Freo's View

FREMANTLE ARCHITECTURE AND MULTICULTURALISM

Posted in architecture, city of fremantle, development, Uncategorized by freoview on May 30, 2017

The controversial and often mediocre development proposals we get in Fremantle made me contemplate what good and acceptable architecture for our city is.

Some people say it is just personal taste, and the Fremantle Chamber of Commerce is quite happy to accept higher and architecturally average buildings in the historic West End than the planning scheme allows, because for them it is all about activation and revitalising the retail and hospitality economy. Will ugliness really achieve that?

Developing a city is much more than just adding new modern buildings and trying to push-start the economy with mediocrity for short-term gain.

Good architecture is like successful immigration and the integration into a multicultural society. It is about respecting and enhancing the diversity, blending in while retaining one’s culture, and making a positive difference to the community one joins. It’s about being considerate and accepting one comes into and adds to an established society, a streetscape, a history.

Architecture should be about respecting and enhancing the streetscape and blending in with what is already there. It is about accepting and respecting the history of place and the unique character a city like Fremantle has.

That does not mean we can’t have iconic buildings that make a statement about how good modern architecture can be, but it should not be about architects showing off their ego and ignoring the heritage significance of place.

It is telling and refreshing that Notre Dame University took the concerns of the community and Fremantle Council serious and will now redesign the new School of Nursing they want to build on the corner of Cliff and High streets. It shows real consideration and maturity, and the willingness to compromise to achieve a better outcome for Fremantle. That is what respect for one’s community should be all about!

Development should not be about trying to ram unacceptable ugly and too high buildings through at the W.A. Development Assessment Panel or State Administrative Tribunal, but it should be about making Fremantle even more beautiful and special, and outstanding modern architecture will do that.

Developers who want to come to Fremantle need to engage architects who acknowledge and respect that our city is different and unique and that there is greatness in detail, diversity of heights and splitting up facades, so that modern buildings do not look too massive in our low-rise environment.

Boring concrete boxes are just not on. They are proof of lazy, disrespectful architects and lack of creativity. We don’t want or need them in Freo!

When we cook we don’t just throw things in a pot and hope that somehow it will become a great meal. We carefully blend ingredients and spices to create the wow factor around the table and impress our guests. That is what architects need to do in Fremantle, because a lamb korma pizza with with mayo, tofu and pineapple, topped with Chinese dumplings won’t impress too many people.

To ignore Freo’s history when one designs new buildings for our city is ignoring that trees can’t survive without their roots. Our past is part of us and shapes our future.

Roel Loopers

2 Responses

Subscribe to comments with RSS.

  1. freoview said, on May 31, 2017 at 12:32 pm

    What are you wondering about Robert. Tell me and I’ll answer your questions.

    Roel

  2. Robert said, on May 30, 2017 at 10:45 pm

    I wonder about you Roel.
    But well said on this one,. Where is all the rest of the supporters?


Comments are closed.

%d bloggers like this: