A VISUAL LIFE | Creative Direction + Design

Tag: vintage

STREETSCAPES // callan park

The changing of seasons from autumn into winter has made it perfect to go for walks on the weekend. Callan Park is a vast parkland covering 61 hectares across Rozelle, Lilyfield and down to Iron Cove. This gorgeous heritage-listed site has beautiful landscaped gardens you can wander through, complemented by city and harbour views.

Originally built in 1885 as Rozelle Psychiatric Hospital, it closed in 2008. There are countless historic sandstone buildings, some that are still being used but many of them are abandoned and derelict. It has faced demolition because of the decay, but locals and a volunteer group are fighting to protect it. There have been proposals to include more recreational facilities to add to the sporting grounds and picnic areas.

This idyllic spot is a great place to exercise, catch up with friends or take a guided tour. Events and exhibitions are frequently held to not only bring the community together but to also let the public enjoy this special place.

TYPE-RIGHTER // state library

Visiting the State Library of New South Wales is always an enjoyable experience and the Mitchell Vestibule quote engraved in the sandstone foyer is a perfect example of classic type that resonates. It hints at the treasures nestled inside the oldest library in Australia that was established in 1826. There is an extensive range of heritage-listed special collections and references, plus my love for reading makes the library a nostalgic haven. Beautiful vintage books are on display with stunning cover designs and elaborate illustrations, providing much inspiration for artists, designers and typographers.

There are multiple exhibitions at any given time on interesting subjects and they are open to the public for free. Sydney Elders by Wiradjuri/Kamilaroi artist Jonathan Jones, tells the stories of four Aboriginal elders (Uncle Chicka, Aunty Esme, Aunty Sandra, Uncle Dennis) with personal accounts of growing up in Sydney, their ancestors, as well as their contribution and legacy in our city. Another exhibit that was impressive and well curated was Dead Central. Taking you back to 19th century Sydney when there was a vast cemetery that opened in 1820, exactly where Central Station now stands. I never knew that a major burial ground with over 30,000 bodies was cleared in 1901 to make way for the station, and I don’t think many other Sydneysiders know this about the historic site. To begin with there is the clever use of type printed on black tape in two lines like a train track running along the hallway leading to the entrance. All the signage, backdrops, photography and displays are beautifully designed and complement the audio recordings and video reels perfectly.

HOUSE CALL // harry seidler, vaucluse waters

Soaring above the rugged coastline on the Diamond Bay cliff walk and balancing on the edge, is the 1960’s apartment block Vaucluse Waters. True to the modernist era, it is constructed predominantly of concrete and glass. It stands out in the area due to its vast height compared to the surrounding buildings as well as the prime position on the coast. Designed by renowned architect Harry Seidler, it is possibly one of his less famous projects in comparison to many other landmarks around Sydney.

In typical Seidler fashion, the style is very linear and angular with windows taking advantage of the vista. In old photos it seems there may have been balconies when it was first built, which have been closed in at some stage. The sweeping ocean views are breathtaking but have also subjected the apartments to the harsh weather elements. Unfortunately it is damaged and in need of major repairs, but hopefully the upgrades will be undertaken with respect to the original design. Many of these gems are constantly at risk, either lost completely in demolition or being redeveloped so much that the true architectural character disappears.

TYPE-RIGHTER // vintage branding

Discovering and documenting historic signage has become a hobby of mine. I’m always on the lookout for faded signwriting, vintage advertising and retro posters. With so much redevelopment in Sydney I am finding that many of these treasures from our past are being lost. Even looking back at my Instagram, it’s shocking to see how many of the images I’ve posted don’t exist anymore. These signs were taken on Devonshire Street which is being overhauled thanks to the new light rail route, so I’m just hoping they won’t disappear too. In particular, my love for classic Australian brands with a long heritage are my favourite finds. Even though Tooth’s brewery no longer goes by that name, some old signs are still on display which I’ve discussed before in a previous post about pub art. Bushells is instantly recognisable as it’s a national icon that has been around since 1883. Working in design, I enjoy seeing how these brands have evolved and how these examples remind us of our childhood and the culture of our country.

STREETSCAPES // work inc

Coworking spaces are rapidly growing in popularity and it’s no surprise since the way we work has changed so much. The rise of contractors, freelancers and startup businesses has proven that there’s a need for more flexible options. Individuals and small companies have embraced this office revolution because of the versatility of coworking sites. Many premises have 24/7 access which makes it convenient for people to choose their own hours and work during their most productive times. Working on your own can feel isolating, so having the chance to meet and socialise with others is an advantage. Not only can you get the interaction and support you normally wouldn’t have by being solo, it’s also a great way to network and collaborate.

Work inc is a truly unique space in Lavender Bay, at the base of the iconic Sydney Harbour Bridge. The heritage site was designed by BJB Architects and Brenchley Architects who have preserved the 100 year old raw, industrial look of the historic warehouses. There are 4 sections from Bay 6 to Bay 10 with designated zones in each bay to cater for every need. Providing private offices, permanent desks, meeting rooms, boardrooms, break-out areas, event zones and even a podcast studio. There’s also the award winning Bay Ten Espresso which serves great food and coffee. Having a café on-site is convenient and is also perfect as an informal spot to meet.

The interiors are cool with the prominent re-purposed shipping container elevator dominating the space. The heritage-listed arches, exposed concrete walls and stunning windows showcase the original architecture of the building. These rustic elements are contrasted with modern steel structures and glass pods. Artistic touches abound with murals and quirky decorating details which are creative and inspiring. This is truly an example of how an imaginative vision can create a fun working environment while forming a community of it’s own.

TUCKER TIME // interior inspo

The main reason for dining out is eating good food and enjoying the company of family and friends. Atmosphere can make or break a restaurant, no matter how great the meal is. For me the interiors are also a major part of the experience and a constant source of inspiration and design ideas.

I’m hoping to renovate in the future so I’m already thinking about what I could do with my home. I know the Hamptons style has been overdone but since I’m by the water I feel like I need to pay homage with a little coastal chic. Santorini’s whitewashed simplicity, Spanish mission style architecture and French farmhouses or villas all appeal to me. Then there’s the rustic elegance and raw materials of the industrial look. My love of the Mid Century Modern era is obvious since I have many beloved pieces of furniture in my collection. Luckily I have plenty of time to work out which way I’m going to go. Decisions, decisions…

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