New Perth Public Architecture Forum

Designs are increasingly winning competitions because they are literally green, and because somewhere they feature a small windmill.
Rem Koolhaas

Simply by not owning three medium-sized castles in Tuscany I have saved enough money in the last forty years on insurance premiums alone to buy a medium-sized castle in Tuscany.
Ludwig Mies van der Rohe

In a rather heated post, where a couple of brave architectural compliant types tried to defend the generally indefensible state of Perth architecture, Designinperth asked, -once everyone had established their hip Speer and Mies knowledge, what we should have in the way of Perth public architecture. Although this site has spasmodically half seriously taken on the built environment over the last four and a half years, smartarsery is generally the forte. However, some guidelines have I feel been established, even while often in the negative. Add your own dos and dont’s with links onsite or off.  How about one of these architectural types whip up something with the Yokens based on these guidelines, or better still, something that subverts it all, with all of the don’ts. (Apart from the Smiths sculpture).  Can’t be worse than all those bogus architectural awards they’re always submitting for only to have some wanker like Koolhaas &cetera swoop in and get the job. So new Perth public architecture, should not:

Have Glass bricks involved.
Have Budget sapping lawsuits.
Be opened by Max Kay
Be built of Salmon brick (although it should have Rolling Stones as tenants).
Have patterned brick.
A testicular motif.
Tilt ups.
Rely on dubious size claims to substitute quality, particularly in reference to Southern hemisphere. Let  me be clear. If the design is claiming to have the biggest sheets of titanium in the southern hemisphere, then tread warily.
A log or load bearing jarrah burl.
Be on the site of something more interesting or better that has been demolished.
Have public art by The Smiths anywhere nearby.
Fucking bells that after construction it is found cannot be rung because of well, loudness.
Mermaids. Although I’m not wedded to that rejection.
Do I need to specify no walruses?

Perth public architecture should have:

Load bearing boozies. Totally. If not load bearing, then walk away.
Eaves
.
Alexander The Great and funparks.
Computer generated maps of Tassie in the artist impression.
A cave of creativity.(Possibly the most important piece of the puzzle.)
Suicide prevention initiatives if tall.
public art scratching its arse.
Cthulhu.
A small bar.
A large bar.
State of the art toilets.
Child friendly areas.
Dogging friendly areas.
An island in the shape of a swan. I know, I know, I’ve come round.

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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59 Responses to New Perth Public Architecture Forum

  1. Bartender's Skills with a Manhatten says:

    Are you sure, TLA?

    Glass blocks, Mandell House, Edward Durell Stone,, Mt. Kisco, NY, 1932-34

    Testicle motif, Justin Morrell House, Vermont, 1850s

    Patterned brick, Keble College Main Building, William Butterfield, Oxford, UK, 1870s

    Load bearing log construction, Topside Estate, Adirondacks National Park, New York State, 1920s

    Salmon brick, GE Building, 1931

    Walruses, The Arctic Club Building, A. Warren Gould, Seattle, WA, 1914

    /sideways winky face

    On the other hand, I was unable to find a single mermaid of interest. Even the one in Copenhagen is a bore.

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    • The load bearing one is hard to see, but looks interesting.

      Like

      • Bartender's Skills with a Manhatten says:

        This is a slightly better picture–it;s the boathouse/”casino” (in the sense of a pavilion or summerhouse where people spent the early evening) for Topridge, the Merriweather-Post Estate.

        Constructed from 1918 through the early 1930s This is the only one of 60 such buildings on the estate visible to the public and this one only because it’s on the lake itself.

        Like

    • The 30a glass blocks still give that special toilety feeling.

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      • Bartender's Skills with a Manhatten says:

        Not many pictures, but this one from when the house was completed might give a sense of context.

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        • WA_side says:

          Reminds me of this house which, regardless of its merits, always drew the eye as a child. Much better kept back then though, including the bright blue reflective windows, which appear to have faded.

          I always preferred the house a couple of doors down with the 2nd story gable dormer window, though we toured it once years later when it was for sale and it was such a poky rabbit warren as to be near unliveable without renovation. Dashed my childhood dreams!

          Like

  2. The Legend 101 says:

    Glass Bricks, Why?

    Like

  3. Pete says:

    I think you’re overeaching TLA, after a couple of seasonal nights out involving train trips in & out of Pert I think the start point might just be some wafting classical in the stations. Idea being to influence any stroller bound yoof’s synapses into believing in a better future, going/coming back to make it. We’ll all be shouting ‘get off my lawn’ before the revolution occurs.

    By the way, I like Houston. For a resource town, they do it right.

    Like

  4. Shazz, sympathetic though I might be to whales this mob of Trot SS cunts are nothing more than a bunch of Trot SS cunts. The environmental equivalent of Perth Arena.

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  5. Bento says:

    Another essential element of the Perth architectural style is post-construction adornment with vehicle.

    Like

  6. Bartender's Skills with a Manhatten says:

    Seriously…what’s the consensus on Jeffrey Howlett? His Council House in Perth was the first building in Australia that I came across while studying mid-century Modern and it looks as great now as ever.

    I also was very impressed with the work of John Hawes, whose Mission-influenced work looks a lot more blocky, elemental and distinctly desert-like than its California counterpart. The cathedral in Geraldton looks better every time I see a picture of it–somehow it radiates the idea of being refereshingly cool inside.

    Obviously a Hawes-Howlett mash-up would be a disaster, but they certainly seem like great starting points for climate-sensitive architecture.

    Like

    • Rolly says:

      Climate sensitive architecture?
      That’s another screaming oxymoron.
      Both the vernacular architecture, and the grandiose effluvia of the cashed up bogan mentality of this region, are serious contributors to Australia’s indecently high per capita carbon dioxide emissions.
      You’ve got to have the air conditioners going full blast 24/7 to prevent meltdown of the thermoplastic accoutrements.
      The “education” syllabus planners have completely ignored the need to instruct their pupils in everyday function and domestic economics.
      Sheeple are principally educated by “Shock Jocks” and the tender mercies of the “news” media.
      The unholy trinity of commerce, politics and religion holds fast to its control over the community with great success.
      But then, as an US citizen, you’d know all about that; suffering, as you do, under similar cultural constraints.

      Like

      • Never visited Sydney?

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      • Bartender's Skills with a Manhatten says:

        How is the vernacular in Perth non-climate sensitive?

        And I fail to see where the unholy trinity of commerce, politics and religion ends with the US and Australia. That’s life on this here planet, as far as I can tell.

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        • RubyRuby says:

          Lack of climate sensitivity 101 – “all the new builds” in a certain Northern Beaches estate have hot water coming out of their cold taps this summer.

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          • Had to have water at 20c for mixing up film developer. Coming out at 29 degrees.

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            • RubyRuby says:

              Still – how hard can it be to have some basic passive solar in houses built in the back part of 2011~?! Like, not lots of exposed piping on the north side?

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              • AAA says:

                Tuscan house in Tuscany = passive solar(ish) for the region
                + thick masonry wall not double brick
                + clustered houses provide shelter and shading
                + shuttered windows provide direct light exclusion outside the glass

                Tuscan ‘styled’ house in Perth =/= passive solar design
                – double brick is inefficient/ineffective
                – eavesless shoebox – 1-2m – eaveless shoebox does not equal clustered housing
                – no shading or at best blinds on the inside allows extensive direct light internally.

                Don’t get me started on Federation ‘styled’ houses that are mostly painted Tuscan ‘styled’ houses with a veneer of Federation. Basically Tuscan ‘styled’ wolf in red brick and green painted wood clothing!

                Whilst the majority (98%) of these examples are en-mass tripe produced by our plethora of building companies there are unfortunately a few examples that have come from the hand people that should know better.

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            • Rolly says:

              It’s all a conspiracy to sell fridges with power wasting external iced water taps.

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    • vegan says:

      my consensus is that council house is cool, but probably not very climate sensitive, lots of air con all the time.

      hawes is quite unique, and all of his works that i have seen are beautiful and often touched with whimsy.

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      • Bartender's Skills with a Manhatten says:

        Aren’t the “T”s on Council House intended as sun-screens? True, they might not be very effective, but my understanding is that they were part of a response to Perth’s climate.

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        • Snuff says:

          Quite correct, BSwaM, “It was the first building in Perth to use complete window walling. In order to reduce the heat entering the building through these full-height windows, the building used internal blinds and external sun-breakers.”

          Like

    • Council House is my favourite building in Perth. Second favourite is East Perth Train station.

      Like

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