miwahni (miwahni) wrote,
miwahni
miwahni

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Some things never change.

In his 1960 book The Australian Ugliness, architect Robin Boyd wrote of the man-made landscape "No matter how one photographs it, draws it, looks at it, or describes it, it remains physically an awful mess. In any case negative, careless ugliness is not the worst thing. What really must concern us more is the positive, atrocious prettiness of bad design.

And it's not just individual objects or buildings that he talks about; he discusses artificial landscapes that contribute to urban ugliness by lacking any cohesiveness. Taken individually the design may be acceptable, but put a row of "individual" or "featurist" constructions together and you get a hodge-podge of jarring styles.

Never so noticeable as when you sit on the banks of the Brisbane River and look back, then forwards. Photo credit to Wikipedia.



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The Story Bridge, opened in 1940, is well-designed and quite attractive imo. With that bridge at your back, you're then looking westwards along the Brisbane River towards the CBD; this is what you see, in rather close company:

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Captain Cook bridge, 1972.

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Goodwill Bridge, 2001

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Victoria Bridge, 1969

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Kurilpa Bridge, 2009. I'm not sure what they were aiming for there but I'm pretty certain they didn't quite succeed.

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William Jolly Bridge, 1932.

I wonder if the engineers and designers ever stopped to consider how their creation would look in conjunction with the existing urban landscape.
Tags: australia, city, oh dear, real life, what were they thinking
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