Mar 6, 2013

The Wandering Melbournian: Part 2

by Chris Vlahonasios

A five-part collection of photos taken during one glorious afternoon in the great city of Melbourne, Australia.

The goal was to not to take “tourist pictures” but capture snapshots of the elements that make up Melbourne. However, what gives a city its character is not chosen by accident; they are influenced by the history and culture of the individuals who make it their home.

If you understand the city you will understand the people.

For the complete series, go to:

Part 2: Archit
Melbourne has some of the most dynamic and beautiful buildings in Australia. Even on par with New York, it is a city constantly redefining itself. It has always been keen to express new ideas, with an attitude of fusing old with new, generating some extraordinary structures.

Although built on the rigid ‘new world’ grid-layout, yet Melbourne has avoided the mundane. With its ordered streets and bewildering laneways, inspiration and surprises are around every corner.

However, it is not the overall form of the building, but the beauty of the finishing touches. A city which has one foot in the past, but through the present, creates a new world for the future.

Every place is a state of being.

This perhaps most perfectly encapsulates Melbourne – a city which blends the eras. All the pavements are laid in this beautiful charcoal-grey stone, paying homage to Melbourne’s once bluestone streets.

Subtle, minimalist and smooth – although different in texture, it is by no means a ‘replacement’ but ‘a new reflection’ of its old self.

Access way underneath Swanston St Bridge, next to the Arts Centre.

As one’s eyes are lead up from the base to the cornerstone a sense of awe is cast down upon the person. A presence of stark magnificence and grandeur from an earlier century; built to be admired.  

Sheer elegance supported by two-tone coloured stone. The blend of greys illuminate the warmth, light and colours of the life inside. No matter from which angle, this structure strives to reach for the sky.

Outside the Laurent Café and Patisserie.

A blend of parallels and curves. The marble boarder supports the strong Art Deco lines which rise up from the street, like a spouting tree.

The contoured sandstone walls are pierced by a pattern of isosceles with chiseled wedges, pulling the eyes down to the grey-stone earth from whence the building sprung.

Middle of Collins St.

Short in stature yet imposing, this stately building commands respect. Strong, symmetrical lines reflective of its past importance to the world, now nestled amongst the skyscrapers of the new century.

Despite its many years, it has not been ignored. A reminder of tradition allowed to survive the great leap forward of the Consumer Age. Although shrouded in the shadow of time, it still offers wisdom and direction for the new dawn.  

Swanston St.

Shadow art cast from an overhead walkway. This is a depiction of nature from a different perspective, reminiscent of raindrops on a pond’s surface. The ripples’ energy is illustrated thanks to the power of the sun’s rays. Inspiration directly derived from the Yarra River which only a stone’s throw away.

Art Centre walkway along Southbank’s Southgate.

A precise line. Order. Prominent. Red Gum timber and engineered steel slats sheltering fellow coffee connoisseurs.

The fiery red, currant-scented Australian gum posts blend in harmoniously with the cosmopolitan scene. A mere extension of the building, yet an essential component for social interaction and human enjoyment. A repetitive chorus line of nature and human ingenuity.

A café from along Southbank’s Southgate.

Big M
Realising a dream or a comical joke?

Corny – an entrance for the M-elbourne Arts Centre. Clear-cut, perfect lines of a bleak grey structure, but does it generate any intrigue? Where is the soul?

A dramatic rethink of concrete, creating forms and shapes never considered. An imaginative experiment, but ill-conceived outcome?

Back entry to the Arts Centre.

From a time that valued detail. A celebration of craftsmanship, a skill we have reduced due to cost. A reminder of how we once were – and how we could be again.

A pattern which surges forth with waves and swirls. Outstretched florals encompassed by floral-crosses. A cross within a cross, trinity leaves – divine inspired? So much nature, as if the stone is alive.

Remarkable detail for a boarder, under a bridge, on the side, not in direct public view – beauty even in places we never look.

Access way beneath the Swanston St Bridge, next to the Arts Centre.

Photos were taken using the 5MP camera in the Nokia C5-03 mobile phone.

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