The Clare Hotel on Broadway is closing this year. It will open again, but not as the comfortably crumpled venue of recent times. The Clare’s past and likely future are reflective of the fortunes of Sydney pubs.
Inside the Collection
You might have read recently in the Sydney Morning Herald about the planned demolition of Sydney Convention Centre at Darling Harbour. The Centre’s architect John Andrews is not surprisingly unimpressed that another of his Australian designs is under threat after a mere 25 years of use.
It is 56 years this month since Jorn Utzon's success in the design competition for the Sydney Opera House. During January 1957 the four judges (they were all architects: Cobden Parkes, Eero Saarinen, Ingham Ashworth and Leslie Martin) looked through more than 700 entries.
The poster artwork above is the work of
Recently I gave some help to a heritage architect working on the Broadway Central Park development. We were looking at the Kent Brewery photos in our Tooth & Co collection. I particularly enjoyed revisiting the Broadway photos, timely given that Broadway is having its biggest makeover in decades. As well as the vast Central Park project, UTS is gaining a new building on the northern side of Broadway while the street level podium of the UTS Tower will be transformed.
One of the nice things about a museum project going public is the response from people with relevant artefacts, stories, photographs etc. Often this can be frustrating – if only we had known about this before the exhibition was opened, book was launched etc!
My new book Designer Suburbs: Architects and affordable homes in Australia is back from the printers and will be launched soon. Designer Suburbs began a couple of years back when our former curatorial colleague Judith O’Callaghan asked me if I’d like to co-author a book about the architect-designed project homes of the 1960s and 1970s.
A couple of years back I was contacted by a photographer named Alex Mattea. From 1987 to 1989 Alex photographed every building and every street in the Sydney CBD. He wanted to show me the results. During the 1980s Alex was alarmed by the head-long speed of the city’s transformation.
Picture a large stained glass window inside a cathedral. You see a variety of colours - perhaps a contrast of red and blue, long slivers of yellow, or a striking sea of white. A pattern emerges, changing your interpretation of the window.
Sunday 11 September is the tenth anniversary of that horrendous and highly symbolic event, the ramming of two aircraft into skyscrapers in New York City and one into the Pentagon in Washington DC. This portion of a girder cut from one of the World Trade Center buildings, distorted and blackened by fire, serves as a poignant, physical reminder of the event.
A far swag of the world’s most famous buildings are the result of design competitions – completed winners include Florence’s Duomo, the White House, the Paris Opera, the Westminster Houses of Parliament, the Reichstag (twice) and the Centre Pompidou.
There's been some comment lately about the fact that for the first time, more than half of the human race lives in cities. At the same time, cities are being seen again in a generally positive light.