Howdy, Stranger!

It looks like you're new here. If you want to get involved, click one of these buttons!

Seidlers' Shell Headquarters, Melbourne

edited September 2005 in architecture
Some architecture critics believe Harry Seidlers' Shell Headquarters building (89) is too 'Sydney' and does not compliment the Melbourne grid.
Do others believe this?
What are your opinions on Shell Headquarters?
Advanced? Simple? Aesthetics? clever mix of art and architecture? too unused on the street level?

Comments

  • edited January 1970
    http://www.walkingmelbourne.com/building_profile.php?ID=502
    shellhouse.jpg

    I hate it 80s crap.
    completely un Melbourne.
    The building is designed in the shape of a shell - how innovative :roll:
    This building is so bad that even its builders, Shell, have abandoned their headquarters
  • edited January 1970
    Do you think its unmelbourne because its a curve, and doesnt follow the grid? its use of the light grey concrete?
    i also believe it is non melbourne because of the use of art and sculpture which is a very Sydney thing. It tries to be a monument (very sydney) and doesnt acknowledge its surrounds - it just tries to be flashy. Do you agree?
  • edited January 1970
    Yes, for all of those reasons.

    1) the cure breaks the city grid
    2) the granite/concrete faceted finish is terribly 80s and tacky.
    3) the great big blank wall at the back of the building when viewed from most angles
    4) the ugly window shutters at different angles make the building look inconsistent. Window shades are very rarely used in Melbourne buildings and are more suited to sub-tropical environments like Brisbane.
    5) the sculpture - eek
    6) the forecourt is bland, windswept and a haven for corporate cigarette butts. Not the best way to greet the corner of elegant Spring and Flinders streets.

    I much prefer what was there before Harry stuffed it. Tower house was a sophisticated 1880s design which went right up to the street corner and was more inkeeping with the overall rythym of Spring and Flinders streets.

    towerhouse.jpg

    http://www.walkingmelbourne.com/building_profile.php?ID=306
  • edited January 1970
    it aint harrys best effort but the building seems to turn the corner and as such is a reasonable ubran design response - i don't see how the dowdy victorian building was any better.
  • edited January 1970
    I don't think anyone in sydney is complaining about all the recent graudy melbourne crap up going up in sydney [read world square, bob nation .... etc.]
    anything that isn't derivative seems to trouble the confused mind ....
    thank god that aston raggetts and the corrigans have been stopped at the border.

    may ingorance reign in melbourne.
  • edited January 1970
    mmm... what's with the low brow Sydney v's Melbourne nonsense?

    The Shell building is by a Modernist.

    Geez, i can't think of *any* modernists who practice(d) in Melbourne?! :roll:
  • edited January 1970
    well, i think it is a disappointing building, h.s. has designed some beautiful residential projects, and a few towers that are v. elegant. but his tall buildings in melbourne characteristically have a poor relationship with urban contexts and sensitivity to public use, and seem to lack the composure of their sydney siblings. has anyone seen what he is doing in brisbane?

    it think it quite interesting the way he has adressed issues of adjacency, and the possibility of future developments which may pop-up in the future by comprimising the dynamisim of forms of the s.e. envelope with simplistic blade walls to the neighbouring edges of the site - interesting because of the unintended contradictions it holds to pragmatism of building codes vs. formalism and the salvation of the architects' 'style'.

    i don't think that towers need to abide by the logic of the street grid. i think that it makes the city look like a celebration of diversity when i see the agglomeration of forms standing tall across the horizon (sigh). and sometimes it looks quite cool to see the tension between the relentlessness of the grid and the differentiation of forms within it.

    keep in mind that siedler's sydney projects connect to a completely different topography, and street organisation, as do their neighbours.

    i think it's great that we have these forums to discuss archi. views, (it certainly saves our friends from hearing us rant on), but to denigrate another in their professional field because of the city they practice in, or their persuasions to various ideals is destructive to archi. culture, and results in a disintegration of the culture and ethics of the profession. :)
  • edited January 1970
    cochese wrote:
    mmm... what's with the low brow Sydney v's Melbourne nonsense?

    The Shell building is by a Modernist.

    Geez, i can't think of *any* modernists who practice(d) in Melbourne?! :roll:

    Denton Corker Marshall, Nation Fender Katsalidis - international modernist practices based in Melbourne.
  • edited January 1970
    ....Robin Boyd, Roy Grounds, Stephenson & Turner... - Melbourne Modernists with a capital M.

    DCM are international Postmodernists, with a capital P! :wink:

    I was just saying that you can't right-off an architect like Harry Seidler because 'he's too Sydney'! - whatever that means.

    The Shell Building, by an International Modernist, is of its time.

    As 'Qwerty' points out:
    "(I) think it quite interesting the way he has adressed issues of adjacency, and the possibility of future developments which may pop-up in the future by comprimising the dynamisim of forms of the s.e. envelope with simplistic blade walls to the neighbouring edges of the site - interesting because of the unintended contradictions it holds to pragmatism of building codes vs. formalism and the salvation of the architects'. "

    I think you'll find the site was very tricky in terms of underground conditions too - (ie Melbourne Underground Rail Loop), which pretty much dictated the footprint of the building...
  • edited January 1970
    jay wrote:
    I don't think anyone in sydney is complaining about all the recent graudy melbourne crap up going up in sydney [read world square, bob nation .... etc.]
    anything that isn't derivative seems to trouble the confused mind ....
    thank god that aston raggetts and the corrigans have been stopped at the border.

    may ingorance reign in melbourne.

    Bob Nation is ex Hobart.............
Sign In or Register to comment.