Saturday, April 23, 2011

National Gallery of Australia

This is the new entrance to the National Gallery of Australia, where I spent some time yesterday. I'm not too impressed by it, but it's certainly an improvement over the old entrance, which was half way along the building on the left hand side, and about 5 metres above ground level, accessed by a ramp or stairs. Not exactly a grand entrance for such a significant national building, especially compared with the High Court next door, which is approached via a wide ramp gently sloping up to a very high wall of glass, through which you can see into the building itself. Both buildings are described as 'Brutalist', being very stark and angular, and constructed largely of concrete and glass, and making them very recognisable as 1970s-early 1980s architecture.

The original plan for the whole section of lakefront between Commonwealth Avenue and Kings Avenue bridges was a series of monumental buildings, linked by elevated walkways and a vast public square. There's certainly a number of important buildings (as well as the National Gallery and High Court, there's the more recent National Portrait Gallery, and further along the lakeside is the National Science and Technology Centre and the National Library of Australia. Behind these buildings is the original (temporary) Parliament House, and overlooking them all, on Capital Hill, is (new) Parliament House. But the rest of the plan was shelved in the mid-1970s, although some of the space has now been used as Commonwealth Place and Reconciliation Place. No grand public square though, to hold it all together.

The sculpture in front of the new entrance to the gallery is called Eran. It's by Thanakupi, of the Dhaynagwidh (Thainakuith) people of far north Queensland.

Eran (Thanakupi, 2010, aluminium)

1 comment:

RedPat said...

Your shot makes the entrance look great!