Saturday, October 11, 2014

The Urban Workshop - Open House Melbourne

Melbourne manages to mix the modernity of new, sleek skyscrapers with the history and beauty of the previous structures in many instances across the city - The Urban Workshop in Lonsdale Street is one such example.

Glass and newness is the appearance of this building from the street, but stepping into the foyer for a peak into the secrets of the building during this year's Open House Melbourne, I was greeted with timber-featured cafe, and the stone interior marking the history of this block. Little did I know that there was so much more to the space, as my tour took us through all the quirky details.

Walking in from the street, I noticed the wording under foot in stone - and was later informed that this lettering is an ode to the former slum and red light district of the large city block - Little Leichardt.

Within the foyer, as our tour commenced, we were taken to see the cesspool artefacts, held in a circular display cabinet. We were told of the extensive archaeological done on this site, in the early 2000s - which my little sister was involved in around her studies - before the tall, new building was built over the top of it.

This area was one of the first, vibrant neighbourhoods of Melbourne, with homes and businesses, and brothels, within the grid of narrow back alleys.

Our guide showed us the round plaques around the new modern foyer of this city building, where clusters of things were found during the excavation, such as a concentration of dolls, for example, where they know a family cottage once stood.

Then the cabinets in the centre of the foyer displays the array of bits of bobs also found during the dig - everyday living tools, from household items, to coins, and even preserved plant forms. From this, the dig team have pieced together much of the life from those days, a major part of the history and beginnings of Melbourne.
From the ground floor, our tour was taken up to the 33rd floor, where we were allowed to check out the office floor of Australian Super - the sweeping city and Dandenong Ranges views from the board room and their open plan office space, to the bird's eye view of the CBD from the break-out lunch and break room end of the building.

How would anyone get any work done with such a view?

Another great behind-the-scenes look into a Melbourne building - although many of the ground floor features of this could be seen by walking in off the street, for the very curious.

No comments:

Post a Comment

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...