Written by

Andrew Millar


March 6, 2008

Every big city has a tower.

Seattle has a tower. Pisa has a tower. Paris has a tower. London has a tower.

In Japan, most cities I went to in January had towers. The one in Sapporo was great though it swayed around in the wind a bit, which I didn’t like much.

New York had two towers, and in a lot of people’s minds it always will.

Closer to home, Sydney has a tower. And a bridge. And an iconic Opera House.

And I could go on, because it seems towers are important to cities. The question is why?

Well, apart from the spectacular and honest view they offer of a city, it is the view from the bottom looking up that is equally as valuable. I think they remind the locals of what they can achieve. They stand as symbols of pride. They are rally points for big ideas and blue sky progressive thinking. I imagine the very first time someone suggests their construction, the conversation would start with ‘Let’s build something really spectacular, because we can.’

In Adelaide, we don’t have one of these ‘flag poles of inspiration’. The closest is a building that will always remind us of a local bank that spun ‘out of control’. In other words at the centre of our city stands a symbol of disappointment.

That’s about as motivating as a beautifully wrapped empty box.

But perhaps we have something that will serve the purpose of showing us what we can do and hopefully inspire us to do more of the same.

We perhaps have the world’s only horizontal inspiration tower.

It’s called the Clipsal 500 and I think it’s the greatest proof we have as locals that we can achieve something spectacularly World Class, just because we can.

There is nothing like it. It is unique. It is successful. It is a hell of a lot of fun. And it appears to be growing in popularity every year. But of course Adelaide being Adelaide, there will always be those selfish few who would rather not be inconvenienced. These isolationists express and justify their argument along the lines that ‘the parklands were meant for everyone to enjoy, not to use’. I actually think they are all xenophobic and see the parklands as a moat. I’m sure they simply want all outsiders to just go away. Typical anti progress, anti change, antediluvian thinking.

I’m sure if someone suggested turning Bartels Road and King William Road into drawbridges, it would be one development that would be passed by these secessionists from a modern exciting world – as long as it didn’t interrupt their unspoilt view of yesterday, that is.

Andrew Millar
Creative Director