Melbourne’s Central Business District (or the CBD as residents refer to it) is home to lots of magnificent things: five of the largest buildings in the whole of Australia, the stunning Victoria State Library and other important districts, buildings and shopping areas that are home for numerous world famous brands. Because of this, it carries an air of importance and heterogeneous bustle; you instantly feel like you should be purposeful and quick, even if it’s just a slight shift in the way you walk.
Something that is very prolific in the CBD is the skyscrapers — they’re just so big! You could stand at any of the major roads or grids, raise your head and be amazed at the mass of windows, spaces, and offices that are around you. What even happens there? Despite some of their hideous designs, they are captivating and instantly impressive — like when you’re a child and really tall human is fascinating, simply because they’re so tall. Their placements and relations are interesting too; I like to think of them as the chess pieces of the Melbourne CBD. Some blocking each other, creating shards and gaps around the city. Some looking completely misplaced or covered in graffiti. And some being places for lunch, meetings and studies. They’re all layered, and they’ve all got stories.
Along with those layers come personalities and moods; it’s easy to catch the CBD looking glorious on a sunny day, but equally as easy to catch it looking rather glum. On a brighter day, your eye may catch one of the proud glass skyscrapers, reflecting the clouds and uplifting sunshine back at you, magnifying its presence. On colder days there are darker spots, alleys and shards, places where people sneak cigarette breaks or grab a coffee to heighten the grey.
Surrounding the skyscrapers there are places such as the RMIT and Victoria State Library that create a mesmerising juxtaposition within the city, reminding you of Melbourne’s mid-century status. Amidst your adventure, others are adventuring too — the bustle of trams, city goes and travellers are constantly there, reminding you that Melbourne is a pivotal draw for so many. The rush and beep of the movements remind you that by hopping on your bike, catching a tram or walking to Flinder’s Street Station, that you can easily stay immersed in the business of the city, or escape the party in minutes — Route 8 to the north, one stop to Swanston, or all the way to MEL to catch that airline route outta the city.
This series was a collaboration with Rudy Bussac, the photographer and editor behind the Instagram account maloojam. For more minimalist Melbourne shots, follow his account and give it some love.
Words: Paris Bielby