Tuesday, January 2, 2018

Concrete Shaped Tasmania

The year is 1969 - the Government Offices that is 10 Murray Street has just been completed, quotes for the latest office equipment and fit-outs are being sorted and it's one of many buildings in Hobart that symbolise a confident and booming economy.   Just down the road at Sandy Bay a few years after the opening of 10 Murray Street another concrete tower was being planned in the early 1970s - the now heritage listed Wrest Point Casino by Architect Sir Roy Grounds. An "architectural brother" to 10 Murray in its wide use of concrete and a tower in the sky.  By looking at, studying and photographing Architecture in Tasmania I get the idea that there was a lot of prosperity and confidence in life and the economy in those days. The cost involved in erecting highrise buildings must have been huge, yet all over Tasmania one can witness large scale buildings from the 1950s and into the 1970s.  Hobart especially saw many new landmarks to the skyline in the 1960s and 1970s.  The Brutalist stack that is the State Library of Tasmania is another example of the use of concrete - quite fitting really as it holds such important and sensitive materials.   Residential tower blocks, whilst not reaching the heights of Government and commercial buildings were many in Hobart, and taller examples can still be seen in Battery Point and Sandy Bay. Launceston too welcomed new large scale architectural arrivals that included the Myer Building, Telstra Exchange, Public Library and Queen Victoria Maternity Hospital to name but some examples.  Over in Devonport there stood the 1950s Maternity hospital, last month demolished.  In Burnie the Brutalist Government offices stand as one of its tallest buildings.  For me I love how architecture is a portal into the past. It's can be the literal beauty of a building, but also the social history that it reflects.  the 1950s-70s was a rapid period of growth in Tasmania, not since the Victorian period has the built landscape changed the way the towns and cities looked over Tasmania.  It is such a fascinating time to photograph and research.

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About the project

Join me (Thomas Ryan Photography) on a photographic project documenting Tasmanian 20th Century Modernism from the 1930's to the 1980's. The entire project gallery of 1000+ images and counting can be viewed on my website www.tryanphotos.com under art projects. I have been undertaking this project for over a decade.

My portfolio of commercial and art projects can be seen on my website www.tryanphotos.com and I can be contacted here as well. All photographs are copyright of Thomas Ryan Photography. Unauthorised use is prohibited. Contact me for all enquires

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