Monday, July 26, 2010

the pneumatic underground

On the weekend, many buildings opened their doors in Melbourne as part of Melbourne Open House. It was wonderful being in the city on Sunday along with so many others on urban treasure hunts. After traipsing around rooftop gardens and coffee in Denmark House with friend Annie, I joined the queue to see the Russell Place substation. A tour promised to take all those patient enough to wait in line through a series of stairs to the main transformer transfer corridor, DC rooms, switch rooms and transformer compartments.

Photos from Russell Place Substation tour 2009, DSC_9694 and DSC_9660 originally uploaded by Boumba

Unfortunately, for a number of reasons, I did not have a chance to see the workings of Melbourne's electrical supply this year. However, the intense public interest in this site made me realise how fascinated people are by the 'inner workings' of our urban spaces. This led me to wonder about pneumatic tours in a city, in banks, supermarkets and of course hospitals. I know that during Atlas Obsura's Obsura Day, on March 20th this year, there was a tour of Stanford Hospital's pneumatic tube system by chief engineer Leander Robinson. What a great idea! It is a potentially fantastic way to bring together those interested in this topic together in person (who often chat online), as well as potentially drawing in a wider public to explore the magic of pneumatic tubes.

Post title from Banvard's Folly by Paul Collins.

No comments:

Post a Comment