Wednesday, June 30, 2010
Saturday, June 26, 2010
Tuesday, June 22, 2010
It's been reported that the complex has been sold to a Melbourne developer who plans to convert the site into 50 apartments. The previous developer had plans submitted for apartments too, but nothing eventuated from this. Let's hope that this new owner comes through and converts a Modernist gem. Let's hope that the iconic period features, such as the curved balconies, are retained.
Sunday, June 20, 2010
Whilst the Royal Derwent Hospital closed down in 2000, the large boiler block designed in the 1950s still stands, dominating with it's high brick facade and towering chimney stack. On the side of the building there is a sign (that now looks quite old itself) informing people that the building is for sale. I would be interested to know how this building could be adaptively reused? A highrise 1950s style apartment conversion perhaps?
Thursday, June 10, 2010
Ward 7 and the Ha-Ha pit were the first buildings to demolished just days after the heritage status of the buildings were overturned in a tribunal hearing.
Rocks and Earth piled up beside the former Hospital Wards
Tiles have been removed from many of the buildings
How much longer will this site be around?
To view a photo essay on the former Royal Derwent Hospital Complex click here
Wednesday, June 9, 2010
The iconic Art Deco period buildings form an historic link to the history of what is a massive site with a wonderful diversity of Architectural styles. I recently contacted Derwent Valley Councilor, Damian Bester to to find out about the future of these Art Deco Buildings.
If we rewind to the early part of 2010, the Council put the oval and buildings out to pubic tender. There was no outright successful Tender, but I have been informed by recent correspondence by Cr Bester that in a closed Council meeting on May 11th that is was decided
"to directly negotiate with four of the unsuccessful tenderers to bring about the sale of the oval. The council proposes to put a yet-to-be-determined project to the tenderers and ask which is prepared to build it."
But what about the oval ward buildings themselves? What of their future? There needs to be greater transparency in regards to what has been mentioned as the "yet-to-be-determined project". Surely the public has a right to know what is planned? Will the oval be lost to a car park, shopping complex, apartments? All just assumptions, but there can only be assumptions without transparency. The heritage listed Art Deco Oval precinct Buildings need to be taken into consideration if the oval is to be built on. Buildings something unsympathetic to the heritage listed Art Deco wards is just as bad as leaving them to ruin.
Cr Bester in relation to this question has said that in his opinion "the decision on May 20 to negotiate to transfer the whole of the site to the government, should over-ride the earlier decision to negotiate the sale of the oval, but I would appear to be on my own there"
Watch for future blog updates as Cr Bester has informed me that there was a Councillor Workshop held on the 8th June "to discuss the requirements of Council for the Oval space". Cr Bester was unable to attend this meeting but has informed me that he has "asked for a report to come before a proper council meeting for a decision" Maybe this report will answer many questions that remain, at present, unclear.
Clear and transparent action needs to be taken urgently before these historic and heritage listed buildings are lost forever
Monday, June 7, 2010
In a period when urban sprawl is placing demands on the very places people utlise such as shops, and recreational areas in Hobart, future planning should be committed to looking at a mix of highrise buildings within Hobart, Launceston, Devonport and Burnie in order to cope with future population booms and demands on city resources.
The 20th century has to also be accepted as part of our collective history and identity. If all Modernist buildings in Tasmania were to be demolished, there wouldn't be much of Tasmania left! Similar to the cultural cringe that was evident some 20 years ago in relation to convict history, Modernist Architecture is now suffering the a similar denial, but this time on the premise of considered 'ugliness' or 'not fitting in' .
Accepting Modernism and it's contributions to Tasmania, both positive and negative, will help us to better understand where we have come from, who we are and aid in helping guide us to a better built environments for the future.
Saturday, June 5, 2010
Wednesday, June 2, 2010
The former Queenstown Picture Theater has been bought back from the dead. Since its original use as a Theater it was used in many ways such as an indoor cricket ground. Whilst I walked around the grand space in the day time, the owner told me how the walls were painted a vivid green and that the roof had caved in when he had originally bought it!
The hours of work and effort have paid off and a grand transformation has since occurred. The moment you enter through and up the grand period staircase the views of the Theatre room are immense and dramatic - a massive space in terms of the sheer height and width of the venue.
The owner tells me that the the marble floor stone work design that he has installed was influenced from the Chrysler Building, another Art Deco gem, and as you look to the ground and view the lines and geometric angles it certainly leaves an impression.
The feel of the place is one that just has to be experienced - sofas and couches that are so comfortable you could fall asleep in them if it wasn't for the entertainment of the movies screening, and it beats any lure of a city cinema trying to entice people in with special deals and the like. To experience the Paragon is the experience.
Tuesday, June 1, 2010