Wednesday, 7 December 2011

University & Paddington Reservoir Garden


I have never fully appreciated my actual university; I have only ever spent time there amidst the thousands of other students as they bustle to their lectures or tutorials. It is the summer now and there are only a handful of students who wander the grounds to attend summer school. It felt almost eerie to be walking down the walkways by myself, a little unusual since there are normally an endless swarm of students. Walking across the campus and taking the time to admire the buildings, it triggered a memory from my primary school days. In Year 6 we had to read the novel, 'The Phantom Tollbooth' by Juster Norton and the passage that comes to mind is from the beginning of the novel and the accompanying illustration.

Without stopping or looking up, he rushed past the buildings and busy shops that lined the street and in a few minutes reached home - dashed through the lobby - hopped onto the elevator - two, three, four, five, six, seven, eight, and off again- opened the apartment door - rushed into his room - flopped dejectedly into a chair and grumbled softly, 'another long afternoon'.
I remember my teacher telling the class how the background was grey and non-descript as Milo (the protagonist) was neglecting to observe his surrounding as he was immersed in his own thoughts and his own little world. I do believe that I have been guilty of this at university and I think that I am not the only one.

Paddington Reservoir Garden
Paddington Reservoir

Paddington Reservoir

Paddington Reservoir

A few nights ago I had stumbled upon this website which had mentioned the Paddington Reservoir Garden and it seemed a little bit special, an urban garden that was built from the remains of the old reservoir. The place is truly amazing and if I lived or studied closer to the gardens, I would probably spend most of my time on the grass in the sunken garden. The contrast between the historic bricks from the underground water chambers and the modern steel roof and beams created this completely amazing atmosphere. There were chairs down there as well as a perfectly kept lawn and it seemd as though it was another world despite the ever- busy Oxford Street bustling a mere 60m away.

Paddington Reservoir

Paddington Reservoir

The easter chamber was padlocked which was disappointing since it was vastly different to the western chamber which contained the lawn and the pond. It seems as though the entire interior of the old chamber had been preserved and the chamber was enormous. I have seen some amazing photos from inside the chamber when the park was first opened back in 2006. Such as here and here.

Darlinghurst Courthouse

There are actually so many beautiful buildings scattered across the city, some which are remants of the presence of Britain such as the sandstone courthouses and others which just provide insight into the time that has now passed.

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