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PostPosted: 29 Apr 2009, 17:46 
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Have to agree there Collector. Not bad. Pretty good. Looks like twin towers but pretty bulky. The balconies will be a bit much facing the West but will probably be built out and some glass is better than nothing. Interesting how not all of the colours in the first render have come across to the second. Still looks like it will be vibrant at street level.

Looks like a development to get excited about for once and for once I agree with Robert Doyle. :wink:

Someone better take a pic of the old "Reidy's" signs before they're gone :)


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PostPosted: 24 Aug 2009, 13:55 
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Firstly, even though Faifax owned it, its not really 'the age site' is it ? Its really the site of the fabulous Edwardian warehouse, and a couple of others behind.

Hopefully, the retention is not full facade-only facadism, though at least they are keeping the side wall, and the new tower is quite visually set back and so it wont look like a facade stuck on a new building. But they should at least keep a depth of the building intact, the usual rule in the CBD is 10m, to avoid pure facadism, but Ive noticed that when it comes to industrial buildings, since its 'only the roof' (though here it looks like there's two levels - some offices in front ?) it's often not kept, or possibly simply demolished and re-built - because they always want to the entire area for underground carparking.

As to the lanes, yes Mr Pitt, the developers dont get it,because they see everything in terms of generating income - so Merriman lane gets widened (though that cant happen til the Age site is developed), Alston Lane is widened too (though whats going to go there ? bet its entry to the car park), and Elliott lane, which links through to both other lanes, disappears.

I do rather like the towers, and interestingly, they're sort of bent, rather like the 'Urban Workshop' at the other end of Lonsdale Street, designed by John Wardle (another lane situation - one re-instated inside the tower, the others closed of after 5pm with big gates), which was built for ISPT, the same developers - I guess they liked the shapes, but decided to use cheaper architects ! (they didnt quite get the rents they were expecting for the U W).


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PostPosted: 14 Dec 2009, 09:49 
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Quote:
Life in the bunker cedes to comfort. Let's hope that's good news.
December 14, 2009
http://www.theage.com.au/opinion/societ ... -kqbg.html

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The Age's old offices in Spencer Street.

Dubbed the ''Spencer Street Soviet'', the old Age building is history.

EVEN when he was a junior Hamer government minister, Jeff Kennett had a way with words. It was this talent that enabled the future premier to popularise calling The Age ''The Spencer Street Soviet''.

His purpose with this labelling was political. It was around the time the newspaper had begun to break out of an old Tory mould and take a more aggressive investigative role in holding figures of power accountable for their actions.

The paper had been central in the 1970s in uncovering Housing Commission land deals that undermined the authority of the state government and the government didn't like it. They did not know what to do, but Kennett at the time was a young, rising-star headkicker with an advertising background. He was not frightened to refer to this nuisance by a nickname that associated The Age with a leftist authoritarian regime.

To those of us working in the building, this actually seemed a pretty apt way to describe it. A more charitable description of the 1960s brutalist exterior could depict it as a cross between a chocolate layer cake and a military bunker.

Journalists moved into Media House, The Age's new home, over the weekend and so there is some nostalgia about the old place. Criticisms of it ignore the reality that newspaper buildings at the time were half office, half factory. There was no electronic technology that could send a computer-generated page to a distant printing works.

Stories, photographs and advertising copy had to be produced close to the people who manufactured the paper, the now largely defunct trades of proofreaders, linotype operators and compositors, as well as printers. Usually copy was sent to them rolled up in a cylinder, transported by a pneumatic tube.

The production was quite exciting. When the rotary metal on paper presses was rolling flat out, pumping out tens of thousands of copies an hour, the whole building would shake.

Before the first stage of electronic publishing arrived around 1980 (prompting a six-week journalists strike) I used to smuggle friends into the building late at night, such was the excitement of watching the process. In fact, it was one of the chat-up lines I used when I first met my wife who was then teaching media studies at Merton Hall. ''Would you like to bring your girls in to see a print run. I can arrange it.''

My first stint at The Age began in May 1978. The editor was Greg Taylor and the chief of staff a young Neil Mitchell. A whole group of us were hired within a few months.

There was something of a recession at the time and late one Friday evening I was leaving the building with Damien Murphy (now at The Sydney Morning Herald). We were astonished to see a crowd of more than a thousand had assembled in Lonsdale Street waiting for the first editon.

Our first reaction was sympathy for the poor bastards who were so desperate for a job they would line up at midnight. It turned out they were members of a Melbourne hot rod club, seeking access to desirable car parts. The crowd had assembled to watch entertaining burn-outs; there was even a mobile hot dog stand.

The building was ambitious for its time. In a less fearful era, the roof used to host employee barbecues. It had been built specially strengthened as a helicopter landing site, but the money never arrived for such luxuries, which remain the province of television stations.

The site was in the industrial end of town, with the Spencer Street rail yards in full operation and even the old Melbourne City Council power station still being used occasionally. Few would dispute its grey concrete exterior and tall chimney radiated Stalinist functionalism. When it was demolished this year, it seemed fitting that we should move too.

Few of my colleagues are expressing any lament about leaving the old building, which they consider uncomfortable and worn-out. Most are enthusiastic about promises of a more comfortable future in the new one, which to me looks like the front of a microwave oven. They say the greatest works come from the greatest suffering. In our new comfort, we shall see if this is true.


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PostPosted: 14 Dec 2009, 10:51 
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I well remember the (now former) Age building being constructed, and considered it a bewilderingly pedestrian bit of "design" from the start. Has anyone in particular been identified as the architect of the place?

I can also remember the previous building in Collins Street, crowned by an impressive statue of Mercury. I seem to recall that the statue survives somewhere. Am I correct?


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PostPosted: 14 Dec 2009, 16:32 
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I remember going in there, I guess in the early '80s, for a job interview. I recall it as looking rather run down even then. I passed a room with lots of desks, and people who seemed to be in the white heat of composition. This was not a paperless office and there was a lot of it around, conveying a sense of disorganization which, of course, was not true. It had a certain energy about it though, enough to make it memorable when so many other places have receded in the memory.

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PostPosted: 14 Dec 2009, 22:00 
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Last edited by Built Heritage on 29 Jan 2010, 16:19, edited 1 time in total.

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