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Wednesday Eyesore: Intuitive entrance making
Russell Degnan

Last week - I think it was a Saturday but I tend to lose track of the days during the holidays - I went down to Victoria Gardens, because I needed to go to the Ikea. Well, not needed so much, I wanted to go there, so I could browse their bookshelves full of obscure medical books in Swedish. What a hideous piece of urban design. Placed neatly on the edge of inner-suburbia it screams: fringe suburban nightmare. Like in those hackneyed hollywood money spinners where the poor become filthy rich and embarrass themselves sitting at the dinner table with good people.

Above is the Eastern entrance. I'm not sure what the carpark is for, but I know it isn't for me. I'm a pedestrian, and therefore filthy scum, unfit to go through the front entrance. The sign points me to the tradesman's entrance at the back.

On the left is the view along Victoria St. Pretty isn't it? The entrance for pedestrians is through the carpark. It isn't marked - you just sort of guess that because there are stairs to the underground carpark, you can probably reach the store from there. Of course that isn't the main pedestrian entrance. Even though it looks like it from the tram stop, what with the big sign and all. They just put that there to confuse you. That way, when you get inside you'll buy heaps of crap you don't need.









The main pedestrian entrance is on the right.







Doesn't it just yell: "entrance to major shopping centre this way"?

Urban Design 8th January, 2004 10:06:44   [#] 

Comments

Megaplexes
In Randwick I live near a shopping strip, which in my opinion, serves as a much more pleasant shopping experience (compared to the megaplex option).

I realise that huge stores give you much more choice, but sometimes too much choice is distressing for my indecisive days!

And shopping strips are wonderful for the walker, but perhaps not so good for the sole trader. I was sad to see the hardware store closing down. The man at the counter was your typical old-style polite hardware man, who came out and showed me a selection of washing lines when I asked.

I suppose there is just not enough demand for do-it-yourself bits in Randwick anymore. The pace of modern life is just too fast to stop and try to fix/improve something yourself unfortunately.
BridgeGirl  12th January, 2004 04:01:45  

TMT Silly Summer Edition
I'd suggest that people try and find a copy of this week's edition of The Melbourne Times - it's their annual Silly Summer edition (first one after their holiday break) and it had a great article on Ikea Richmond :-)
Peter Cook  14th January, 2004 19:04:54  

I agree
The megaplex that houses Ikea in Richmond is nowhere near pedestrian-friendly.

I bought a set of drawers there 4 months ago and the only way out of Ikea was to the carpark. I had to carry the (very heavy) box around the side, down the lift, and then back through the underground carpark and through the "main entrance" as Russell describes above.

Silly me thought that I may be able to catch a tram home... but by the time I actually got out the complex, my arms hurt so much I just flagged a cab (you'd think they'd at least have a taxi rank at Ikea?) and took my purchase home.

I don't understand what goes through the minds of developers when they create centres like these. Not everyone has a car and not everyone can wants a car - just so they shop at Ikea in Richmond!
Aaron Hewett  17th January, 2004 00:57:39  


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