Thursday, June 9, 2011

One of the country towns we drove through after our pie lunch on Sunday was the wheatbelt town of Northam. It is a pretty place, established in 1833 on the banks of the Avon River. As we drove down Fitzgerald Street (the main street) we saw lots of beautiful old buildings like these...

former National Australia Bank 1908

former West Australian bank 1918

former Bank of NSW 1915

Avon Bridge Hotel 1859-1897

Grand Hotel 1895

Apologies for tiny pics

But standing there among these Federation beauties was the building that really took our breathe away...

Northam Town Council

constructed in late 20th century Brutalist Style

and it's sister

Northam Public Library

The architect of these wonderful concrete buildings was Bulgarian born Iwan Iwanoff (1919-1986) You might remember this house I fell in love with...another wonderful Iwanoff...there are quite a few wonderful homes by Iwanoff not too far from where we live. And yes, we've driven past to check them out! A girl can always dream right?

Library again

grey, drab? never!

(All pics 6000 times)

I just think it is so cool that a conservative country town had the vision to hire an architect like Iwanoff to create such interesting public buildings.
I'm so glad we decided to extend our pie drive to really was an unexpected thrill to discover them.

Unfortunately I don't have a tea towel from Northam, this one will have to do...

it is West Australian after all...


  1. I'd love to visit -le sigh- ;)

  2. Those Iwanoff buildings are so striking! Much more like something you'd see in a major city than a small town - I love the bold lines!

    Jem xXx

  3. Ooh I'm learning from you again - Brutalist style. Great name. Not quite my thing - but the contrast does look amazing against that sky. Your new picture is gorgeous however!

  4. Wow those buildings are incredible! There just isnt anything like it in my town :o( Scarlett x

  5. These buildings are lovely! I can see why the Town Council building took your breath away - I'm sure it looks even more amazing in person. Thanks for sharing!

  6. You can get away with grey in bright, sunny Aussie aye. Amazing buildings, a very east-of-the iron-curtain look they have x

  7. How funny. Thats where I grew up (and where my parents still are). When you go somewhere regularly you don't look at it with the same eyes as a visitor so thanks for the post! There are some beautiful buildings. My favourites are some of the delis and shops in the main street- they don't look like much from the outside but most have pressed tin ceilings with huge skylights in them. I know they cause a lot of the owners headaches though because they leak etc. as they are quite old.

  8. Do you know where I can get a WA 150th anniversary swan emblem T-shirt?

  9. Thank goodness for Bulgaria really.