Saturday, 25 June 2011

winter fires, but not the heart-warming type

How sad to hear and see the news that part of the fabulously restored New Acton precint has been destroyed by fire (Thursday 23 June).

(image from Canberra Times)

I love a good heritage building, but what I love more is a heritage building that has been sensitively restored for adaptive re-use - i.e transformed into a place where we can be surrounded by a sense of the past, a nod to our history and heritage but without all the dust and must of old style museums and historic houses where you can't touch and might not learn much. New Acton does this well because you can stay in luxury, or dine in the fancy establishments, or try to mix it with the hip folks having drinks and tapas at the Parlour Wine Room while you get your dose of heritage. I hope the affected businesses all recover soon, and have a smooth path to re-opening.

Fire's not a new theme, the Canberra Servicemens Club in Manuka burnt down in April, 

(image ABC news)
and then last year it was vandalism at Lanyon Homestead. I got a sinking feeling in my stomach when I heard this news and then saw the old out-building...

Lanyon is one of my favourite historic properties in the ACT. -
When we moved from the Blue Mountains to the suburbs of Canberra, and found ourselves missing the sense of history we had taken for granted, we would often just go out to Lanyon and wander around the garden, stop for coffee or devonshire tea or wine depending on the hour! I reckon there is no better view of the Brindabellas than from a table out in the sun, facing west and looking across to the range, past the paddocks and windmill...

One of my favourite pics ever of my littlest, was taken at Lanyon - pure serendipity...just a happy snap but it caught a moment and goes some way to illustrating his personality!

Anyway, Lanyon has not fully adapted for re-use - it still retains the musty museum feel,  whilst allowing us a closer look/touch in the outbuildings...

Another place that does the adaptive re-use really well is Canberra Glassworks, formerly the Kingston Powerhouse.
 It should be done well, it was refurbished by an excellent firm from Sydney (Tanner Architects) who specialise in this type of gig. I do love the old power station building, so will no doubt dedicate later posts to it, but in the meantime here are some of my fave pics...

(first first two images courtesy Derek Ross)

I hope there are more friendly fires that you are warming by...ducted gas heating perhaps...

1 comment:

  1. Yes, let's hope the Fitter's Workshop debate doesn't get resolved the wrong way...

    Noice photies!