Perth 16th November 2011
Sometimes there is some irony in life. Today I caught up with an old friend architect from long time ago; when we first met (late 90-ties) he was still with another architectural practice and we were discussing bidding for the lighting design for a project he was designing, the Kalgoorlie Miners Hall of Fame, a museum showcasing the great mining history of the Goldfields. The design actually won him I believe his first design award. As it happens today the museum announced its temporary closure as it had been struggling to be profitable. I visited the museum during one of my trips to Kalgoorlie (about 500km east of Perth), it is a real shame it can’t attract the numbers, as till today it is still a beautiful museum. If they can’t find any other commercially viable use for it, it will likely be closed forever. Fancy I meet the architect again on the day….
The irony of designing projects only to find them derelict or closed down many years later is something we come across once in a while in our careers. I have several of my projects that did not stand the test of time and have either been demolished, closed down for good or redeveloped into something totally different. Funny how we feel sad as somehow it is a art of you dying…
Do you ever return to projects you did before? Sometimes you find it has gone, or has changed completely, sometimes it has been renovated and the lighting has been redesigned. Whenever I can I will revisit old project sites even if at times it is heart-breaking to see the state the once glorious site has turned into, mostly due to poor maintenance. It is something I advocate always as part of a lighting supply package…to include a long term maintenance contract with the supplier or contractor.
Since the museum may close permanently here are some pics from the website and my own archive from when I visited the place a few years back, to share in Light Watch. You will note that a lot of the exhibits are actual real life elements of a miners camp, sheds, tools, drilling towers and so on and located outside the main building to reflect the outback life. Not much lighting…the occasional metal shade lamp can be seen in one of the pictures.
I also added one picture of the so called “super pit” which is just around the corner. One of the biggest (if not the biggest) mining pit in the world. Just look at the size of the huge trucks, like little dots….!