Tuesday, April 10, 2012

Waste of Space

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.


  1. Are the units similarly spacious?

  2. I like wasted space - when it is free of clutter. However, the law that junk expands to fill the space available for its storage [or something like that] is almost immutable.
    It's probably a good thing that a lot of the space in your highrise is public space.

  3. You didn't say when your high rise block of flats was built.

    Modern blocks are sooo mean on space that if someone knocks at the front door, the householders have to stand up on their beds or chairs to give the guest floor space.

  4. Yes Victor. This was a flagship building for a new development company. The buildings went down hill after this one. The one next door, about three years younger, is not much inside.

    FC, we once had a very large house with a garage, and two sheds and a huge kitchen and plenty of underfloor space. We got rid of so much junk and fight hard against not accumulating it now.

    Hels, I think it was 1999 and see the reply to Victor. You pretty well get what you pay for, although brand new comes at a premium price and only paying stamp duty on the land value is, excuse the term, a wank.

  5. I'm surprised your building was built as late as 1999. When you were describing the open spaces, I was think more of the art deco era. I'm like FC in that I like lots of empty space.

  6. Rubye, we too like the open spaces, inside our apartment and outside. Although the entrance is nice, the outside is quite unremarkable.