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729-731 Burwood Rd. Hawthorn

Bilby's picture
#1 is currently featuring a (very good) apartment building in Hawthorn, that has unfortunately resulted in the loss of the middle section of a beautifully intact row of a 19th century commercial terrace on Camberwell Rd, Hawthorn East. Those who know the high profile site will recall that the demolition of the two intact terraces revealed some unexpected original (slightly earlier) 19th century signage. This was visible on the site during construction earlier this year.

Last night I posted some comments relating to the adverse heritage impacts associated with this development. The comments related to the fact that despite there being no heritage overlay, the architects featured in this high profile story on dezeeen obviously must have understood the destructive nature of their intervention on the intact 19th century row of terraces. I actually think the building is very good - but in this location it has resulted in the wrecking of the centre of a beautifully intact row of commercial terraces.

Dezeen, it seems, is unhappy to have any sort of critical discussion on its site, and this morning had removed both my post and a photograph of the row of shops construction of the new building (see below). So, thanks to the moderators on Urban Melbourne for your ongoing support of robust and respectful critical discussion and, yes, sometimes disagreement over important urban issues like this. It is a shame others opt for the more clumsy and disingenuous approach of outright censorship of critical commentary - particularly when the article in question goes on about the "historic" sensitivities of the design in various ways!

Here is the intact terrace row just a few months ago before the new building was "inserted" in the middle:

Can Hawthorn afford to lose its local heritage villages? I'm sure regular Urban Melbourne readers and forum participants will have their own views on that, but at least they can respond on this forum.

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Bilby's picture

A quick update: Dezeen have now published the photo I originally posted and a (differently worded) comment, which is better than nothing!

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Laurence Dragomir's picture

The use of materials which are for more tactile in texture and less sterile than what we see within these streetscapes, which I think is great and definitely one of this developments stronger points in addition to the site arrangement and scale, though it does interrupt the rhythm of the streetscape.

Despite the strength of the design in isolation, I'd hate to see an entirely intact streetscape lost to facilitate such developments if the buildings which comprise it are deemed to be significant in contributing to the character of the area.

Smith and Co in my opinion suffers from this in addition to materials which lack context within Smith street and generally the wider locale.

Being in holiday mode that's probably as much as my brain can muster in terms of any intellectual discourse right now.

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Riddlz's picture

"This building is literally a disgrace"
"Great building!"

Ok then...

Tend to agree, whilst I appreciate the new building and there are enough other nicer, protected sections further along Burwood Rd ( the one opposite Hepburn St being my favorite) to mitigate the loss, it was a decent intact row that could have been left undisturbed.

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3000's picture

I actually quite like the building but the context of its placement is awful.

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Bilby's picture

So, for the record, Laurence, Riddlz, 3000 and Bilby all agree on something heritage related ... should I go out and buy a lottery ticket today?

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Peter Maltezos's picture

My own opinion for what it's worth is that I agree with 3000, like the building, but not there!

Leave the row of heritage buildings intact FFS!

Go buy a lottery ticket Bilby.

I collect, therefore I am.

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Laurence Dragomir's picture

$50m up for grabs this Thursday night Bilby.

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Michael Berquez's picture

Even I agree on this one.....a large row of consistent heritage facades fronting a main and very busy road should not be broken up by this insignificant proposal.

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Aussie Steve's picture

This has already been built folks. Sad but true :(

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Bilby's picture

Yes, and now little hope of having the remaining terrace heritage listed, as no longer an intact "precinct".

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Bilby's picture

Two more in the same row destined for the wrecker ...

Thanks, Booroondara. Your efforts at protecting your municipality's commercial heritage are, well, pathetic.

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