Sydney sketching : sketching Sydney. Postcode 2010. St Vincents Hospital (I)

September 15, 2011

Graphite pencil, Winsor & Newtown watercolour, Staedtler Fineliner pen.

Darlinghurst is busy and gritty. Has been since it was the site of the colony’s first windmill, grinding wheat. Compared to a hundred years ago, there is a now a huge push to grow trees and shrubs in inner Sydney. I’d hate to be an architect designing outdoor public spaces because one has to factor in not only something bright and welcoming for hospital patients and visitors (in this instance) but also deter vagrants, the homeless and the addicted, hard drugs in particular but also tobacco smokers. 

There is a clash here between a 19thcentury building (at left) and what used to be a two-storey void fronting a busy street. This new entrance, full of smoked glass, steel supports and chrome banisters – completed with bright yellow sculpture – is set sufficiently back from the footpath to deter anyone but patients, workers and visitors to loiter. This vista includes the Jewish Museum, Darlinghurst Victorian terrace roofs, as well as towering Gymea Lilies in flower.

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