Wednesday, January 09, 2008


I'm doing a little relief work at Fremantle Hospital at the moment, and I can recommend the site to any student of 20th century architectural history. This place is better than a textbook.

There are a few tin cottages from the 1920s or red brick buildings from the 1940s, but they've been engulfed in walkways and additions linking the major buildings, which date from either around 1960 or 1980.

The two dominant periods don't blend too easily. Around the operating theatres and major wards, it's all terrazzo stairs with steel bannisters topped with gold-coloured vinyl, feeding out into corridors with turqouise vinyl flooring with stainless steel columns. It looks like how an architect in 1959 might imagine the Hospital of the Future.

But a second later, if you take a wrong turn, the exotic stainless steel and terrazzo gives way to beige formica edged with jarrah strips, carpet in bold primary colours, and that institutional Brutalism seen in 30 year old university campuses and government offices across the western world. The building I'm in at the moment is a veritable monument to 1980, from the glossy red pipe bannisters in the stairwell to the textured white tiles and blue counters in the bathroom - the whole place could have been made out of old-school Lego.

Frankly, I can't wait to get to get back to my usual office. Here I feel as if Darth Vader, Alf and Magnum PI could come striding around the corner at any minute.


Anonymous Anny said...

Why not buy textbooks from online bookstore to save money? I get 2 textbooks from a online bookstore and save more than $250. All textbooks there are brand new. That's great. You may go to the web to see any help.

1:18 AM  
Blogger phaedrus said...

I like the idea of saving money. That's great.

Also, what do you have against Darth Vader, Alf and Magnum PI? I would LOVE to work somewhere where any of them could walk around the corner at any moment.

8:36 AM  
Blogger Blandwagon said...

Yes, Phaedrus, I'm happy to see that automated keyword search software is only being used for good, not evil. That's great.

I could handle Magnum turning up (as long as he brought the Ferrari), but Alf was an annoying little bastard, and as far Darth Vader...

Well, let's face it, Darth may have that whole cool Johnny Cash-esque 'Man in Black' thing going on, but he's not exactly a people person. I can't see myself sitting down with him in the break room for a chat over coffee.

Me: Cream and sugar?

Darth: Cream, and a Splenda.

Me: Sorry, I only have Equal. Is that oka... *ack* *gasp*

Darth: I find your lack of Splenda... disturbing.

11:04 AM  

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