Monday, June 01, 2009

Brisbane Square

Greetings from Brisbane Square. This is the city of Brisbane's answer to Federation Square, Melbourne. Like Melbourne, this is a large open paved area, with wired modern sculpture, backed by a brightly coloured building with angular panels on it, opposite a historic building next to a river, at a transport hub. In the distance a large Ferris wheel is visible. In the case of Brisbane, the sculptures appear to be made from domestic cutlery baskets, the paving is not dangerously uneven like Melbourne's.

The transport in Brisbane is buses (the city foolishly scrapped its trams in 1969). Unlike Melbourne where the transport passes the square at ground level, the buses disappear into an underground station. This has less ambiance than Melbourne's trams, but also less noise and danger.

The building behind the square has cafes facing out, although it was uncomfortably cold and windy there today. Like many such squares, they need something to block the drafts.

There is a more comfortable cafe in the foyer of the building, which also has the Brisbane city library. The building has been cleverly designed to blend the public library spaces into the city officials offices. Up an escalator are public Internet terminals provided by the library on one side and places to pay rates on the other. There are children's books, magazines and newspapers. At the back are some community meeting rooms and behind these are council meeting rooms. The next floor up is the reference collection, with the rest of the building containing offices.

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