melbourne exhibition building

exhib bldg street elevation.gif
This is a picture from a site called (“Timber building in Australia”). I kept thinking about the Exhibition building, and went looking for some photos of it, or some information.

This site is really interesting – it explains that the Exhibition building today is really only a part of the original plans, and when you look at the original plans for the site, you can see that the new museum is sitting right where other bits of the exhibition building used to be.
I really like these gardens – they’re one of my favourites for picnics. Lots of huge trees, and nice paths that you’re not supposed to ride your bike round, but I do. I like riding through the park at night, especially when the building’s all lit up. You do worry a bit about smashing into a pedder in the dark, but still

I’m also fond of the big fountain outside the front of the building – the Hotchgurtel Fountain (thankyou, city of melbourne website). It’s always empty now, as we’re on stage 2 water restrictions, but still. Right now they’ve got some interesting plantings around the fountain – spinach and lettuce as ornamentals. We rode past there the other day, and I was tempted to fill my bike basket with spinach. After all, it’s public land, and the spinach could only benefit from a little judicious pruning. That’s one of my favourite things – vegetables as ornamentals. Function and form.
When you go through the photos on the timber buildings site, you can see bits of a car exhibition in the building in some photos. While it’s pretty terrible to think of that lovely floor going to waste under a bunch of stinky cars, it’s also a fairly accurate image of how most Melbournians experience the building – obscured by stuff, and broken up into temporary corridors and mini-piazzas, while overhead the ceiling just looms.
I know they do big musicy things in the building occasionally, but I’ve never been to one. It would be nice to see the building used for dancing and music. Or a play! But again, the sound would be difficult to manage