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The wall revisited: bulge

Some new and possibly interlinked findings about the collapse of the wall in Swanston Street on March 28, 2013. Did the hoarding really deserve the blame heaped upon it?

03.04.22 in authorities 

Shifting sands at Oriental Bay

In the past 100 years the “rotunda” at Wellington’s Oriental Bay has been buffeted not just by wild seas, but also the less predictable winds of change. Shifting needs, mores, and economies have seen the structure reinvented several times, and it’s about to happen all over again.

09.11.19 in buildings authorities

Swanston street wall - "Responsible" Authorities

Most of the authorities involved in the Swanston Street wall collapse site moved quickly to defensive positions. None have come forward with solid initiatives that might make a permanent difference to public safety. The responses of the council and planning department were disappointing, pointing fingers at one another and then clamming up.

17.08.19 in authorities 

Swanston street wall - Prevention matters

The Coroner’s findings into the Swanston Street wall collapse suggested that a revised clause in the Building Act “adequately address” prevention matters. So I checked it out.

10.08.19 in authorities 

Swanston Street wall - 5th anniversary

A few people have asked recently what ever came of the investigations into the wall collapse. For those not familiar, a long section of brick wall fell to the footpath at the C.U.B. site in Swanston Street one windy day late in March 2013.

29.03.18 in authorities 

The wall, two years later

An old brick wall collapsed in central Melbourne two years ago, killing three young students walking past on a busy footpath. I cobbled together a history of the wall and published it. Then time passed. Occasional news articles focused on fragments of the official investigations, but it was (and is) hard to get the big picture on what has happened since March 2013. In summary: not a lot.

05.04.15 in authorities 

Comment [6]

That fallen wall - part 3

Perhaps read these first or things won’t make sense: FIRST POST SECOND POST

12.04.13 in authorities 

That fallen wall - part 2

A week ago three people died while they were walking down Swanston Street. One was a French research fellow at Monash. The other two were a young brother and sister on their way to the footy. I published a post about the wall that collapsed on Sunday, gathering together what I could find from publicly available web pages. I didn’t expect the level of reaction I got. I was contacted by all sorts of mainstream media outlets, many in search of speculative comment. My investigations were made not because I consider myself an expert in walls and wind, but because I knew how to do it relatively quickly, and because I wanted to do something.

07.04.13 in authorities 

Comment [3]

That fallen wall

On Thursday afternoon two young pedestrians were killed by a falling brick wall in central Melbourne, and another 18 year old was ferried to hospital in a critical condition but died on Easter Sunday.

31.03.13 in authorities 

Comment [3]

The opportunities start today

The Victorian Minister for Planning has issued the following statement to the AIA, following a meeting representatives from the ministry, AIA, and ACA last Wednesday. The AIA had asked for “further clarification on the reasons for the ARBV inclusion in the reforms and the process for consultation that the Minister is proposing to undertake.”

10.12.12 in authorities 

Registration board death knell part 2

Well, Mr Guy did issue his press release, which read a lot like the Fairfax article discussed yesterday. It makes the same points, and avoids any discussion of the architectural profession other than implying that its registration board is one of an ad-hoc band of cowboy building industry entities that befuddle the consumer.

29.11.12 in authorities 

Comment [5]


The Age newspaper this morning revealed that Victorian Minister for Planning Matthew Guy will at any moment announce the disbanding of the Building Commission, the Plumbing Industry Commission, and the Architects Registration Board of Victoria. They are to be replaced, says The Age, by a new building authority.

29.11.12 in authorities 

Comment [2]

Not an architect

I remember being told or taught somewhere along the line that one way to justify my fees as an architect was to suggest to the client that a house designed by an architect would attract a premium of 10% at resale. That is, the extra time and cost would be paid back later several times over as the house could be marketed as “architect-designed”. I don’t think I have ever used this angle on a hesitant client – it seems a last ditch way to justify architectural services. It is also a bit hard to tell, when a house is sold as “architect-designed”, what it might have sold for had it been “architectural designer-designed”.

25.09.10 in authorities 

Comment [5]

SA to get government architect

The South Australian Government is about to launch its Integrated Design Commission (IDC), and will soon appoint a government architect for SA. It was the last state not to have one. Hopefully, depending on what influence the GA and IDC will have, this might lower the number of wobbly planning decisions in SA. ( sample #1 & #2 ).

07.01.10 in authorities 

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