Tuesday, September 24, 2013


South Australian Health & Medical Research Institute (SAHMRI)
South Australian Health & Medical Research Institute (SAHMRI), by Woods Bagot, sits perched like an alien spacecraft next to Adelaide's main railway station. Photo ©Darren Bradley
I've been to Adelaide several times, for both work and vacation. I rarely take many photos there because, frankly, there's not a lot of modernist architecture to speak of. It now appears that the city is trying to change that. 

Bicentennial Conservatory
The Bicentennial Conservatory is a landmark in Adelaide's Botanic Gardens. It was designed by Guy Maron in 1987. It contains a tropical greenhouse habitat. Photo ©Darren Bradley.
Adelaide in South Australia is a planned city dating from the 1830s that was laid out in a geometric grid pattern, and entirely surrounded by a greenbelt of parkland. 

Screen Shot 2013-09-24 at 9.50.28 PM
The greenbelt around both Adelaide and North Adelaide can be seen from this satellite photo. You can also see the central square (Victoria Square), as well as the four smaller squares - one in each quadrant. It makes for a beautiful city with lots of parkland.
Photo ©Darren Bradley
Although it was founded as a progressive city (by free settlers instead of convicts, seeking a place free from religious persecution), it has has still been fairly conservative in its architecture until recently.  Most of the modern architecture is fairly recent. 

The Rundle Lantern
I first noticed this building during the day. It caught my eye enough to take a photo. I didn't know that it was called "The Rundle Lantern", or why it was called that, until later. Photo ©Darren Bradley
The Rundle Lantern
The Rundle Lantern is a parking garage in Adelaide's central business district (CBD). This solar powered, green design is by BB Architects (2008). Photo ©Darren Bradley.

Adelaide Convention Centre
Adelaide's convention centre, by Skidmore, Owings & Merrill (2001) is undergoing an extension expansion right now. This photo is from last year, before work had begun. Photo ©Darren Bradley
National Wine Centre
The shape of wine casks drove the barrel-vaulted form of the National Wine Centre. This project, a collaboration of Cox Architects and Grieve Gillett Architects (2001) was a bit of a political liability and a white elephant. The intent is to serve as a education and conference center for South Australia's renowned wine regions (Barossa, McLaren Vale, etc.). But costs overruns and changes in SA's political leadership during construction meant that it has been roundly criticized and under-appreciated. Photo ©Darren Bradley
National Wine Centre
National Wine Centre. Photo ©Darren Bradley
Amazon Waterlily Pavilion
Amazon Waterlily Pavilion by Flightpath Architects (2007). Photo ©Darren Bradley
Since I was working the whole time in an office park north of the city, I had very little time to take photos. I said there was not a lot of modernist architecture in Adelaide. But in fairness, I did see more interesting stuff than what's represented here. Below are a couple of the buildings that I was able to grab in the few moments I had free. 

Reserve Bank Building
The Reserve Bank Building on Victoria Square is one of the few remarkable mid-20th century modernist towers in the central business district. It was designed by Rolf Jensen and completed in 1960. It's a heritage-listed building. It's now a satellite campus for Flinders University. Photo ©Darren Bradley.
Eynesbury College
Eynesbury College, on the other side of Victoria Square from the Reserve Bank Building, is another stand-out in Adelaide's collection of mid-century modern architecture. Photo ©Darren Bradley. 
And I'll end with another view of the building that I started out this thread with. This is SAHMRI at dawn. I ran over to get a shot before heading to work one morning. 

Photo ©Darren Bradley
For more on Australia, see my blog posts on Melbourne architecture here, here, and here


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