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.