Sunday, December 5, 2010

Across the Border: Elizabeth Bay: Apartment Buildings: 1 Onslow Avenue

I am filled with despair at the state of contemporary architecture and design when I see buildings such as this modern-day monolith at 1 Onslow Avenue, Elizabeth Bay. With its harsh angles, excessive glass and ghastly marble columns it stands out like a pimple on the face of this pretty area. 
Sure, all those windows and large balconies are great for the people inside - who would have lovely views of Sydney Harbour - but what about the people on the street and the residents who have to look at this monstrosity from the outside. 
For what seemed like years, this site was a hole in the ground and nearby residents first had to put up with demolition dust and noise and then the banging and hammering of construction. And all for what? The uglification of their street.
The building, trendily called One Onslow Avenue, was built by the Hindmarsh construction group, who on their website describe the development as having ''nine elegant harbour view apartments of grand proportions''.
The spin-masters at Hindmarsh go further:

''Meticulously designed and seamlessly integrated into the urban environment, One Onslow Avenue is set to attract the most discerning of residents.''

Have they even seen the building in situ?
Just up the road is the beautiful 1830s, National Trust-listed Elizabeth Bay House and the sweet little gardens of the Arthur McElhone Reserve, while the rest of Onslow Avenue is made up of 1930s and 40s apartment buildings and some 1960s and 70s mistakes.
I think One Onslow Avenue could only be ''seamlessly integrated'' in to the Gold Coast. 
Even more perplexing is that this new blot is just across the road from the heart-melting, passion-inducing Del Rio apartment building at 22 Billyard Avenue:

If you have a spare $5 million or so, you could bag yourself one of the five apartments in this 1930s Spanish Deco style Del Rio. 
An apartment in One Onslow Avenue just sold for $5.75 million. 
I know which one I would prefer.

Looking across Arthur McElhone Reserve to Del Rio.


Anonymous said...

Inspiration vs Aspiration

billie bites said...

I can't believe someone paid more than $5 million for a slice of ugliness at One Onslow Ave...

Friend of the late Maggie. said...

How many people lost their homes when the old apartment block this monstrosity now stands on was demolished?
How many people lost their homes when "Belltrees" was torn down in Onslow ave and even now being noisily converted into 4 super luxury trophy units?

Anonymous said...

oh no! the british and european, full of asbestos and lead, dimly lit and dingy project homes of the 18th and 19th Century are being replaced by safer, enjoyable, supremely functional Australian designed buildings in the modern Australian style designed for our climate...for shame!!!

bettybayfan said...

I was one of the 30 plus residents evicted from “Belltrees” (after having lived there for seven years) to make way for the “4 super luxury trophy units”. Sadder still my 80 year old neighbour was also evicted, after living there for 39 years, via an eviction letter and 30 days to vacate!

Anonymous said...

Agree 1 Onslow is inept. It's a curiously blank and bland facade. I'm also puzzled as to why great efforts were expended to preserve the fabric of Belletrees in its squilliondollar makeover. Desperately dull verging on ugly little building that could have been replaced by something attractive.

Friend of the late Maggie. said...

I lived 2 doors down from Belltrees for a good while, while it was being "transformed", and the noise and vibrations were unbelievable. How they managed to get away with it $$$$$$$$$ I don't know. There must be some hefty corruption in local gov't.
And as for the price tags of these nouveau riche industrial looking abodes, where do the buyers get their millions from?
I remember helping ilse feed the possums and black cat and his mates outside Belltrees in the 90s.
All thats gone. The soul has gone out of Onslow Ave with the death of little Maggie, and dear Carol.

Flyingus Foxii. said...

Just learned a few days ago that poor old ilse died in Nov. last year.
She was a good friend to all the animals in the area of Onslow ave.
So much has changed. "Bloody New Money". Soulless bastards in their overpriced Mctrophy industrial-like units.
Sorry Ilse it's not much of an obituary. but those of us that knew you remember you and your good deeds fondly. You're with your many dearly departed friends now, while those of us who remember the old days carry on in a devolving Sydney.