Monday, 10 November 2008

Looking Down

Something different this week. Every two years the Historic Houses Trust holds Sydney Open which opens to the public city buildings of historic and architectural interest. Its a sticky beak's delight as you get to look at many places you either didn't know existed or would never have a chance to visit. This year's Sydney Open was held the Sunday before last and this week I am going to show you views of the city from some of the high rises I visited. Unfortunately it was a very overcast day, good for walking but no blue sky. I'll show you some interiors in coming weeks.
Looking south over Central Station towards Botany Bay and the airport from level 29 of Civic Tower above the Sydney Masonic Centre.

One of Sydney’s most uncompromising 1970s buildings, the Sydney Masonic Centre is a prime example of the ‘Brutalist’ style of architecture which is distinguished by off-form concrete in a range of finishes. Designed by Joseland Gilling, it was built as the headquarters of the United Grand Lodge of NSW and the ACT of Ancient, Free and Accepted Freemasons.

When the Masonic Centre was completed in 1979 it was without the commercial office tower that was a major part of the original design. The recently completed Civic Tower completes this missing element in the same style as it was originally conceived. Developer and builder, Grocon, worked with the Sustainable Energy Development Authority to achieve an Australian building greenhouse rating of 4.5 stars. A marginal increase in the tower footprint was necessary to achieve a satisfactory core and services and a commercially viable floor plate design. The tower provides 24 levels of office space. A retail area on the ground floor includes a cafe surrounded by a glass wall at the building’s base.


Dina said...

Clear over to Botany Bay, wow.
"A sticky beak's delight"?!! That must be Australian. Love it!

What a great opportunity to see new places.

Julie said...

Tried to leave a comment here earllier this morning - but it got eaten!

I am looking forward to your posts on the HHT Open Day. I did not take my camera along the day was so grey. It will be interesting to see what you visited and compare with my list. I did not go to this building but did go to the NSW Masonic Club in Castlereagh Street which was quite different from this. Very 1930s art deco ... quite liked it although it came across as a current-day mausoleum!

Ann said...

Ahh, thats good to know. I post these ones this week because I thought you would be showing art deco interiors. In that case, I'll start on the interiors next week.

Saretta said...

The Brutalist style of architecture? Goodness...sounds horrible but the building's not so bad actually!

Sally said...

Fantastic you got to get along to it...I was otherwise occupied this year, so look forward to seeing your shots.