Written by root. Posted in FEATURES


Published on July 01, 2016 with No Comments

An insider’s perspective to some of Melbourne’s impressive built environs.

Words & Images James Nolen


While all the magic happens on the beautiful screens of the Australian Centre for the Moving Image (ACMI) or inside the galleries at Federation Square, many of us are beavering away at ACMI X, our new space designed by legendary Melbourne architectural firm Six Degrees, located in Southbank.

I am a proud Melbournian and have loved this city’s varied architecture since I was young, and care very much for the conservation of this special city. I do seem to be drawn to the top of Bourke Street a lot these days. I always love seeing what’s on display at American Tailors and Madam Virtue. And the wrapping paper at the Paperback Bookshop is one of this city’s greatest best kept secrets. There is a charming scale to this end of town with mostly Victorian buildings juxtaposed with the mid-century modernism of Pellegrini’s.

And then barely a block away you have the magnificent Collins Place designed by I.M. Pei. I also rather love the imposing Flinders Lane entry lobby of 333 Collins.

Since Instagram has come on the scene, I have rediscovered my love of photography and instead of boring my family with my obsession, I can share it with the world through the world wide web. I like to try and capture some of the elements to Melbourne that maybe overlooked – the nooks and the crannies, if you like.

Whether it is the highly decorative writing on a basement grate or the juxtaposition of colour and movement – the city is full of endless discoveries!

Currently, I can’t stop admiring the pure mid-century modern lines of 1 MacArthur Street. A building I used to rather detest has become a favourite to photograph again and again!

Also, the art deco period is still my favourite. Whether it’s the Capitol Theatre, the former Buckley and Nunn Men’s Store (now David Jones) in Bourke Street, or the Beehive Building in Elizabeth St – there’s something about that era that makes my heart skip a beat!



Visit City of Melbourne’s for more inspiration on where to dine, drink and explore the city.

Royal Brunei Airlines flies Melbourne daily.

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