Thursday, August 6, 2009

Kurilpa Bridge

Kurilpa Bridge. How cool does it look?

Mixed reactions from the range of people that I talk to, and it's hard to make a generalisation about what kind of people find it attractive and what kind of people don't.

Perhaps it's a tall poppy thing, but it seems as though anything new in the public realm in Brisbane that draws attention to itself gets criticized for not looking like a normal building, or not looking like a normal bridge.

"I don't like all those spiky bits" they say. "Are those things going to stay there? It doesn't look like they're supposed to be there"

I remember people saying the same thing about Brisbane Square. One of my lecturers said, "it's dated, and its not even finished yet." Sure, I mean the primary coloured geometric thing has been done before in other places, but not in Brisbane. I think that Brisbane Square really adds something positive to the fabric of the city, a city in which mediocrity has reigned supreme for the last half-century.

The same goes for the Kurilpa Bridge. Sure, its different, and it will take the untrained eye some time to get used to, and one day an oversized truck might clip the underside of it, forcing it to fling back like a mouse trap and crush GOMA, catapulting unfortunate passengers into the middle of West End. At the end of the day though, it too adds something really positive to the city, a dedicated pedestrian link to the new cultural hub of Brisbane, and I think this is a good thing.

Plus, I can't wait to see it lit up at night. It's going to look unreal.

I think that ventures like this encourage public debate about what is good design, and raise the bar for the future at the same time. Some designers and laypeople alike might rag on it, because its such an easy target. But sometimes you need to stir the pot a little bit to get people moving, and Brisbane has been waiting for a few projects like this to stir the pot for a very long time.

1 comment:

bob said...

The bridge doesn't seem to have a resolved destination. Wouldn't it have been more successful if it landed you in between the Goma and Library? The space between those two buildings serves as a logical drop off point/meeting point?
It might be groovy and all that but how well does it respond to the city? Maybe its just another perfume bottle.