Saturday, October 1, 2011

Coles Shopping Centre Launceston - Demolished

Now you see it....

My most recent blogs on Tasmanian Modernism have sadly been about the demolition of 20th century design and architecture around the State. This post adds to the "R.I.P" demolition list, as another building, this time the former Coles Supermarket in the suburb of Mowbray was demolished in September 2011 to make way for a new Coles complex.

Now you don't....

Beauty is in the eye of the beholder, and I would guess that there wouldn't have been many fans of this building, but I reckon there are far more important issues to look at here, rather than just viewing the buildings taste factor (get it?!) The building I imagine would have been built sometime in the 1970s, this means that its shelf life would have been 30-35 years. In an era when we are being sold the messages of being sustainable and lowering our carbon footprint, many buildings that are so young are being demolished.

The demolition of building that are only a few decades old is like a metaphor for consumerism; buy a mobile phone and before you even have time to take it out of the box, it's out of date, time to throw it away and get a new one. If Government and businesses who constantly inform (annoy?) us that we need to be sustainable citizens in the 21st century, then adaptive reuse of buildings should always be taken into account . Sure not all buildings can can be adaptively reused, but if effective and thorough thought is put into urban planning and architecture design, surely then we can begin to move towards a truly sustainable society rather then just tokenisitc gestures of being sustainable.

There were several interesting features of the building both in terms of design and historical context. Historically, the building reflects the changes during the 1960/70s of the major supermarket chains opening large stores around Australia. They can be considered as early examples of what's known as the big box development. The layout and design of this supermarket was typical of many of the stores of the period; large glass pane windows and lots of brick, creating a warehouse effect.

The use of this style of iron work was typical in 20th Century design

This Supermarket used a textured dark brown colour brick, and the most interesting design element was in the front corner of the building. Here there was what I assume was a security door, and at the top of the window, there was a small window. This window had some stunning iron work that was popular in mid 20th Century design.

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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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