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*** ct_07.11.08 :

   
[Cameron Offices, Belconnen, Canberra ACT]
  • discordant
    -- "Taking letters to the editor as one reflection of opinion, there have been ... (only) four letters to The Canberra Times: two from architects lamenting the destruction of most of the building and its lack of heritage protection; one suggesting the people who worked there are unlikely to lament its passing; and one proposing the latter is immaterial and that what is important is the urban design aspects of Belconnen Town Centre area ..." (Ken Taylor, ct_07.11.08)

     

  • vertical sepulchres
    -- "It is some 10 years or so ago that the move to demolish the Cameron Offices was first mooted. ... The public was invited to comment and they did with gusto, particularly people who worked or had worked in the offices. To a person they were less than complimentary of the place. The idea that such a building "could have heritage value was treated with disdain. Their experiences of working in the atmosphere and setting of the building were bleak." (Ken Taylor, ct_07.11.08)

  • bovver boys
    -- "In contrast architects have eulogised the building, pointing to its designer as significant and prominent. But they didn't work there, more seeing the edifice as an isolated aesthetic monument. This is often the problem with architectural aesthetics: it is too often divorced from users. On whose point of view do we put most credence? ." (Ken Taylor, ct_07.11.08)

  • salient considerations
    -- "What are the likely community/social values?" (Ken Taylor, ct_07.11.08)

  • thresholds of heritage value
    -- "For the most part I suspect the majority care little about the modernist architectural qualities of the building and will not lament its passing."
    (Professor Ken Taylor, Adjunct Professor, Research School of Humanities, The Australian National University, in ct_07.11.08)


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*** ct_07.11.12 :

 
  • brutal truth
    -- "One may have expected that Taylor as a landscape architect might instead have addressed the cultural significance of the organisation of the Cameron Offices in Belconnen, ... into separate wings connected by open landscaped courtyards that was instrumental to creating the conditions for the symbolic introduction of nature into the city." (Graeme Trickett, ct_07.11.12)

  • emerging school
    -- "The landscaping, ... had each court depicting a different landscape region of Australia through the use of native Australian plants and water features; ... using native plants and bush themes in a naturalistic and informal way." (Graeme Trickett, ct_07.11.12)

  • Modernist urban utopia
    -- "Taylor might have analysed how the original courtyard landscaping linked internal and external spaces, and was designed as a device for orientation, circulation and relaxation. The courts, ... are Cameron's treasure as are London's Georgian squares." (Graeme Trickett, ct_07.11.12)

  • precint of integrity
    -- "He may have commented on how the courtyard landscaping between each wing was continued as tree plantings extending through the car parks; the overall design solution being facilitated by the NCDC's planning policies, being an unusual feature in Australia's urban environment, where subdivision has tended to constrain the design of office buildings.." (Graeme Trickett, ct_07.11.12)

  • critiquing modern
    -- "Taylor draws on John Ruskin and his dictum. Ruskin's preference for Romanesque, Gothic and English Decorated architectural styles certainly conflicted with Walter Burley Griffin's intentions for Canberra." (Graeme Trickett, ct_07.11.12)

  • National Trust of Australia
    -- "In Griffin's report of 1911, he called for a horizontal distribution of the large masses for more and better air, sunlight, verdure and beauty. ... The Cameron Offices accords with Griffin's description better than any other building in Canberra." (Graeme Trickett, ct_07.11.12)

  • rough cast concrete


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  • verdure
    -- "It would seem that one material, reinforced concrete, would contribute to dignity and impressiveness and that appropriate immensity in spans and masses with contracting delicacy in plastic ornamentation together with a maximum of repetition and rhythm and a general simplicity would, with imagination, suffice for rational and genuine style. ..." (Graeme Trickett, on Cameron Offices, in ct_07.11.12)
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