Sunday, March 28, 2010

Queenstown - A legacy of Modernist Buildings and Industry

This set of units in Queenstown is classic 1960s design, evident in the timber frame window panels and the understory concrete pillar carport. Large glass windows take advantage of the sun allowing light and warmth into the rooms, which is paramount in a wet and cold climate like Queenstown.

Since mining and forestry activities have demised around Queenstown it has witnessed a decline in services, infrastructure and population. There are many buildings throughout the township are in need of maintenance, or worse are now abandoned and vandalised.

An Art Deco and a Modernist designed school now stand abandoned and vandalised; the vast Queenstown Hospital complex was recently closed down and so far tenders have seen no buyers; and there are many homes abandoned and boarded up.

Many of the shops of Queenstown were designed of fitted out in the 1960s and several to this day retain their original design features, including cream/yellow timber panels at the rear of one of the shops, and an angled glass entrance coupled with small square tiles at another.

Queenstown is a fascinating place for modernist architecture enthusiasts , for it showcases many interesting designs, but is a visual reminder how in such a short period of time how industries, that the township was largely built upon, have demised.

The reminders of industrial progress and what helped sustain the township are evident throughout the surrounding hills and mountains of Queenstown that remain scarred, through decades of mining fumes that rendered the once forested hills bare. In my coming blogs I will showcase a series of interesting and inspiring Modernist designs from Queenstown.

Although the heavy mining industry days around Queenstown may have largely declined, the views still allow for a visual account of the effects of the mining activities and smoke fumes upon the landscape.

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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 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 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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