Having lived his first 20 years in Adelaide and his second in the Emerald City of Sydney, Simeon King is the insider’s outsider. With new eyes on his old city he is finding life and detail in the fine grain of the grand old lady of Adelaide.
This, part two of Simeon’s photo essay, continues on from his first collection of images – be sure to check out them out if you haven’t already.
When You’re on a Good Thing (West Hindley)
Around twenty years ago the University of South Australia made the strategic decision to consolidate campuses and build an urban street based campus in the West End of the city, along the western strip of Hindley Street.
The first buildings built there were of less than inspiring character, but John Wardle Architects (Melbourne) has lifted the bar with a set of handsomely crafted buildings. Wardle has their fourth building in the precinct under construction — the new Learning Centre — to accompany the earlier Hawke Building (pictured), Kaurna Building and Dorrit Black Building, all commissioned by UniSA.
Executor Trustees Building, Grenfell Street
Another grand, slightly unloved building right in the centre of the city. Waiting, waiting.
Hot as Hades, Gawler Place
A sign of a hot desert city, that seems to be getting hotter every summer.
Colonel Light Centre
The back office of Adelaide City Council, housing its public servants. A striking and refined building, made in a time of austere but rather elegant style, materials and engineering. It has a unique contradiction of lightness and solidity, and deals successfully with the adjacent heritage of the Pilgrim Church and Adelaide Town Hall. We rarely make buildings like this anymore.
A paste up by the enigmatic local street artist Peter Drew, which has became his motif – complete with nutty stop-animation to boot.
Einstein on a bike
Peter Drew is big on bikes, this paste up has a simple message. “Be a genius — ride a bike”.
Demo Job, Waymouth Street
Things are happening in Adelaide, and there seems to be a new wave of younger entrepreneurs who genuinely love Adelaide and want to make it a more interesting place. East Waymouth is strip that is evolving nicely – here, restaurant and bar Gallery on Waymouth is expanding into new digs next door, set to open in September.
Adelaide is a great food and wine city, with the wine regions of the Barossa Valley, Clare Valley and McLaren Vale all within a hour of the city. The quality of produce is outstanding. Press* Food and Wine (also on East Waymouth) is a stand out, capitalising on this resource. Press* is turning out food as good as you’ll find anywhere in Australia (if not the planet), in a restored old building in the heart of the city with hustle and bustle high benches downstairs and refined tables and booths upstairs. A new small bar around the corner on Hall Court is coming soon too.
There are so many redundant spaces and places ready to turn over a new leaf. This pigeon filled garage is just off Hindley Street.
Night and Day
Adelaide city empties out each evening, so much so that the old day/night chemist on Hindley Street isn’t open at night. Off Hindley Street and Rundle Street things are changing. Hopefully with new venues and new thinking about the city more people will hang about there after work, or choose to live in the CBD.
Some of Adelaide’s laneways are being used and revived with new venues and projects locating in the lanes off Rundle Street, Rundle Mall, Waymouth Street and Hindley Street.
The new kid on the block (opening in April), Clever Little Tailor at 19 Peel Street is a serious new entrant in the new small bar market. A sophisticated, grown up offer from Josh Baker (from Coffee Branch around the corner) with Crispian Fielke and Dana Whyte.
Cut of Your Cloth
Hazy nights at the Clever Little Tailor…
Ebenezer Place and Vardon Avenue in the East End of Adelaide off Rundle Street is full of the cool kids, sweet little bars and an active Friday night market. Retail includes Frank’s Gents Hairdresser, Old Midwest Trader, Treadly Bike Shop, and Right Hand Distribution. Eat and drink at Hey Jupiter.
A New Local
Coopers has a special place in Adelaide’s beer drinking life, being a locally owned and loved institution — but there are new smaller locals getting in on the hops and popping out some great local ales including the Brew Boys. The Charger is currently out of stock, but there are more where they came from on the Brew Boys’ website, including the 8% alcohol ‘Seeing Double’, which just won a Gold Medal at the Australian International Beer Awards.
Clubhouse Lane, East Hindley
On Clubhouse Lane, off Hindley Street underneath the Plaza Hotel, you will find the near perfect Magazine Gallery — a studio, a shop, a tearoom, a lunch stop. Beautifully considered and curated by city live-in locals Josh Fanning and Farrin Foster, it is probably one of the best magazine shops in the country.
Josh published the lovely Collect Magazine with Adam Johnson, which after two years and 11 brilliant issues is now having a sabbatical whilst they work on new projects including City Mag, a new publication about Adelaide 5000. The widely admired Collect Magazine was ‘a magazine about taking pride in what we do, and where we live’ (Watch a video on the thinking behind Collect). Peter Drew bombed an inner city car park site with ‘Fanning for Mayor’ — he is revered amongst his generation for staying put and putting in some serious effort to see a strong local culture take hold and grow.
Along with new CBD based artist run initiatives like Tooth & Nail and the newly established Mill you get the feeling anything is possible in Adelaide.
Adelaideness of Place
The Plaza Hotel on Hindley isn’t your fancy boutique hotel, and is probably more well known for its hourly rates than daily ones (down the side in Clubhouse Lane you will find Magazine Gallery). The Plaza neatly sums up a number of particular Adelaide qualities – original, authentic, old, reused, gritty, reoccupied with new ventures, draped in vines and lace with balcony verandah spaces hovering over the high street – all the things Adelaide could or should be famous for.
Words and images
by Simeon King
Urban planner, designer, researcher and founder of Public Associates