Posts tagged Sydney architecture
Sydney Town Hall

As a part of Sydney Nimble’s continuous improvement program several representatives of the company attended a tour of the Sydney Town Hall (STH).

We were fortunate today in that most of the building was accessible. Sometimes areas are off limits if meetings or other events are being held. The STH is a working building.

It is a proud and forthright building constructed from brick and local fine grained yellow sandstone. The land on which it is built was formerly the site of the Sydney Old Buriel Ground (Sydney’s first cemetary). The STH was constructed in stages and officially opened in 1889. It is a mix of architectural styles, incorporating details from different periods and countries.

It has many exquisite features including, large doors and joinery crafted from red cedar, marble tiles and mosaics, two large triptych stained-glass windows, etched glass windows, tiled daddo panels, intricate plaster work, metal pressed ceilings and a 9000 pipe grand organ.

The vestibule to the main hall is exceptional. Its ceiling comes with altitude and is decorated in High Victorian style. The elliptical dome in the centre of the ceiling contains no less than 12 panels of curved stained glass. Each panel represents an allegorical virtue (eight in total) or one of the four elements (earth, wind, air and fire). A large crystal chandelier is suspended beneath the dome.

The main hall can accommodate approximately 2000 people. It has been used for multiple activities ranging from civic and public meetings, concerts, balls, dinners, corporate events and school presentations.

Tours of the STH are conducted by passionate volunteers and are a worthwhile investment of time, particularly if you like heritage buildings and or have an interest in Australian history.

Sydney Nimble Tours can include a visit to the STH in one of our days out but if you are staying in the city it is an activity that you can easily organise on your own. Whilst there don’t miss, if you haven’t already seen it, the Queen Victoria Building across the road.

the vestibule dome is stunning

the vestibule dome is stunning

Captain James Cook

Captain James Cook

The stained glass in this image was made for the centenary of the Colony of New South Wales in 1888. The woman signifies New South Wales.

The stained glass in this image was made for the centenary of the Colony of New South Wales in 1888. The woman signifies New South Wales.

Sometimes referred to as a ‘temple of democracy’ Centennial Hall is a pleasant place to enjoy an event

Sometimes referred to as a ‘temple of democracy’ Centennial Hall is a pleasant place to enjoy an event

Coat of arms from yesteryear - it was thought appropriate at the time for the indigenous gentleman on the left to be clothed in yellow shorts!

Coat of arms from yesteryear - it was thought appropriate at the time for the indigenous gentleman on the left to be clothed in yellow shorts!

A Magnificent Log

If you are walking through the side streets of the city you may come across an artwork called ‘Underwood Ark’. It is a suspended Blackbutt tree that appears to pierce through three pedestrian walkways located above Underwood Street. The large root system can also be seen from Dalley Street (a street that runs between George and Pitt Streets, not far from Circular Quay).

A person walking along Underwood or Dalley Street may be surprised when they come across Underwood Ark. Why is a large tree stripped of all bark hanging 10 metres above Underwood Street? Is it there to create a feeling of walking under wood?

The tree is 35 metres long, with an estimated age of two hundred years and weighs 18 tonne.

Underwood Ark was installed in 2017 and resulted from a collaboration between Mirvac and the National Art School. The tree was sourced from the South Coast of NSW.

The artist, Michael McIntyre, who sculpted the root ball explains in a vimeo that the concept behind Underwood Ark was to respond to the natural bush that once existed on the land and evoke a feeling of pre-settlement.

Blackbutt (Eucalyptus Pilularis) is a type of hardwood that is native to the east coast of Australia. The name Blackbutt originates from the base or butt of the tree being blackened after fires.

Underwood Ark is not only a novel artwork but a reminder that you never know what you may randomly find in the streets of Sydney.

Connection with pre-settlement

Connection with pre-settlement

Under wood at Underwood Ark

Under wood at Underwood Ark

Great roots

Great roots

Royal Botanical Gardens Sydney

The Royal Botanical Gardens Sydney (‘Gardens’) are one of the most delightful and expansive places in Sydney. The land area is 30 Hectares. Whilst there you have the option of visiting the NSW Art Gallery, Government House (inside tour by appointment only) and the Music Conservatorium as these three buildings are in the broad area.

The Gardens are centrally located to the east of the city, offer a perfect location for photographs, and the Opera House can be accessed from the Gardens. There is a lot to see and the only limitation is the amount of energy you have.

If I had only a few days in Sydney a reasonable time allocation would be one and half to three hours. There are plenty of spots to have a picnic and enjoy the ambience and vistas of the opera house and harbour bridge.

Some of the highlights for me include: Calyx, Southern African Garden, succulent garden, native plants and trees, Mrs Macquarie chair and the gardens of Government House.

As we are in Spring the next few months are a perfect time to visit. The Waratah is the floral emblem for New South Wales and one of Australia’s most brilliant native plants. A patch of these plants are currently in full bloom. Sydney Nimble Tours can include a visit to the Gardens in any of our days out.

The photos below in top to bottom order: crimson coloured Waratahs, Government House gardens with photo bomber, flowers in Southern Africa Garden and Government House entry.

Waratahs in the Gardens

Waratahs in the Gardens

Government House with photo bomber

Government House with photo bomber

Southern African Garden

Southern African Garden

Entrance to Government House

Entrance to Government House

Bronte House

Bronte House

Sydney Nimble Tours recently visited historic Bronte House. Bronte House was built between 1843-1845 and the style of the building has been described as ‘Australian Gothic revival’. It is located a few hundred metres from Bronte Beach (a beach near Bondi).

Bronte House is only open to the public on a few days each year. It has some lush gardens which blend into the Bronte gully rainforest.  You could well be somewhere on the north coast of NSW.

Bronte House is next open to the public on 20 & 21st of October (Saturday and Sunday). If you are interested in visiting Bronte House on these dates we can include this in the Eastern Suburbs, Woolloomooloo, Barangaroo day out. The first picture is a view of Bronte House from the backyard followed by an image of the gardens as you look towards Bronte gully.

Bronte House from behind  www.paullovelace.photography

Bronte House from behind www.paullovelace.photography

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