Geo Joker

I wonder what the first person to build a staircase was thinking? I guess they were probably setting out to solve the problem of how to reduce slippage while walking up an incline, with the solution being to build a structure that enables each footfall to occur on a flat surface. Still, the whole zig-zag shape we now take for granted must have looked at least a little bit comical, in a right-angular sort of way.

I’ll own that I have a particularly geometric sense of humour. I think it comes from being a professional statistician with a personal interest in modernist architecture. Yes, I do find it to be a big joke, and a very good one at that. Sadly, not too many people are in on it. The cheese stands alone.

The glasswork on mid to late twentieth century office blocks particularly kills me, to the extent that I’ve considered becoming a glazier. Melbourne is rife with the kind of thing I’m referring to, but it’s a bit hard to put into words without having an example right in front of you, plus the right historical knowledge to contextualise it. But I’ll give it a red hot go.

Take your garden variety outdoor glass balustrade. Melbourne CBD is home to plenty of examples, if you keep your eyes peeled. Next time you clock one, take note of the angle it’s positioned at relative to the ground, which will be the same incline as that of the staircase it’s paired with. Then, mentally bisect that angle and compare it to the angle of the sun to the highest point of the building, viewed from the bottom of the staircase, at precisely 4pm. Finally, add 20% to your calculation.

Trust me, this works every time. Once you see it you won’t be able to unsee it. Don’t feel too badly if you don’t get it, though. It’s definitely on the obscure side of architectural appreciation.

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Tailored Solution

We’ve got this new concept for the shop, and I’m not sure how it’s going to go. It was Edgar’s idea. In short, we have our garment showroom up front, and a workshop up the back, with a glass wall dividing the two. The idea is that customers can see our tailors at work and connect this vision of handcrafted bespoke-ness to our wares.

It’s a good idea in theory. I’m just concerned about keeping the workshop looking presentable – it tends to get pretty messy in there, especially at peak times. Do we really want customers to be able to see clean through the glass partition to the takeaway boxes and dirty coffee cups piling up amidst the mounds of disorganised papers and fabric offcuts?

One option I have in mind is going for a frosted glass effect – you know, that etched sort of look. Maybe we could use something like that to give a semi-obscured peep into the work process without giving away all our secrets, particularly the less glamorous ones such as Nadia’s penchant for chips or Simon’s incessant stress-vaping.

It sounds kind of expensive, but I vaguely recall Simon mentioning something about adhesive films that go on glass for precisely this purpose. Maybe that’d be the most cost-effective way of doing it. I have a feeling that it’s offered by commercial glass tinting services. Have you done anything like this? Do you have any suggestions or recommendations?

Edgar’s not one to be argued with. I mean, I argue with him plenty, but he’s not going to take no for an answer on this ‘peep into the workshop’ idea, so I feeling like a frosted partition is a pretty decent middle ground. We’ll get the privacy we need (or, at least, should probably have if we want to stay in business) and Edgar gets his public parade of craftsmanship.

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Of Bikes and Balustrades

We had a killer long weekend away in the mountains. It would have been perfect, if not for the fact that we returned  last night to find that our neighbour had ploughed his motorbike directly into our front garden. Just what we needed!

Not only are our new season plantings looking worse for wear, there’s a mighty crack in our new glass balustrade. Melbourne’s south eastern suburbs aren’t exactly a hot spot for this sort of thing, so it’s a bit of a surprise for all concerned (including our neighbour, who has apologised profusely). I’m sure he’s got enough on his plate what with his broken bike and all, but he’s going to have to foot the repair bill for the balustrade nonetheless.

We seriously just had that thing installed last month. We didn’t really need it, but we were updating to glass pool fencing out back and figured we might as well give the front of the house a face-lift while we were at it. This glass is supposed to be really sturdy, but I guess barrelling a motorbike into it will put even the toughest fencing material to the test.

Well, we might not have to replace it – Steph says a repair job might be possible. I’m not sure how that would work, though; how does one repair a cracked glass panel? I suppose the only way to find out is to call in a professional glass fitter. Melbourne – any recommendations for someone trustworthy who can get this done fast?

While I’m at it, I should consider getting them to have a look at our kitchen glass splashback, which I’ve been wanting to have replaced for a while now. There’s nothing wrong with it, but it’s a terrible shade of terracotta. Maybe said glazier could give me a quote on that. A splashback on our front steps wouldn’t go astray either – just in case Ed decides to slam his bike into them again.

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