Friday, 26 June 2009

Sydney's other most beautiful building - Renzo Piano

Like a flower rising amongst gravestones.
I had unavoidably glimpsed this tall building many times in my recent holiday on Sydney harbor, but hadn't seen it until I approached it strolling in from the Botanical Gardens.
Maybe its all about foreplay - it had been a day of wandering though, being ambushed by the small and grand treasures of Sydney's Darlinghurst, Paddington. I was all ready.

Then this building appears from across the water, amongst hard, hard company.

Aurora Building by Renzo Piano
Its veil of almost-imperceptibly curved glass, with a sheen like the bluish-light on a lotus leaf, makes the building seem to breathe and sway. Its walls unfurl as do leaves, but in shapes that keep you captive, trying to work out the puzzle of which way the layers really curve.
There is something gently optimistic and celebratory, the way this building widens as it rises, all culminating in this lovely anther of an antenna.

The sail-shape at the top borrows the love we already have for that other building, its near-neighbour on the harbor. But I love this building more: Look at the function it is obliged to carry out.

Its not unlike the hero Katsumoto, from Hollywood's The Last Samurai. Though the purpose of its existence is a terrible one, in one breath it has both playfulness and dignity, strength and delicate beauty.
Which brings us to the why this 'falling in love' first happened.

Just imagine my life, if I could be like that.

I never, never thought of it until seeing this building.

Artist: Paula Modersohn-Becker (German 1876–1907)

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