Everything Old Is New Again…

Being in Melbourne over these last couple of weeks has given me the opportunity to revisit some of my favourite haunts and one of these is Southgate. This cosmopolitan stretch of shops, restaurants and cafes line the Yarra River between Princess Bridge and the Crown Casino complex and offers wonderful views of the City Centre across the tree-lined river.

This view takes in the ‘expensive end’ of the City – where Victorian Parliament, designer shops and many of the banks’ head offices are located – as well as the spires of Melbourne’s own St Paul’s Cathedral in the foreground.
A great juxtaposition of the elegant clock tower of Flinders Street Station (built in 1910 to replace the previous station built in 1854) against the more modern buildings behind.

The day we were there it was a gloriously sunny Sunday morning and this riverside precinct was buzzing with activity.

Street entertainers attract a fair crowd…
…while quirky sculpture adds local colour.
Crown Towers Hotel offers premier accommodation for both high rollers as well as those wishing to spend just a few dollars.

But being away means that each time I come back, there’s something new in the landscape. Six years ago, Melbourne’s newest tallest building, Eureka Tower, sliced into the skyline.

Eureka Tower is Melbourne’s tallest building…but only since 2006.

This time it was The Docklands that captured my imagination. When I left in 2004, this area of Melbourne was early in its development so I was curious to see how things had turned out.

View of Melbourne from The Docklands with Etihad Stadium (venue for football matches, concerts and the like) in the centre.

The thing that struck me most were the stark and modern shapes…

New ‘rooms with a view’.
This ‘car park in progress’ generated discussion about its interesting facade.
I love the use of adventurous shapes and textures which really typifies iconic Australian architecture for me.

And there’s even a nod to old London Town with Melbourne’s very own ‘Eye’…

Melbourne’s Southern Star awaiting the installation of its viewing pods. Again lots of opinions amongst Family Hamer about its false start (cracks found in the infrastructure apparently) and its location overlooking Melbourne’s Western suburbs.

So whilst my Melbourne meanderings evoked many wonderful memories, I found much to admire about the clever blend of nostalgia and innovation into a spectacular cityscape…

…and it just makes me wonder what I’ll find next time.

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