Bubbling with excitement

If Melbourne’s new rectangular stadium (now known as AAMI Park) were a person it probably would have taken a restraining order out on me by now.  For two years now I have visited/stalked the site on pretty much a fortnightly basis to photograph its progress in the hope of creating one of those photographic animations which illustrates the process of the construction.

You may ask, why this obsession? For me, this eye-catching building encapsulates two of my passions, football and architecture. My football team, Melbourne Victory will be one of the tenants and thus provides me with added interest as I will be spending vast periods of the rest of my life in this stadium.

So it was much anticipation that I finally got to go inside the stadium on Friday night and to see if it was as good on the inside as it appeared from the outside. And I wasn’t disappointed. Not only have Cox Architects created an eye-catching stadium that will be the benchmark for stadiums to come in this country for years to come. What struck me were the similarities between this stadium and the Sydney Football Stadium, also by Cox Architects, especially when it came to the experience inside. Also impressive was the fact that not only do you experience “the bubbles” externally but internally as well as you transverse the internal concourse looking for your seat.

Presentation inspiration

Every year I make sure I attend the Presentation to Juries for the Victoria Architecture Awards for the reason that it always provides me with inspiration and also reaffirms my faith in architecture.

So it was with much excitement I headed down to the Sidney Myer Asia Centre today to check out the latest offerings for this year’s awards. Usually with these presentations I just park myself in the Residential category for the afternoon and watch everything that is offer but this year I thought I would do things differently and check out a few different categories.

For the most part I was pretty impressed with what I chose to see being particularly inspired by the Lyon Housemuseum by Lyons and two projects by perennial idon’twearblack favourite McBride Charles Ryan, The Yardmasters Building and Fitzroy High School. Another project that I didn’t get to see but a reliable source said was the best they had seen so far that day was the March Studio by Brent Knoll.

One project that particularly surprising was the work by Cox Architects and Planners and their series of interventions and renovations throughout the University of Melbourne, one of which I only had stumbled on just before the presentation and took some photos, which I have included below. Coincidentally, seeing the presentation by Cox Architects was also a surprise as I walked into the room expecting another presentation.

Before I finish, no visit to the Presenation to Juries would be complete without seeing a presentation by Multiplicity. Not only do I enjoy most of their projects, but their presentations are always fun to watch with the banter between Tim and Sioux Clark being a particularly highlight.

Combined train of thought

You would have to say that in recent years Cox Architects’ Melbourne office sure has stepped it up a notch in terms of design and have or in the process of putting some serious landmarks on the city’s landscape. I am a massive fan of the under construction Rectangular Stadium (partly because I am a football nut), but their recently completed redevelopment of North Melbourne railway station is also worthy of mention. Since I have moved to Yarraville I get to experience the station on a daily basis and I have say that I am very impressed. It is an excellent blending of the old and the new which I hope my poor photography skills illustrate. If not, go have a look yourself. This successful upgrading of a tired station surely puts pressure on the State Government to seriously consider upgrading Melbourne’s other “gateway” station, Richmond, which now is definitely the poorer cousin.

Slippery when wet

CSV001In news that is a couple of weeks old, recently opened Cranbourne RACE by Cox Architects is coming under flack due to the fact that it has had to be closed due to the fact that the pool deck was found to be too slippery. However, what really grabs the attention in the above article is the sensationalist quotes from disability worker Michael Cleary, where he claims the following:

“This facility has the possibility of causing death, disability, disfiguration and acquired brain injury.”

I think he may have been misquoted as he has left out causing cancer as well. A little over the top don’t you think Mr Cleary.