A glass prism sits under wing of the T-intersection of Crown and Kembla; a large and ambiguous office structure that is one of few such buildings I take rather seriously within Wollongong’s CBD. The unbroken facades of sheer, tinted glass overlook the otherwise low-lying, down town urban scape – a single monument to the international style proliferated worldwide by buildings such as Lever House and the Seagram of 1950s New York.
The Mies Factor is strong bar the absence of a greater height with my mind entertaining nostalgia of corporate expansion similar to the skyscrapers that it was modelled from. If ever I were to imagine fast-paced city-slicker shenanigans in Wollongong’s business district it would have been within the curtain walls of this fish tank.
What’s more is the beauty of this building against a cloud clearing sky, as its reflections dazzle the fading light of an afternoon. Colours shimmer and jitter as one passes by kind of like the uneven surface of the ocean when flying along the Sea Cliff Bridge. The clear and crisp lines of the rectangular prism and its auspicious presence seem to objectify, for me, the popularising term “it is what it is”.
History seems to show a contentious past for this plot of land, having provided location to the Wollongong Hotel from 1900 to 1985. The Hotel was built in the name of tourist accommodation and mysteriously torn down in the night to make way for the ultramodern mammoth we see today.