Big Log

You have to be careful what you wish for. So often we seem to be demanding some, even just a little bit of imagination from our Perth architects. Perhaps this shows why we are lucky they don’t exercise it more often. Has to be the ugliest small office in the city, in an already ugly part of Burswood, despite the fact that it seems like a lot of thought and effort has gone into it. What is that branch and plank thingy on the roof for? If it had an architect hanging from a noose with crows feasting on the corpse… And who thought it would be a good idea to have half a log as an “entry statement”? I particularly love how the colour of the stone perfectly highlights the mouldly drains set near the front to lure in customers. Perhaps it would have been nice to have the staff bog set up out the front too.

burswood log

About The Lazy Aussie

Commended Haiku writer. A lover of The West's Worst. Perth stand-up comedian, photographer and writer.
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28 Responses to Big Log

  1. meccano101 says:

    I would like to give the architect at least a little benefit of the doubt, the tree design smacks of “client concept”. It would have been a difficult and expensive exercise to achieve so unless the client was fanatical about it, it is unlikely it would have made it through to construction stage on a commercial building. I’m blaming the owners for this one.

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  2. DingoRob says:

    Oh yeah! That’s N-A-S-T-Y! Nice one, LA.

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  3. Mecc, it is the architect’s responsibility to resist this sort of thing, or at least to make it work. It is totally their fault, not the client’s if the final look of the building is terrible. It is not an excuse that the client wanted it to be crap. That is partly is what is so bad about this place. Lose the logs and the planks and possibly the drains, and it could actually be quite ok.

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  4. Anonymous Perthon says:

    The building has got a bit of a japanese thing going on and is really quite nice though unfortunately not well maintained. There just isnt enough room to feature the log (mr hanky is that you?) in the window.
    An architects job is take a clients crap ideas and make them work, but I think many architects would have faltered when presented with “the Log”

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  5. CK says:

    “You have to be careful what you wish for. So often we seem to be demanding just a little bit of imagination from our Perth architects. Perhaps this shows why we are lucky they don’t exercise it more often…”

    Think you’re being a bit rough on Perth architects here, LA, especially when the city’s skyline is replete with brutalist crap courtesy of Harry Seidler.

    It is a rubbish building though. What were they thinking?

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  6. meccano101 says:

    L.A I’m not sure architects are under any moral prerogative to resist anything. Like most creative professionals they are limited by their clients requirements, it is rare they are given free licence to do what they want. Maybe they thought it would work?

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  7. The limits, whether space, budget, or client stupidity should be the spur to inspiration not capitulation. The designers of the Convention Centre (which I will finally get to soon) tried to make the same argument. They don’t have to resist, no, but they are responsible for it, not the client.

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  8. meccano101 says:

    Unfortunately one persons inspiration is another’s turd log stuck in a window. Don’t get me wrong I think this is awful but ultimately someone says yes to it being built. Firstly the client and then the council. In the case of the convention centre someone said ‘Yes’ and it wasn’t the architect.

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  9. That’s what I mean though. Everyone rightly blames the architects for the CC. No-one says, “Oh it’s OK, the govt gave them a brief for a shed.” They are mad because they didn’t design the world’s most stunning shed. What I would want is for the designer here to say, “well the dumbarse client wants a log on the roof.” How do we make that shit idea into something fantastic, especially when it’s going to have our name on it?

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  10. meccano101 says:

    Maybe they thought they did? Unfortunately there are bad architects. Maybe a crap architect was the only one to take the project on. Maybe many did resist. But equally why wasn’t it stopped at council planning stage?

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  11. meccano101 says:

    “No-one says, “Oh it’s OK, the govt gave them a brief for a shed.”
    That is not what I’m saying at all. It isn’t o.k. made worse by the sheer size and position of the building, the question is who is responsible.
    I have recently finished working on a commercial building where the final product bares no resemblance to the architects original vision sadly they have no power to force the client to adhere to the original plan as the changes are mostly aesthetic. It is not the building they intended yet their name is on it.

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  12. SkyLantern says:

    This is conceptual art at its finest. The man-made floorboard piercing a jarrah-diebacked tree, the “Tent City” sign in the window, the barbeque area brickwork and unhygienic waterworks, and an upper storey outlook that is oblivious to the problems around. Surely this work is a comment on the predicament of our southwest forests? I think it should be dismantled piece by piece and relocated to the “culture precinct” right outside the Art Gallery of WA.

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  13. Rolly says:

    SkyLantern has hit the nail.

    It really comes across as a valid statement on the crassness of a society where the greenback is valued above a green environment despite the overwhelming evidence to the contrary.

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  14. tomthrett says:

    “Think you’re being a bit rough on Perth architects here, LA, especially when the city’s skyline is replete with brutalist crap courtesy of Harry Seidler.”
    shame on you CK! brutalist “crap” freakin rules. what else do we have thats beter, huh?! you think of something more appropriate! and lazy aussie, i do agree this is freakin tragic, i doubt an architect would have even been used, unless (and i suspect it may have been) the work of Gary Baverstock is involved. puke.

    LEAVE BRUTALSIM ALONE!

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  15. cimbali says:

    I have actually been in this building in early 2000. it was (and maybe still is) a camping shop or camping trailer hire place or some such. I remember being quite astonished at the incongruity of it being a shop at all. The architect Lyn (?) Matthews keeps coming to mind, he is very big on large logs.

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  16. SkyLantern says:

    Thanks Rolly, but even though the structure might work if it was intended as a political statement, I was actually trying to be sarcastic. Truly, it’s awful.

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  17. CK says:

    “i doubt an architect would have even been used, unless (and i suspect it may have been) the work of Gary Baverstock is involved. puke.”

    I know nothing of this Baverstock fellow, but it wouldn’t surprise me in the least to find BGC or Gerry Hanssen, builders of quality, in some way involved.

    I’m glad Seidler’s dead, BTW. Having grown up in Sydney you can’t avoid his erectile concrete turds.

    Domestic housing was quite nice though. He should have stuck to that.

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  18. I have to say I like quite a few of the brutals around. Plenty are pretty horrible too. They look so bad so quickly if they are not maintained well or are in a poor position.

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  19. Mazarina says:

    Brutalism blows.

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  20. tomthrett says:

    mazarina, you blow. and ck, fair enough not to like seidlers stuff, even i think his towers are a bit lame, and repetitive, but to be glad hes dead? thats way harsh. what about his family? poor penelope! he was a nice guy, if his art stinks, fine, but don’t be happy hes dead. thats not very nice.

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  21. Mazarina says:

    hahahahahaha, thanks tom

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  22. i know Mazarina is not a brutal fan, although she did swallow her disgust to get me an interior of East perth station

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  23. greg hoey says:

    It maybe a business that sells giant logs for giant fireplaces.

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  24. greg hoey says:

    For giant redneck philistines!

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  25. Mazarina says:

    yes, it was a ‘brutal’ experience (sorry couldn’t resist)

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  26. Bedford Crackpot Fraternity says:

    Now Laaaaaaaaaze,…is this “Big Log” title here a subtle nod to that seminal 1983 Robert Plant comeback album or a reference to crickets Bobby Simpsons ability to lay floaters in the bowl in the shape of the Pakistan Flag – the moon & star? I think given that we’re talking wood and perhaps willow, I think perhaps the latter!!

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  27. Are you drinking some kind of brake-fluid based moonshine there in Bedfordland?

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  28. Pingback: New Perth Public Architecture Forum | The Worst of Perth

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