Wednesday, July 18, 2012

My daily Sydney revisited

My daily Sydney seems to have transformed itself into a building site. I don't think Sydney in general is currently experiencing a growth spurt.  Most of the statistics seem to report a lull, if not a downturn, in the building industry. So I can only conclude that most of the building that is being done, is being done around me (how's that for an egocentric view of the world?).

Over the last year or so this building inserted itself into the view from my living room window.

Redfern apartments

It's a block of apartments that replaced a much uglier, though smaller, building. As I'm absolutely convinced that a more densely populated city is the only sustainable future for Sydney, I don't mind this development - though it does block out some of the early morning sun from my apartment in winter. However, this is what is immediately next door to the new apartment block:

Redfern excavation

A hole in the ground that will become a second apartment block of similar height and design. I'm relieved that the pile-driving for the foundations, with its ear-shattering vibrations is finished, but I still have many more months of building activity to hear and observe. I wonder what impact, if any, these buildings will have on the neighbourhood. The area in which I live is already so densely trafficked and used for commuter parking that I can't imagine there will be a noticeable change in traffic patterns. My best hope is that the influx of new residents might actually improve shopping and restaurants - most of which are currently very utilitarian.

Then this is what I see as I go out the front door of my building:

Watertower scaffolding

My in-need-of-repair apartment building is swathed in scaffolding like a Christo exhibit or an elderly aunt protecting her dress with an apron. The 110 year old fabric of the building is in need of patching, repairing, replacing and painting. We've already done the back of the building and are now working on the front. The sides will be done later in the year.

At work it's more of the same. Tall apartments are rising on Broadway, opposite my office window.


The construction has reached a stage where the cranes that top the structure are outside our twenty-seventh storey window.  Most distracting. The cranes seem to dance with each other, and the assured delicacy with which the drivers lift and swing their cargo (sometimes workmen in crates) between the buildings is breathtaking.  Exclamations of 'look what they're doing now!' have become commonplace in our office.  By the way, the green splodge in the bottom right-hand third of this photo is the scaffolding on my apartment building.

When I exit my work building by the back door to attend meetings in another building this is what I see:

UTS excavation

Yet another excavation, this one for a new building for UTS's Science Faculty. And no, this is not the  building designed by Frank Gehry that has received so much publicity. Its hole is much more advanced and it's not part of my daily round. I love the surprise of the hoarding that surrounds this building site:

Book hording

It's been painted with the colourful spines of books - real titles by real UTS academics. It always makes me smile as I pass by.

See what I mean - construction everywhere. A transformation of my daily Sydney.


Lynne said...

I haven't been into the city, especially the southern end of it, for a long time and there is always construction going on somewhere so I never really think about it. But it's great reading it from the point of view of someone who lives and works with it daily.

Emily said...

You make it all look rather wonderful, thanks.

Do agree that denser cities are absolutely the way to go. Comparing Edinburgh to other cities of similar size (obviously much smaller than Sydney) it's so much more walk able, manageable than others because of the tradition of flats rather than terraced houses.

And Sydney has already sprawled *so far* and into such valuable agricultural land...

Laura said...

Thank you for this interesting tour of your daily Sydney. Loved it.

1funkyknitwit said...

I know exactly what you mean. Every time I look out my lounge room windows all I see is cranes dotted around the city. I love the rejuvenating feeling of it all though. Those book spines look terrific!