Colonised Australia felt it had grown into an independent, and quite sexy young adult by the 1980s. The 1988 bicentenary was a celebration of all that Europeans had acheived in Australia in 200 years. It was also a year which benefited from the optimism of the Wran NSW Labor Government - which commissioned, among other public institutions and spaces, the ingeniously designed converted power station as the new home for the Museum of Applied Arts and Sciences in Ultimo, Sydney.
Inside the Collection
HIV is still here - and it's on the move For folk who lived through the 1980s, AIDS was an omnipresent gargoyle. The disease was part of the contemporary culture. It had insinuated itself into current affairs stories and commercials, into youth culture, gay culture, tea-room discussions, into jokes, bullying; and into people’s bodies.
Have you ever wondered why the Capitol Theatre in Sydney's Haymarket is such a strange design? It was originally a fruit and veggie market! 2016 marks the theatre’s 100th birthday. What a century it’s been, filled with performing seals, elephants, mermaids and now the von Trapp children.
On this day in 1973, Queen Elizabeth II officially opened the Sydney Opera House. The ABC beamed the occasion by satellite to an appreciative world. Closer to home there were sighs of relief from the politicians, architects and engineers who had, to that time, weathered one controversy after another.
Yesterday I took a stroll along Sydney's newest pedestrian walkway, The Goods Line. It opened last Sunday (30 August 2015) and goes from the Ultimo Road railway bridge to the Museum's new entrance in Macarthur Street, Ultimo, an inner Sydney suburb.
A lot of people were pleased when Prince Alfred Park swimming pool starred at the recent 2014 NSW architecture awards. As well as the prize gong, the Sulman Medal for public architecture, the new pool received the Lloyd Rees Award for urban design.
The Powerhouse is located in what is now the densest suburb in Australia. With 14,300 people per square kilometre Pyrmont/Ultimo packs more residents into less space than any suburb or town in the nation.
The Venice Architecture Biennale launched on the weekend. As the new Australian pavilion is under construction the Australian exhibition for Venice uses augmented reality apps to create Augmented Australia, a virtual, mobile exhibition.
With design historian Michael Bogle I recently completed a heritage report and a visitors’ guide called Monterey Moderne. Commissioned by Rockdale City Council the report and guide are about a group of 1930s houses in the streamlined Moderne style in the small suburb of Monterey on the western shore of Botany Bay.
During the late 1970s I was living in England researching a doctorate. I also enjoyed a lot of museums including during a visit to Paris the Centre Pompidou, which had only been open for a year or so.
The Gold Coast City Gallery has been displaying the exhibition Fibro Coast; it will soon be at the University of the Sunshine Coast Gallery. Fibro Coast is about the holiday architecture that is still a feature of the Gold Coast and the Sunshine Coast.
You might have seen the story re the State Library of NSW's recent acquisition of a photo album containing a different version of Max Dupain's well-known 1937 'Sunbaker' photo. That Max disliked the widely published version doesn't strike me as headline cultural news (well done to the State Library's pr people tho).