Modern can be beautiful

(Estimated reading time: less than 2 minutes)

I was intrigued, and delighted, to learn that the Aviva building in Perth has been awarded A-list status. This recognises it as an iconic building. I don’t know how many people in Perth would name it as a favourite building; I don’t know how much resistance – if any – there was when it was built in 1983. 

It is essentially a series of concrete blocks. However, it was built into the hill in a sympathetic way. And it incorporated landscape gardens from the outset. I’m sure that the development of the trees and shrubs has helped to soften the edges.  I refer to it as ‘The hanging gardens of Aviva’. (See picture below.)

For me there is an important lesson here. This building is a functional office. It is not elaborate or ornate. Yet, it fits with its environment. It is comfortable in its location.

Fit for purpose, and fit to preserve. That’s not a bad model for architectural design, and for the design of systems and institutions in our modern world.


2 thoughts on “Modern can be beautiful

  1. It also has some interesting stuff inside. The marble flooring in the reception area comes from an Italian quarry which was reopened to supply it.

    The rosewood in the boardroom is stunning.

    Unusual artworks too.

    Reception has a tapestry of the view of the route of the Tay and there’s a tiled artwork which incorporates the name of every employee at the time the office opened in 1983.

    There’s even a window to let you see the bedrock the building has been built on.

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