Discovery (Post#14) : Canberra’s Parliament House – Flag Mast
During the Parliament House Tour in Canberra, we had a chance to see its huge flag mast stand at the roof top of the building. It’s 81-metre high flag mast, one of the world’s largest stainless steel structures. This photo is part of Canberra Day Tour June 2013 Collection.
The flag flown from the 81 meters (266 feet) flagpole is 12.8 by 6.4 m (42 by 21 ft), about the size of half a tennis court. The flagpole weighs 250 tonnes and is made of polished stainless steel from Wollongong. It was designed to be the pinnacle of Parliament House and is an easily recognizable symbol of national government. It is visible by day from outside and inside Parliament House and floodlit at night. The flag itself weighs approximately 15 kg (33 lb). – Wikipedia
If I did not fall into IT career, maybe I took an architecture course before. I just remembered before when I was still in my rudimentary studies that I had some talents in drawing things, but that skill wasn’t developed anymore when I went to high school as my life changed and somewhat pressured to be like my siblings and be a student with flying colors so I focused in academics.
During my two-days trip in Sydney, the first day was spent in CBD. I checked-in in one f the hotel located near at Kings Cross station. I rested a bit in my room and then I started my walking adventure in the afternoon. I took train from Kings Cross Station and got off at Town Hall Station. After leaving the station, I wandered and my steps started moving but it does not have its specific destinations at first. I walked along George Street towards Druitt Street. In that walk, one building caught my attention and that is Queen Victoria Building. Maybe because it stands-out within CBD as it is surrounded by buildings and offices which emphasize the building to be unique. I had seen old structures in Melbourne which converted to a commercial space and yet it still able to preserve the lavish design and architecture of the building, meaning the building was not only preserved to be a heritage site but to be a functional building for businesses in our time.
Exterior of Queen Victoria Building has been familiar to me. I just remembered the following structures that I saw from the past, like Provincial Legislature Building in Alberta and British Columbia in Canada and Royal Exhibition Building in Melbourne, all of these has a dome structure in the middle as significant architectural design of the building.
Before I crossed Druitt Street and walked towards Queen Victoria Building, I noticed the Statue of Queen Victoria which stands in one side before the entrance/exit of the building. On my way to the door, I felt excited because I was curious what to see and discover in the building. The moment I got inside, I was impressed because of how huge the building is and at the back of my mind, I am trying to imagine its size by thinking how many arcades will fit into the building. My adoration in the following arcades that I visited in Melbourne (don’t get me wrong as I still love all of them) seems to be just a fragment of admiration compared to impression that the building made on me. In terms of size, QVB is already a winner. In all the arcades that I saw in Australia (like Adelaide Arcade, Brisbane Arcade and Melbourne’s Arcades), QVB is the biggest arcades that I discovered so far. I do understand its a building unlike the arcades that I saw in other cities, but I am referring to the vintage styles of shopping stores in one place where the ambiance of the building made me felt that I was back in time between 18th to 19th century. Most of the arcades that I visited are just 2 floors but QVB has 5 floors (lower ground, ground and level 1 to 3). If people were amazed on the global brand stores that can be found inside the building, I was in awe of its beautifully crafted interiors, from its dome, ceilings, walls, pillars, windows, handrail down to its flooring.
Arches and Colonnades (with Elevator)
Escalators and Balustrades on large openings
Arches, Balustrades and Ceilings
From the entrance that I walked-in, the first thing that I noticed on its interior are the arches and colonnades. The combination of these two are visible in most of the stores and has been functionally used as division of each establishments. The balustrades are visible to each floor (except the lower ground) in each large openings so everyone has a chance to see other floors from any level. Though the building is being preserve to be a heritage site, escalators has been added so people can used it conveniently as it become a commercial space building too.
My stride continues as I explore QVB, I stopped when I saw the dome ceiling from Level 1, the dome looks so elegant as the scenery are combined with arches in other floor level and balustrades that encapsulated the circle openings aligned to the dome itself. Aside from dome, I also discovered the stained-glass window with its colorful design and a fine handrails that all significantly shows Victorian Style.
I went up to the next floor using stairs as I followed the dome ceilings and stained-glass windows. I reached the third level or the highest floor of the building where I can see dome ceiling up-close. The dome is at the center of the building, looking at the other side of the dome, the Great Australian Clock can be found hang from the glass-ceiling and it is one of the mechanical clock to be found in QVB and while on the other side of the dome, the second mechanical clock is visible which is the Royal Clock.
Great Australian Clock
The building has different style when it comes to its flooring, from lower ground to first level it emphasized its mosaic-tiled design while in second and last level are more into carpeted floors. If the other establishments enjoys huge arches in their stores the other appreciated the stained windows in their own space, a truly crafted and elegant interiors.
Tiled-Mosaic and Carpeted Flooring
After the building tour within QVB, I went outside, I took sometime to see the building from a distance. And there I learned that the building has lots of cupolas which complimented the main dome at the center of the building. And from a distance, I saw how magnificent the building is.