 12lvls | Office

#554 Post by monotonehell » Thu Oct 30, 2008 12:02 am

Mants wrote:im sure this isn't to everybody's taste... i for one believe that the building could have a much more active street frontage.
If I've read the plans and etc correctly, I think you'll be pleasantly surprised on this matter when all the hoarding comes down. The zigzag section at street level and the connection with the small park in front of the church are meant to interface with the pedestrian domain well.

But who knows how it will turn out in reality. :)
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[COM] Re: #U/C: SA Water | 56m | 12lvls | Office

#555 Post by SRW » Thu Oct 30, 2008 1:43 am

Prince George wrote:[
Did anyone bother to check the building that kicked off his Op-piece, the Quai Branly Museum? This is not some Palladian knock off, this is contemporary architecture. In particular, check out the 200m long living wall. And for the Federal Court building, he's more sympathetic to it than he is to SA Water: "It's taking me a long time to get used to its strange greens and browns. It's an attempt to do something interesting though."

But let's get above name calling (or "resorting to ad-hominem attacks", in Downer-speak :) ): don't try to win a debate by discrediting your opponent, discredit their argument. Downer's complaint isn't against modern architecture, it's against architecture he regards as lazy and bad. Why is he wrong about this building?
I have seen the Musée du quai Branly in person and it is indeed a remarkable building, something of the sort I'd be proud to have in Adelaide. But I think the comparison is a slight unfair, as museums are much more flexible in their designs than are office blocks. Not, however, that the other argument you (not Downer) raised is lost on me, about the building perhaps not being the most appropriate vis-à-vis the beautification and, more importantly, activation of the Square. I wholeheartedly agree. Nevertheless, though not being the best result for the square, it is not a bad result. In fact, it's a definite improvement, which is why I suspect we are not being as harsh as you might expect us to be; we're simply grateful.

I also agree with your call for the ad hominen attacks against Downer to cease. His critique is surely absurd, but such castigation is clearly uncalled for.
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