Around the back of the rear of a Brisbane Street shopping centre in Launceston CBD there is a concrete block building that was perhaps built in the 70’s. Buildings of this era were notoriously bland but this one has this panel that looks like concrete blocks stripped of their centre and turned on end. First thoughts cunjered up the possibility that the architect was creating a visual joke because of a personal disike of concrete blocks or perhaps he liked the idea of an Art Deco bracelet design to break up the monotony of a concrete block. Whatever it was its different to anything else in the vicinity.
For reasons of economy small utility buildings could have been plain blocks of concrete especially in the miserable depression era of the 1930’s. But for reason only known to the managers of Lomand Water as it once was, they elected to build a small pump house that is a tiny art deco gem. The variation in the brick colours, the laying and cutting of the bricks, the proportions of the facade and the shape of the windows all go together to present a unique functionally crafted building in the style of the age in which it was built. On the front facade the only thing that spoils it is the addition of the roller door which while functional is totally out of context. The building is lacking a bit of TLC at this time and I sincerely hope this fact is not an excuse to demolish it. That said the last few decades in Australia have been perhaps the worst in terms of preservation of our architectural heritage particularly in Western Australia where consistently in the 80’s and 90’s it was a case of gut first and question reasons later. Fortunately Launceston avoided much of the mad scramble to demolish in the name of so called progress.