It is almost ten years since we moved to the High Rise from our small two bedroom timber Victorian working person's house in Balaclava. I find this so hard to believe and it is longer than we have lived anywhere. Subsequently to moving, we have looked at other high rise apartments and we have never been very impressed.
In these times where property developers like to extract every dollar our of every centimetre of space, our building is an anachronism. Yet, it is a reason, apart from the views, that I agreed to high rise living. The anachronism is that our building has wasted space and rather a lot of it in public areas. That for a start is almost unimaginable now. You step out of the lift at each floor to be confronted by a large open area with two short and wide passage ways to get to apartments at the rear, not a rabbit warren of a narrow corridors.
The mail room, with 130 mail boxes, is twice the size it needs to be. Within there is also a rubbish bin, a notice board and an occasional table where local newspapers are placed. A door leads to the basement, another to a public toilet for building staff and tradies and another to the ground level carpark.
The entrance foyer is more than double the size it needs to be. There is seating for five people, and it gets used. The manager and guard desk is also there but still it is a large space.
So you do get the picture that there are large open spaces within our building and that it is quite unusual in modern high rise apartments.
The luxury of having all this wasted space is surely akin to the mythical quarter acre block where Australian houses were built until perhaps the eighties. Space is officially precious now and none must be wasted.
As for kids not having large enough back yards to play a game of cricket in, well, I think now the space would only be very occasionally used for running around and games. The kids are perhaps more likely to be inside developing their thumb muscles and their critical assessments of commercial tv.