Freo's View


Posted in architecture, city of fremantle, development, Uncategorized by freoview on June 7, 2017



One of the pleasures of living in Fremantle is that one bumps into many people when one wanders the streets, so I was delighted to have a coffee and chat with architect Murray Slavin on the weekend, when he was walking his great dog that loves carrots.

Of course  when Murray and I catch up architecture and development in Fremantle is on the agenda.

I have been thinking for quite a few years why it is that modern development in Fremantle is mainly functional and often not very attractive. We get concrete square boxes instead of heritage of the future buildings.

Too many modern buildings lack attention to detail, there is no softness, no round shapes, just 90 degree corner angles. There are no features and no accentuation of great craftsmanship.

I am not suggesting at all that I would like to see mock heritage, but why don’t developers build small spikes, cupolas, towers, verandahs instead of boring awnings, different shaped  balconies and windows.

Why are there not more architectural features that become the new public art and are part of the building, instead of adding-sometimes inappropriate-art as an after thought.

And why is an eight-storey building just that and hardly ever a building that varies in height and becomes more attractive that way? A roof garden does not have to be on the top, it could be part of the third or fourth floor.

Facades of large development should be split up so that it looks as if there is more than just the one building and it creates a rhythm along the streetscape.

Existing streetscapes are mostly ignored and not respected in this selfie-period of architecture and look at me design, rather that adding to the spatial realm.

Unfortunately planning rules are very restrictive and local governments can’t really not approve building because they are not beautiful enough. I hope state government will improve the rules before we end up with a visual disaster.

Roel Loopers

3 Responses

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  1. freoview said, on June 7, 2017 at 4:13 pm

    There is a lot of uninspiring public art in WA and some outstanding good ones.


  2. Steve said, on June 7, 2017 at 2:12 pm

    A great example of poor architecture is the building in your previous post that Centrelink is moving into. That atrocity has sat empty for ~2 years because no business that depended on consumer choice would want to put themselves in a building that resembles a 1970s jail. I’m sure Centrelink is getting a super cheap rent to move in there, and I’m sure the people who bought apartments above it are livid that they’re now going to be sharing a building with Centrelink.

  3. Sam said, on June 7, 2017 at 12:22 pm

    More often then not buildings are built to a cost and the mediocre vision of the client. I too wish there were more stunning designs like the MSC building in Cliff St. And don’t get me started on the sad state of public art in this state…

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