It was another Friday night with Suzanne and Maleko going to puppy pre-school at Regency Park and Ari and I filling in time by walking the South Rd Superway for an hour or so. We started out on the A13 from the South Rd/Grand Junction Rd corner and continued walking west for 25 minutes.
It was bright and sunny at 6.30 pm and, fortunately for us, most of the traffic was moving on the elevated roadway. So I was able to scope the urbanscape underneath. I didn’t really know what to expect. All I had in mind were some possibilities for a 5×7 large format photoshoot from the brief previous scouting. So we wandered.
There is a big contrast between these two styles of architecture. People in Adelaide still don’t warm to the brutalism of the 1960s concrete and glass modernism, even though its been there for over half a century. I’ve made my peace with it. I can accept it— unadorned geometric forms, open interiors, and the use of glass, steel, and reinforced concrete—as part of our architectural history, and I think that it should be preserved as part of our architectural heritage. I’m probably in a minority.
Since the theme for the 1picaday2014 project is architecture Ari and I have been wandering the city close to the Sturt St townhouse. I cannot leave Maleko at home alone for very long on his own. So we cruised nearby Franklin Street:
The Pad is a Gamer’s bar and lounge. I’ve never been inside. I’m more intrigued by the building and the laneway that runs north/south between Grote and Franklin Street.
Ari and I walked around Regency Park in Adelaide last Friday whilst Suzanne and Maleko were at puppy pre-school. I was looking for material for October’s architectural theme for my 1picady2014 project. It was around 6pm, the sun was just going down, and we had an hour or so to fill in. I didn’t have the lightweight Linhof tripod that I’d acquired for the digital camera on me. So I gave up on the idea of returning to the Dry Creek Area which I had initially planned to revisit.
So we just ambled around this industrial/warehouse area. It was pretty quiet. Most of the warehouses had closed and the workers had gone. There was just a couple of workers relaxing at Nippys.
The odd semi-trailer rolled through the area and one went into Nippy’s. The wife of a Muslim couple was learning to drive a car and the ute crowd were using the ATM to get money for their Friday night’s fun. Apart from that it was very quiet. It was quite suitable for some large format photography.
After hanging the exhibition I walked back to the car to pick up Ari, then we walked to Hendley Square to share a glass of wine, then Ari and I walked back to the car. It was just after sunset and I saw this building on Seaview Rd on the way back to the car:
A gentle south west wind was blowing and people were strolling along the esplanade and the beach enjoying the softness of the dusk.
Yesterday evening’s poodlewalk was Maleko’s first walk in the city. We had just returned from a week of walking and playing on the beaches in and around Victor Harbor in the morning and evening.
We walked along Sturt St to Whitmore Square, then back along Wright Street to the townhouse. Maleko was a little unsure of himself, as there was so many strange happenings and sounds on the city streets compared to the coastal quietness of Encounter Bay in the early morning.
Ari and I wandered around the CBD of Adelaide late this afternoon. It was a glorious spring day.
The city had a festive air, due to the AFL result of clash between Port Power and Richmond at the renovated Adelaide Oval. Port Adelaide won. The crowds were walking through the city after the game to the various forms of transport. The Richmond fans, who had travelled over from Melbourne— bussed, trucked, hitched, trained, planed and biked in numbers—were very subdued.
I was on the lookout for opportunities for street photography for the 1picady2014 project after I’d spent all day in front of the screen of a Mac desktop editing a text for my Edgeland exhibition at Manning Clark House in Canberra in November. It was a relief to be able to leave the office and wander the city.
I’ve been doing some street photography in Adelaide these last few days whilst we are on our poodlewalks. The reason for the change is that the September theme for the 1picady2014 project is street photography. It’s not a style of photography that I usually do so I am being pushed into new territory.
I find it hard to do, especially when Ari is with me. It also takes a lot of time to find a suitable location and the right urban light. I’m not even sure what street photography means these days.
Australia is commonly seen as the one country that managed to avoid the global financial crisis (GFC) in 2007-8. But the effects of the GFC can be seen in Adelaide as you walk around the city and see the numerous holes in the ground in the CBD.
These are the traces of developments –urban renewal–that came crashing to a halt because the finance from the banks for development dried up post GFC. 6 years on and most of the CBD’s holes in the ground remain. Maybe the holes in the ground keep changing hands as they are bought and sold, plans are drawn up, approval is granted, but then fail to get off the ground because it is difficult to get the necessary finance.
Most of the development that is taking place is apartments with only the odd office building being constructed. In the above case in King William St in the City South precinct the proposed 28 storey development is called VUE on King William designed by Woods Bagot and developed by the Asian Pacific Group.
It is heralded as a new residential benchmark in Adelaide and it is designed to attract empty nesters planning to move into the city from the suburbs and young professionals. The finance will come if 70% of the building is sold pre-plan. So we will see what happens.
As Ari and I walk around Adelaide’s CBD I am acutely aware that Adelaide, and South Australia, is in a slump due to the decline of manufacturing and the end of car manufacturing in particular. The old industrial age is coming to an end. So what replaces it? What are the new drivers of economic growth. What can Adelaide do to reinvent itself, and prevent itself from becoming a rust bucket state? There doesn’t seem to many realistic options.
Many in government circles say mining. Or defence? Or high tech manufacturing. Or bioscience. Or education. Or agriculture. Rarely do they say the creative economy. The latter is a joke to Treasury and Big Business still beholden to their resource based and industrial cargo cults and frozen in the resource-trade mindset. The creative economy is art and design and that’s not business or the economy.
What they don’t seem to get is that the current derelict industrial complexes and buildings could be filled with hip restaurants, shops, design studios and galleries created by innovative locals and frequented by design-savvy tourists.