Why studying the history of architecture is important for modern design?
Last week, several of our Designer Chicks group had the privilege of a private tour of the State Library of NSW to discuss its history and architecture and drool at the detail and thought that has gone into creating this wonderful building.
It simultaneously has both a sense of peace and presence about it. You wanted to sit down and start reading; such was the ambience of the space.
So why did we do such a tour?
Simply to enhance our creative skills, knowledge is power and it is very easy to forget the skills of the artisans that created the library.
By understanding our history and the history of our buildings we have a catalyst to create more effective designs to meet our needs of today.
Last week I was reminded of the beauty and character of sandstone, the versatility of marble and the longevity of these materials. Quirky characteristics of these materials such as a fossil in the marble add to the appeal.
I was inspired by the sense of arrival as you walked through the entry doors and into a soaring void in the vestibule, something that can easily be translated into modern home designs.
The doors themselves created a statement and announced you had arrived. Interestingly new homes are taking on this quality such as pivot doors with glass detail.
If you want to recreate something similar, products such as Axolotl allow this; you could even create your own coat of arms.
The creators of this space also achieved a wonderful sense of scale with a somewhat minimalist layout juxtaposed by the intricate detail of the wood work, wall treatment and ceiling, letting the artistic creativity be the focal point.
I can imagine using this image from the ceiling of Shakespeare’s Room as inspiration for a feature wall.
You could purchase panels from specialist plaster suppliers, place them on a wall and paint in the same colour as the rest of the room. The texture, undulations and detail would create a wonderful talking piece.
One of my favourite pieces was the art deco handle.
The shape and curve actually encouraged you to touch it and feel it, a timely reminder that all handles do not need to be long, narrow ones. This handle makes you want to open the door to see what is behind the door, is there any more interesting features to explore.
We forget about the natural resources that are abundant in Australia and the skill of our forbearers.
Yes we are a young country without the depth of history of places in Europe and Asia but we still have architecture that we can proudly proclaim.
Sadly, the majority of the population are unaware it exists.
A big thank you to Sharon Newman from Photography with Sharon Newman http://snphotography.com.au a member of The Designer Chicks for the magnificent photos.
Some more images of this amazing place