Pretty special house and garden from the 50s or 60s, being sold by an architect (2008).
The house was designed in 1962 by Peter Robinson+Associates. Don’t know much about them, but we met the project architect, Peter Matters, on the day of the auction in late 2002. He was 80-something not out, still practising somewhere out near Bacchus Marsh, and had shown up out of curiosity to see who bought the place.
He designed the house for a local real-estate agent (!) and his wife, who raised their 3 children here. It’s a perfect family house and was obviously well-loved by its original owners. The mother had recently died, and I think the children were happy to see the house go to another family who would appreciate its unique qualities.
I think of the place like one of those Californian Case-Study houses with its casual-modernism-with-the-hard-edges- knocked-off-gone-all-lazy-and-comfortable-attitude. The place is pretty much as imagined by the architect back in the 1960’s.
Automotive Centre of Excellence (ACE). Stage 1 (Stage 2 is expected to be complete by early 2011).
This Lyons building is a one stop auto training shop for Victoria. A lot of functionality has been wedged into a tight site, helped along by a first floor with heavy duty lift for carrying cars up and down. Lyons seem to have made the most of an obviously limited brief, using the necessary windows and safety markings to express some of their trademark diagonal style.
It works well as a building while empty and quiet, but you’d have to have reservatinos about setting foot in there while its busy. There are just so many nasty auto-building actvities jammed next to one another you’d have to wonder how you could hear or breathe. Still, the occupiers deem it a success, and may expand to a six day week to accommodate demand. The facilities are so state of the art that graduates express disappointment when they return to their old-school suburban auto shops which are slightly more Victorian in atmosphere (meaning the era not the state).
The building is 5 star friendly – using automatic thermostats to shift air around as required. The only air-conditioned spaces are the offices (one can imagine the briefing session), all other areas are naturally ventilated and heated (with the exception of the halls which have gas boosters for the winter months). The teaching spaces suffer from this, being stifling hot even without students in the room – probably something to do with all the computers.
The buillding is Stage 1 only at the moment, it is soon to triple in size to accommodate just about anything to do with automobile training.
Is there some slight irony that an automotive training centre is 5 star friendly? Apparently the students are made aware of forthcoming changes in the industry due to peak oil and carbon emissions, but this isn’t evident other than in an electric toy car. Surprising also is the fact that all broken cars returned to their gleaming initial state by the students are then crushed into cubes.
This little barber shop occupied space on Caledonian Lane, in between a tailor and a mattress shop. The storekeepers had been worked beside one another for about 30 years, I was told. In 2004, ill health meant the barber had to close. A Japanese cafe held the space for a few years after that. The Myer-owned building has been empty this year and has been covered in graffiti, paving the way for its demolition.
Here is a little gallery of photos taken inside and outside the barber shop in 2004, during a measure up.
This is a precious old building left intact in the middle of an area of rapid development. Now that it is far from the ships that it services, I hope it doesn’t suffer the fate of the Mission at Prt Melbourne (now Beacon Cove). A mishmash of spanish mission and arts and crafts styles, the building is full of the unexpected. The Norla Gymnasium is an example – roughly hewn, it is instantly my favorite dome interior – but I haven’t been to Rome. Let’s hope they do the mooted refurb sensitively. The chapel is hard to describe, and impossible to photograph without a wide lens, so visit it. Of interest are the pulpit shaped like the back of a galleon, and the varying naive modern(?) stained glass windows. The bar (which is open to the public every day) is a great space too, particularly its shallow vault, and broken beer bottle bar front. This complex complex was designed by Walter Butler and built in 1916 to 1917. The name was apparently changed from Mission to Seamen to Mission to Seafarer in 2000, for unknown reasons.
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Architect: Grounds Boyd and Romberg, 1959
Architect: Roy Grounds, 1962
Renovation architect: Mario Bellini + Metier 3, 1999 (by competition)
Lots of space for bus tours since the Bellini renovation, and lots more gallery space, but the wonderful sense of the galleries encircling open sculpture courts has pretty much gone now.
Noted for its Great Hall, with stained glass ceiling by Leonard French.
The Naval and Military club at 25-35 Little Collins Street is to be demolished soon and replaced by a 32 storey hotel and apartment complex. The club went under in 2008 after some failed property deals – the building, which opened in 1967, has been subject to development proposals in 2000 (18 storey, rejected by council and approved at VCAT) and 2008 (24 storeys, approved). The 2000 proposal was opposed by the nearby Melbourne Club, the famous garden of which would have been cast in morning shadow.
The latest proposal, which was approved in 2010, is by Buchan Group – some images can be seen here (soon), and here is the planning report (PDF).
The planning report states (#73) that:
“The subject site is not affected by any heritage overlay and is not a graded building under Council’s Central Activities District Conservation Study 1984. The demolition of the existing building on the site does not raise any issues relating to heritage.”
The current building is registered at Heritage Victoria in its “Heritage Inventory Site” category, which doesn’t have much clout.
According to this post at Walking Melbourne, the architects could have been Oakley & Parkes & Partners, or Demaine, Russell, Trundle, Armstrong & Orton.