Blandsville Brisbane? Call for iconic architecture.
A recent article in Westside News got attention by asking if Brisbane is becoming “Blandsville”? Notable local architect John Mainwaring told them Brisbane had no “real icon” identifying us from other Australian cities. When you picture most of the world’s major cities there’s often a landmark building or structure that pops to mind and it’s no surprise architects see their handiwork as the solution.
So in an effort to continue the debate (and avoid the easy option of ignorantly defending our proud city), what do you think could make Brisbane a more memorable city?
Tourists send away postcards that feature the Story Bridge and City Hall but it’s more than 70 years since they were built. The Treasury Casino building is stunning, especially at night, but not distinctive or unique to our part of the world. You can take a nice pic of the cityscape looking back from Kangaroo Point with a river foreground, but no single landmark takes centre stage. South Bank’s got the beach that photographs beautifully, and there’s always Customs House or the old mill on Wickham Terrace to chronicle our history.
Make no mistake, we love this city. No way is it “Blandsville”. But they’re no Sydney Opera House are they?
A few years back there was a proposal for a tower that would be Brisbane’s tallest, rising 72 stories and to be called “Vision”. This real estate agent worked with the developers and, setting aside some bias, it’s hard not to admire the architectural courage of the project. Have a look at the video fly-around for yourself. The developers invested heavily in its promotion and sought to create a whole new way of looking at Brisbane for others and, importantly, for ourselves. Click through to the TV advert, itself an iconic production. This was a project that was brave and visionary. It challenged our preconceptions of “Brisvegas”. And the GFC shot it down.
Brisbane has a lot of interesting architecture. Buildings that tell a story of their era and, especially with our residential dwellings, what we aspired to call home at that time in our city’s evolution. In creating our next generation of homes over the next decade it would be a wonderful thing if we also found ourselves another landmark.