Archive for the ‘architecture’ Category

Back to London and a show

October 15, 2017

We left our lovely apartment in Langermark late in the morning and headed off to Lille, I have to admit that I was ready to hand the car back although the driving had become easier as we went along. Funnily enough I found the roundabouts the easiest of all to handle and I have to admit that my co pilot was excellent at guiding me and making sure I was OK, and as well the roads are easy to drive on and well maintained.

We got to the Lille train station in plenty of time, however, we missed the entrance to get into the car park building so ended up going around in a grand circle to get back to where we should be, it only took an extra 30 minutes of driving through central Lille with blood pressure slowly rising, sweaty palms, and a dry mouth before we got to where we should have been. We got into the parking building only to discover that we needed to be in the next building to return the car….with a lump rising in my throat at the thought of more driving, we made the move to the next building and returned the keys.

Whilst at the station we saw a couple of things which were memorable. The first was the free charging station for devices, to power the charging you sat at the desk and cycled!

Right next to this was the lounge with plenty of plugs and USB charging sockets, guess which one we used?

Once we got through immigration – and we did get the third degree at immigration too…..why were we away so long? When are we going back to NZ? Where were we staying in the UK? Where did our daughter work? What does she do? Why were we in Europe? What was our connection to Passchendaele? Did we intend to work in the UK?…..and so it went on. Once through we met up with a couple of crazy but ever so friendly Scotsmen who were raising money for Cancer research by standing for 24hrs and travelling from Edinburgh to Paris and return. They were really lovely and were having a great time and were raising lots of money too.

The trip back to London was a breeze with Alex picking us up at Ebbsfleet Station which is much closer to her home than St Pancras in the city.

We had a lovely weekend in and around London. Sunday, Alex and Ian told us that they had organised a surprise for us for the day, so at about midday we headed off on the train into town then a walk through to a lovely rooftop bar overlooking St Paul’s cathedral. Ian, Roy and Alex with St Paul’s dome in the distance

panorama from the roof top

From here we went off into Piccadilly Circus where we were to go to a the show ‘A comedy about a bank robbery’. It was fast paced, hilarious and well acted play, I haven’t laughed so much for a long time. It was a fabulous way to spend a Sunday afternoon.

After the show we took a London black cab

Passing Trafalgar Square along the way

To near Victoria Station for dinner where the fellas tried a beer or two

Then it was a train back home to end a fabulous day, well done Alex & Ian.

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Melbourne – architecture

September 25, 2015

 

Their is a planning rule in Melbourne that states that no new build (Office or apartment) in the greater Melbourne area can be built the same colour, shape or clad in the same material as any other.  This makes for very interesting and varied architecture with old mixing in with new seamlessly.

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The above building is an optical illusion giving the impression that all the floors are on different angles, which is very effective.

28Colourful building in the Docklands. 

29Flinders Station building with the Eureka building in the background

604D632D-8F0A-4424-9266-BA971C7CC2C1This what you do with an old shot tower, enclose it under a dome and build a shopping mall around the base.

73676A89-013A-4B9C-BE36-29CA6A986A8DNational Art Gallery which had an exhibition of the Masterpieces from the Hermitage.  As we had previously had a fabulous tour of the Hermitage (see here), we spent time at the other excellent exhibitions.

169048F5-12E0-4E67-A18C-F890B4C5C065Parliament buildings

539068E9-4726-4694-AA0F-E43D8B460F88Performance centre next to the Art Gallery, this is supposed to represent a ballerina’s tutu?!

633683A8-C72A-401A-9A02-45585027F035Etihad Stadium and buildings in the Docklands area

3040188E-5C2B-4162-85C1-CA9666263390This black and white building looks like it has a face when seen from afar

C63A0750-CCEF-478C-959F-D8B182160519the famous Melbourne Cricket Ground or MCG or “the G” as locals call it.  Used not only for cricket but also AFL (Australian Rules Football), with seating for around 100,000 people.

EA2709C0-ACC0-4625-A4BC-51F9082A91EFEureka Tower

Eureka Tower is named after the Eureka stockade, a rebellion during the Victorian gold rush in 1854. This has been incorporated into the design, with the building’s gold crown representing the gold rush and a red stripe representing the blood spilt during the revolt. The blue glass cladding that covers most of the building represents the blue background of the stockade’s flag and the white lines also represent the Eureka Stockade flag. The white horizontal stripes also represent markings on a surveyors pole. 

When measured either by the height of its roof, or by the height of its highest habitable floor, Eureka Tower was the tallest residential building in the world when completed in 2006. It is also currently the building with the most floors available for residential occupancy in the world. The building stands 297 metres in height, with 91 storeys above ground plus one basement level. 

There is an observation deck on the 88th floor with a glass cube called The Edge a glass cube which projects 3m out from the building with visitors inside, suspended almost 300m above the ground. When one enters, the glass is opaque as the cube moves out over the edge of the building. Once fully extended over the edge, the glass becomes clear …and no, we did not go up, all of us have a certain nervousness associated  with heights, some are more extreme than others!

IMG_0909Another colourful building seen from the train. 

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IMG_0921 The impressive Dome reading room in the National Library, with galleries all the way around the octagonal room some displaying exhibitions, with the glassed dome at the top.

There are of course many many more interesting buildings in and around Melbourne, these are just a selected few.