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Top 5 Hidden Architectural Gems In Australia

  • by Alex McBride

Alex McBride, Founder of The 5TH, shares his top 5 architectural gems in Australia... 

What’s the fascination with architecture you may wonder? A connection to Architecture is where the 5th started, and what is now The 5TH, was once an online design blog that collated, shared, and talked about the relationship between spatial design and value. 

You see, I grew up at the feet of two Architects, who worked tirelessly (and still do) to create spaces of ‘value’ for their users. Their firm, McBride Charles Ryan, has now done all kinds of projects from small to large, but it has taken time to build recognition for their utter dedication and commitment to create spaces of value for their intended users. 

Being surrounded by this uncompromising commitment to upholding the vision for a project was inspiring, and I wanted to find out what made these people tick. In many ways, I created to blog as a way to connect with more people like this; the creative doers of this world and the people who inspire me - little did I know that this path of creating a design blog was going to lead to me working designing our own watches and working with a vast array of creative doers to bring them to life and offer them to the world, sharing with them a little piece of this uncompromising commitment to design that they can wear, appreciate, and be inspired by everyday. 

First, we have the Cloud House designed by McBride Charles Ryan.

This seemingly normal and unassuming house is a hidden gem. From the front, it looks like all the other houses in the street, but from the moment you open the door and you’re greeted by the bright carpet, you quickly clue onto it not being your standard house. As you walk through to the back section of the house you get the full appreciation for how this space has been transformed into something for utter enjoyment. 

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Two, Walsh Street House by Robin Boyd.

Maybe Melbourne’s - and the worlds - most coveted design spaces, known for the way it challenges all the prescribed conventions of house a space/home should be. Built in 1958, this house is a testament to the fact that good design stands the test of time. 

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Three, Paganin House by Iwanoff.

A periodic masterpiece that was restored to its glory after a fire ripped through it in 2015. This building is an eccentric and brilliant 1960s post-modernist building designed by revered Bulgarian architect Iwan Iwanoff and named after the family who built it in 1965.

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Four, Melbourne’s Capitol Theatre - 21st century technology in a 20th century icon.

Originally designed by Walter Burley Griffin and Marion Mahony Griffin in 1924. The historic cinema has been repurposed as an education facility for students studying film and digital media at RMIT as well as housing public cultural events.

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Five, Monaco House - a building that challenges the conventions of ‘size matters’.

This 4 storey building is built on a tiny block on a small lane in the east of Melbourne’s CBD. It houses offices, as well as a ground level cafe for the Honorary consul of Monaco. Within the office, large apertures to the west are shaded by deep balconies and the adjoining plane trees. Outdoor balconies and the ‘green-roofscape’ provide areas of release from the office desk. The building is an essay in fine-grained urbanism, it seeks to talk about its consular role as well as to enhance the pedestrian experience of the city.

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Hope you enjoyed! 

Alex

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