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The PM’s Reading Room : Week 05

05

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Ryan Robertson

Idyllic/Speculative Public Space

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Public Libraries

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Project Brief

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Speakers Corner


Speculative

Public Space


Bakery Hill Ballarat c. 1854

Speakers Corner Yarra Bank c. 1890

Station Pier [Railway Pier] Port Melbourne c. 1920

THE PM's READING ROOM // 05

SPEAKERS CORNER


Bakery Hill Ballarat c. 1854

“We swear by the Southern Cross to stand truely by each other, and fight to defend our rights and liberties� On Thursday the 29th of November, 1854, near the Eureka lead of the Ballarat goldfield, a crowd of about 12,000 miners held a meeting, which is now widely regarded as the birthplace of Australian Democracy. The miners were agrived at the constrictive gold mining licence fee of 30 shillings a month for a 3.6 metre square claim- payable whether gold was discovered or not. The money collected from those working on the goldfields in whatever capacity was revenue for the new colony of Victoria, split off from New South Wales in 1851. The main expense of the Victorian government was the maintenance of its army, needed in government perception to keep order on the goldfields. Licences in other words were sold to fund the cost of troopers doing the licence hunts. State power was its own justification. 1

The miners were well aware of this, and also that that the ordinary man only had two choices: either pay the fee and hope to strike it lucky down the hole, or resign himself to wage slavery in one of the jobs abandoned by those who had joined the rush.1

Ian MacDougall November 29 and the Birth of Australian Democracy

THE PM's READING ROOM // 05

SPEAKERS CORNER


1854

Today

THE PM's READING ROOM // 05

SPEAKERS CORNER


Station Pier

Speaker's Corner


Bakery Hill

SPECULATIVE PUBLIC SPACES: SOCIAL IDEALS


Speakers Corner Yarra Bank c. 1890

“The suggestion that Yarra Bank should be closed to Sunday meetings is an act of treachery to the democracy� For most of its venerable past Speakers Corner has been known as Yarra Bank, a site for political, religious and ideological debate. Between 1890 and the 1960s orators would gather to articulate their views on local and international issues. It was originally a one-hectare, heavily treed area at the western tip of Flinders Park, where orators voiced opinion and dissent from nine bluestone-faced granite mounds (probably built in the 20th century). The site was most attended during periods of upheaval and struggle, such as during World War I, the Depression and the 1940s, when leftist politics were beginning to feel the force of repression. From the 1960s, and with the rise of more varied media, the site has been comparatively quiet, serving as a meeting place for participants following the annual May Day parade.1 1

http://www.pbase.com/bernard74/image/118186913/original

THE PM's READING ROOM // 05

SPEAKERS CORNER


THE PM's READING ROOM // 05

SPEAKERS CORNER


Station Pier

THE PM's READING ROOM // 05

SPEAKERS CORNER


Speaker's Corner

Bakery Hill

SPECULATIVE PUBLIC SPACES: POLITICAL IDEALS THE PM's READING ROOM // 05

SPEAKERS CORNER


Station Pier Port Melbourne c. 1920

Originally called Railway Pier, Station Pier was officially opened on 12 September 1854. The pier played a pivotal role in Victorians’ lives from the time it was opened, particularly for the arrival of gold seekers and settlers throughout the mid to late 1800s. In 1861, the original pier was extended, to more than 661 metres (2171 feet). Eventually, the original pier could not accommodate the increasingly large and more powerful steamships of the early twentieth century so it was realigned, extended further and renamed Station Pier. In August 1899, the first contingent of troops headed for the Boer War in South Africa left from Station Pier. In October 1914, 16 ships left Port Melbourne carrying troops, horses and supplies as part of Australia’s contingent for the Great War (World War I). Station Pier is intrinsically linked to Melbourne’s rich multicultural society with an average 61,000 overseas passengers arriving on an annual basis in Port Melbourne between 1949 and 1966. For many post-World War II immigrants Station Pier symbolises where their new life began.1 1

http://www.portofmelbourne.com/cruiseshipping/stationpier.aspx

THE PM's READING ROOM // 05

SPEAKERS CORNER


Crowds on Station Pier during public inspection of visiting British warships Port Melbourne c. 1925 Museum Victoria

The departure of the HMAT Medic, carrying soldiers to the First World War Port Melbourne c. 1915 Museum Victoria

THE PM's READING ROOM // 05

SPEAKERS CORNER


820m

Ballarat

1

THE PM's READING ROOM // 05

2

3km

SPEAKERS CORNER


80

0m

0m

400

Melbourne

SPECULATIVE PUBLIC SPACES: FORMAL IDEALS

THE PM's READING ROOM // 05

SPEAKERS CORNER


2.

1.

3.

1.

2.

Dining

3.

Passer-by

THE PM's READING ROOM // 05

Sitting

FEDERATION SQUARE: 2.45pm, 12/04/13

SPEAKERS CORNER


1.

Using the library

2. 1. Waiting spot

2.

3.

3.

Sitting

STATE LIBRARY STEPS: 2.30pm, 12/04/13

THE PM's READING ROOM // 05

SPEAKERS CORNER


Public Libraries > conference room > lower level book storage > meeting rooms > centralised service desk

SEINAJOKI LIBRARY (1963) Seinajoki, Finland Alvar Aalto

> library -- museum > IT facilities > gallery > enhancing the linkages and interrelationships of facilities and services > childrens section > cafĂŠ

ALBURY LIBRARY/MUSEUM (2007) Albury, NSW ARM

> designated toddler and teen areas. furnished appropriate to interests and activities of each age group. > space for local historical society > community meeting rooms > segregated wing for quiet activities, delineated using a different material palette > 900 square metres; brief required flexibility in floor plan > moving book stacks

BACCHUS MARSH LIBRARY (2011)

Bacchus Marsh, VIC Whitefield McQueen Irwin Alsop

THE PM's READING ROOM // 05

SPEAKERS CORNER


MAX WEBBER LIBRARY (2005) Blacktown, NSW Francis-Jones Morehen

> brief demanded the library cater for a diverse population; a community facility that generated a sense of ownership and was hospitable, comfortable and welcoming > provisions have been made for current and future technological requirements and foreseeable patterns of use. > aisle widths and shelf heights accommodate people of limited mobility. > designated children and youth areas. > 'technology service' area > flexible function space > exhibtion area > upper level cafĂŠ

> newspaper/magazine reading corner fronts streetscape

CARLTON LIBRARY

North Carlton, VIC Hamish Lyon, SKM

THE PM's READING ROOM // 05

SPEAKERS CORNER


Brief Introduction. A new public library to be developed within the heart of Bendigo's cultural civic precinct. The design should critically address the existing public open space surrounding the site and appropriate where suitable. Consideration toward the prescence of the historic Bendigo Town Hall and existing built urban fabric.

Local context. Town of Bendigo was approximately 60 years old when Billy Hughes arrived, and well establish having experienced a boom in wealth and population in the mid-19th century after the discovery of gold. Today the population is very ‘white’, with only 6% of residents born overseas.

Architectural context. The Arts & Crafts movement is popularised and gaining momentum, having developed from Federation style. Eventually lead to Art Deco. Saw a shift away from urban living to suburban living, privileged the use of timber and valued craftsmanship. Intimate and explicit connections with the surrounding environment were sought.

Political context. Timeframe: 1917-1923. Billy Hughes Prime Minister of Australia, having created a new Nationalist Party in his adopted seat of Bendigo. A recently Federation country is still forming its identity, cultural values and political allegiances. War has broken out in Europe, and the mother country is demanding more support. Critical issues for the population revolve around conscription and the White Australia policy. Hughes failed twice in forcing conscription though referendum. Political climate to be described as anxious.

Library programs. >> a flexible floor plan to accomodate book collection >> an outdoor/indoor space, possibly incorporating a cafe, to mediate between the interior program of the library and the greater public sphere >> function space >> foyer/entry >> informal exhibition space >> community meeting rooms >> provision for IT/computer facilities >> designated children and youth areas.


Speakers Corner

Bull Street Bendigo

Bull Street south perspective


Hargreaves Street west perspective


Speakers Corner 1:200 model Bull Street Civic Precinct Bendigo


Speakers Corner 1:200 model Bull Street Civic Precinct Bendigo


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END WEEK FIVE//


Ryan Robertson_PM Library_Wk5