DAY 94: Taking the Fed Square tour

3 Dec

I KNOW I loved fortune cookies yesterday, but I want to start today by saying I love tour guides. A tour guide’s eyes won’t light up at every part of their spiel – in fact, sometimes it’s the least expected bit – but then: dink! They’re lit.

Of all the wobbly weirdness Federation Square has to offer, my guide’s eyes light up largest over this hidden bit of architecture around by a little used set of toilets, that you won’t even notice unless you look up…

…which is a great example of how London architects Don Bates and Peter Davidson, and Melbourne firm Bates Smart, who jointly built the precinct between 1997 and 2002, thought everything through to the tiniest detail. From the entries and exits designed to mimic the local hidden laneways, to the words engraved into the sandstone tiles of the plaza, to the use itself of ancient sandstone from the Kimberley (often with fossils embedded), they folded meaning and significance into every last inch of the structure.

Over-egging their own pudding (ooh-yay!) are the earnest schoolboys we unearth in the BMW Edge, who are attempting a particularly complicated Muse cover. They’re not representative of the level of entertainment Federation Square has to offer… but they are entertaining.

My favourite part of any tour is hearing about old rogues, though – there’s always one. The Australian Centre for the Moving Image is in the Alfred Deakin Centre beneath Fed Square, and our guide has a chortle about how Alf was an anonymous commentator on Australian politics for a British newspaper (apologies if you knew this – I am an English). He’s like the first undercover media blogger – before the days of Twitter disclaimers.

Keeper? Yes! Already been for a feed.

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