Freo's View


Posted in city of fremantle, education, notre dame university, Uncategorized by freoview on June 16, 2017

I received this media statement from Fremantle Notre Dame University Vice Chancellor Celia Hammond and publish it in full.

I have highlighted some essential parts of it in bold.


Media Statement
For immediate release: Friday 16 June 2017
RE: Proposed School of Nursing & Midwifery building – 3-5 High Street ______________________________________________________________________________

In November 2016 The University of Notre Dame Australia announced plans for a new development at 3-5 High Street in Fremantle to house its successful and highly rated School of Nursing & Midwifery. Notre Dame’s architects and planners worked to a brief designed to provide the best possible facilities for students, to maximise street activation of the West End precinct and retain the existing heritage façade. Advice from the Heritage Council of Western Australia and the Fremantle Design Advisory Committee was sought and incorporated throughout the design process.

The University was enthusiastic about the resulting development and what it would bring for the future education of our students. The University was also mindful that the site is historically significant, and represents a key element in the continuing revitalisation of Fremantle’s West End.

Following consideration by the Fremantle Council, the University adjourned its subsequent application before the Joint Development Assessment Panel. The purpose of the adjournment was to consider matters raised by the Council (both in reports and discussions) and independently, by the community and community bodies. In addition, the University engaged the TPG Place
Match group to undertake further independent consultation regarding the proposed development.

As a result of this detailed consultation, and following thorough consideration of all feedback, the University has decided not to proceed with its current plan and to withdraw its current application for planning approval.

The University would like to thank all those who have contributed to this discussion. We have listened to, and taken account of, all feedback – both critical and complimentary. This has not only helped us reach our decision not to proceed with the current plan, but excited us about the potential for this building.

The University does therefore remain committed to this development and to ensuring that our nursing and midwifery students have access to state-of-the-art learning facilities. We also remain committed to our role as a key member of the Fremantle community, in developing a building that is architecturally and historically significant, sensitive to heritage, and an important contributor to the continuing revitalisation of the West End of Fremantle.

We will be releasing information about the next steps in relation to this development in the coming weeks.


4 Responses

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  1. freoview said, on June 17, 2017 at 9:34 am

    The School of Nursing and Midwifery will still be built on the corner of High and Cliff streets, but UNDA wants it to be a much better building than the one proposed, hence they are starting from scratch.


  2. bigjulie said, on June 17, 2017 at 6:23 am

    Not placing the nursing school in the West End is wise and logical.
    The place for such an essential training school is close to the hospital birthing area and surgical theaters. To be remote would be akin to the Chateau Generals of WW1 who were far away from the trenches. Theaters are the core of a hospital: they drive the ability to solve the unexpected. Anesthetists need to be readily available especially when there are birth complications. The West End would have had a huge logistical impact of emergency vehicles or doctors shuttling back and forth. Wisdom reigned. A building full of historians and books almost does not even require electricity!

  3. freoview said, on June 16, 2017 at 7:01 pm

    Totally agree with you on this Carl. I would be interested in a forum that sets up more detailed design guidelines and ‘rules’ because the personal taste stuff does not work and the Fremantle Design Advisory Committee appears more of a lame duck than having serious impact on getting better architecture in Freo.


  4. Carl Payne said, on June 16, 2017 at 5:10 pm

    I guess we await the details of the Uni’s “next steps”, with interest. At this stage, all we can do is assume that they want to develop a new building. And a “good” building.
    There are both “good and not-so-good” examples of what infill buildings in a sensitive heritage area might respond to. There is always subjective judgment. Always will be.
    But there are also some established “rules” on how to approach the task of heritage infill. These are outlined in the Burra Charter; in other guidelines; and will always be the subject of much debate.
    But rules that relate to scale; proportion; density; texture; material; colour, and the like, are as old as the design dogma of ancient Greece. These were copied, but diluted and mixed ‘n matched by the Romans. This matching – and mixing – has continued for thousands of years.
    We are no closer to developing/establishing/policing clear guidelines than we have ever been. Issues of “personal taste”; personal economic “freedoms”; and “artist creativity” hamstring us.
    And over-reaching and generic management never resolves anything.
    So we flounder; and we fluster, looking, waiting for individual creative genius to rescue us.
    It ain’t that common on the ground.

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