Wednesday, April 30, 2008

The two towers

The images above are of a 30-floor themed apartment towers, named Turanga in Sydney’s Redfern. We chanced on Turanga walking from the Grantpirrie Gallery to Danks Street. The Maori theme with a Pacific Island overlay is expressed in the garden and entranceway and carried inside with more carvings, including the panel with the kangaroo motif. As strange as they are, these Maori additions to the grounds and foyer are significantly better than those of a sister tower, Matavai, which stands near by and is themed Hawaiin. That looks more like the entrance to a down-at-heel Vegas casino, or maybe a Palm Springs motel. The Turanga had a moment of notoriety in 2004 when it was where young T.J.Hickey died at the end of a police chase sparking the Redfern riots. Soon after that the council talked about demolishing the Turanga and Matavi to make way for high-class residential apartments. The scheme obviously fell flat, although there are plenty of signs of other flash high-rise building projects in the neighbourhood.