Matthew Shain


Zhidong Zhang

Artist Feature

Every week an artist is featured whose single image was published by Der Greif. The Feature shows the image in the original context of the series.

Michael Corridore - Waste for progress

Feb 24, 2021

I had the opportunity to photograph this decommissioned building by a researcher that had worked there when it was the National Acoustic Laboratory and Ultrasonics Institute. The building was designed the Department of Housing & Construction in 1975, in West Chatswood located 12km from the Sydney CBD, in NSW Australia.


The late 20th Century Brutalist style building was a purpose-built scientific facility. The research facilities were world class and functioned perfectly until the Government in their short-sighted wisdom, chose to sell off the building among many other unique Government buildings to reduce their financial liabilities of publicly funded facilities. The building sat on the edge of a national park, with access to unique Australian native bush and animals.


The building was sold to a property developer for 6 million dollars, to be demolished and make way for a high-density residential development. The plans to develop the site were rejected by the local residents and the local council. The building survived untouched. The developers sold the untouched building and site to a private religion known as Advanced Organisation and Saint Hill ANZO (Church of Scientology) for a reported 30 million dollars.


The government not only cost the taxpayers 24 million dollars in their haste to balance their budget, but they sacrificed a research facility that could still function today and into the future. The 6 million dollars gained from the sale of the building will never cover the financial and environmental cost of building a new replacement facility.