10.12.12

OPEN HOUSE PERTH PART 1: Perth Arena

Even a few days before it's official opening, it still wasn't finished 
Last month, I got to go inside, backstage, behind the scenes and above some of Perth's most iconic buildings as a part of Open House Perth. It was absolutely fascinating! I stood on the conductor's podium at Perth Concert Hall; I spotted designer chairs at QV1; I marvelled at the Brutalist masterpiece that is Council House and I even saw amazing window details at an Art Deco Church! My only regret was that I couldn't go to the new State Theatre Centre. There was a fantastic golden staircase I really wanted to see. But alas, I had to go to work instead.

Today we have Perth Arena designed by ARM Architects. After seeing so many artist's impressions and 3D renderings of how it was supposed to look, I must admit I was quite curious to see how it turned out and what the interior was like. There were many questions burning in my mind, one of them being. . . Was it really the tax-payer funded fugly eyesore everyone said it was? Yes and no. For once, I was pleasantly surprised. Perhaps that's what happens when you come with fairly low expectations.

The design was based on something called an Eternity Puzzle, which becomes quite prominent in the Main Auditorium. However, my favourite part of the design was the strong contrast between yellow, dark blue and black. I think it gives the place an interesting atmosphere. Adding to that the angularity (is that even a word?) of the interior, it gives the place a very strong modern character. Don't get me wrong, I still hate the squashed Red Bull can exterior and that crazy spinning pineapple sculpture-whatever-thing out the front. But what do I know, I'm just a little Graphic Designer. Perth Arena fits in quite well with the whole try-hard Avant-Garde phase Perth seems to be going through right now (think Forrest Chase's lime green alien cactus). A lot can be said about the place, but the best thing about Perth Arena is that when you're actually in it, you can't see how fugly it is on the outside!
Perth Totem, A.K.A the crazy spinning pineapple




The signage there was pretty neat too. They have bars on every level!
This was probably the first and last time I'd ever see the Backstage Bar (and the private boxes and function rooms too, I guess). Again, I think they got it right in there. The red lines that look like facial profiles are an interesting touch. Not to mention the designer chairs strewn around the place. The only thing that seems wrong about these pictures is that they should be full of hip young people dancing and looking hawt, not tubby middle-aged weirdos and children.




It was quite an event, there were even motocross jumpers doing tricks! Thousands of people came, but I found it a little too cramped for my liking. There were people all up in my personal space!





The Relativity Room on level 4
The designers from the architecture firm were about to do a presentation but I had to leave




WTF!
This is the worst rat-tail I've ever seen. It's like the face-sucker on Alien! But backwards, and black...