Archive for December, 2009

Brutey is in the eye of the beholder
Of the many requests to join this group or that on Facebook, there are a few who I join.One came through recently: Save 10 Murray – Architectural Gem to be Demolished.

Its 277 members hope to “Stop the wanton destruction of this landmark 1960s building.” and “Preserve Australia’s architectural heritage.”

Hobart’s State Government Offices are in the building that stands at this address and it is a fine example of modernist 1960s architecture; a style now regularly referred to as brutalist.

Burnie’s public library is an example; as is Launceston’s Henty House, although both buildings are younger than Murray St’s. …

Read the article here:  http://www.theadvocate.com.au/blogs/cat-among-the-pigeons/brutey-is-in-the-eye-of-the-beholder/1706955.aspx?src=email


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A letter published in The Mercury, 10 December, 2009.

Rooms with a view

Once again there’s a call for waterfront hotel accommodation with the Tourism Industry Council suggesting several sites (Mercury,   December 7).  It’s a shame 10 Murray St, with its waterfront views is overlooked.  This fine Hobart building has enormous potential but faces demolition.  I suggest the Tourism Industry Council’s Daniel Hanna has a chat with Sullivans Cove Waterfront Authority before it’s too late.  

Miles Shaman

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It’s not easy being a Brute
Paul Johnston

Paul Johnston explains why many believe the destruction of 10 Murray Street will be a tragic blow to the legacy of Australia’s modernist pioneers.

Stylistic attributes are never the best way to understand modern architecture. In Tasmania, where architectural influences are filtered by isolation and mixed with the rich context of landscape, modern architecture of the 1960s took on a rawness that expressed a cultural assurance and monumentality that has not been evident since. However, the label ‘brutalism’

is now used as a means of derision in the public sphere, to the detriment of architecture as a whole.

The proposal to demolish the State Offices at 10 Murray Street in Hobart recalls the long debate over the future of Council House in Perth, a battle that is now considered a benchmark in the defence of modern Australian architecture. The similarities are surprising, and this raises questions as to whether we have been able to engender any appreciation at all of modernism as cultural heritage. …

Read the article here: http://australiandesignreview.com/response/14678-It-s-not-easy-being-a-Brute

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