Tuesday, August 03, 2010

Blues Point

Melbourne has if fair share of ugly modern buildings but as we don't generally have the spectacular views that Sydney has, bad buildings perhaps don't impact on us as much as Sydney's do on their lands.

I think of a block I have mentioned previously in Kings Cross. There aren't too many places in inner Sydney where this building doesn't dominate the skyline. Let me see if the this link works.

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Victor recently posted a photo of a doozy in Darling Point. Check it out here.

But what inspired me to write this post is Blues Point Tower. It is a Harry Seidler designed apartment tower situated on this prime piece of land at McMahons Point on Sydney's north shore. What a location! What views! What an outrage.

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Blues Point Tower was completed in 1961 and is less that a kilometre from the Harbour Bridge. Imagine the impact is. It is said that the only people who like it are those who live in it and therefore don't have to look at it. Famous residents have been Rupert Murdoch, Gwen Meredith, writer of Blue Hills, and BPT was where Whitlam Government Federal Minister Rex O'Connor met Tirath Khemlani to arrange a loan for Australia. The building is also a favourite site for base jumpers. One died in 1993.

Apart from it being widely disliked, as much as for its appearance as its dominant location and dominant presence, it was the first Strata Title high rise apartment building in the world.

Photos from sydneyarchitecture.com Doesn't flatter the Bridge does it?

It would be nice to live in almost a public park. I always like to judge buildings by how they relate to their surrounds, be the surrounds of a natural kind or a built kind. In my view, this is a non!


  1. I can't believe they were allowed to build it there. One would have to suspect some sort of corruption in the planning process to allow it. They have done so much 'right' around Sydney Harbour- how could they get this so wrong?

  2. Wow.
    That is one demolition I'd help with.
    Gas and Fuel towers, anyone?

  3. How on earth do they get planning approval for something that is such an eye sore? Amazing really.

  4. @ Jayne: yeah they knocked down the Gas and Fuel Towers, but look what they replaced it with...! Perhaps it's better they leave this eyesore alone because who knows what it would be replaced with??

  5. Anonymous8:04 am

    So you don't like Harry Seidler's architecture? He being the architect for both those buildings you show. The Blues Point Tower looks like any of those Housing Commission blocks you see in Melb & Sydney - very uninspiring.

    I am not a fan of Harry's architecture - much prefer John Lautner's designs.

  6. I seem to be thinking it was to be the first of a larger development in the area of similar high and low rise towers, though I cant find any info to that fact so am probably wrong.

    Dunno if it's such a bad building, tho it's certainly bad in that location, very much an eyesore

    Andrew, have you seen this blog looks quite nice, a lot of pics from Melbourne

  7. No thought required then J Bar? :)

    KN, I would like to agree with you and expose rampant corruption, but from what I read, there was disagreement about it at a local council level, but no one has mentioned corruption. I guess you have to remember too that is was 1960 where we worried less about such matters.

    Jayne, at least the Gas and Fuel towers were in the city and not placed at say Ricketts Point.

    As above Fen, 1960, different mindset.

    TVAU, Face Book group, Gas and Fuel Towers, Bring 'em Back? I like Fed Square. The only issue I have with it is its disabled unfriendliness.

    Generally no Anon. I don't like Seidler's work. So he designed the one at the Cross too? Wow. I am not familiar with Lautner.

    You are correct Ian. There was to be more towers. While I would not mind seeing inside it, I expect it would look quite dated. Budget problems meant no proper balconies. I haven't seen that site, thanks. Will savour it at my leisure.

  8. Ian, I do know who the people are who are involved in the blog.

  9. A lot of out of the way places, great historical buildings