Freo's View



An opinion piece in the West Australian by Suzanne Hunt, the WA president of the Architects Institute of Australia, caught my eye because the headline claims that ‘Architects make great cities’ I don’t believe the architectural reality in Perth can sustain that claim.

Ms Hunt wants architects appointed to the Metronet Reference Group and Infrastructure WA, because in her words It would ensure that local planning incorporates the very best examples of good design. Really?!

Suzanne Hunt also writes that Architects advocate for small policy decisions, which create happier, healthier and more connected suburbs, but that is unfortunately not what most of her colleagues are doing.

Drive and walk through the Perth metro area and you’ll see mostly boring, mediocre and visually unattractive multi-storey buildings, which have little regard for the streetscape and public amenity and which do very little to add new public open spaces with trees.

What we have been getting instead are bland concrete boxes which are often too high and bulky. The ‘creativity’ of the architects is putting cladding or screening on facades to hide the boredom of the actual building. That is make-up only that is trying to hide the flaws.

I get it that architects need to make a living and that the developers they design projects for are mostly interested in getting as much profit-making floor space as possible, and that beauty, aesthetics and great design are not  priorities for them, hence many architects compromise and design average buildings, instead of enhancing our suburbs with creative and inspiring new buildings.

That is the reason why so many of us are against suburban infill, not necessarily because of the proposed hight and bulk, but because we want to retain the unique character of older places like Fremantle, and that means we want heritage of the future in outstanding and beautiful buildings, not mediocrity.

Roel Loopers

2 Responses

Subscribe to comments with RSS.

  1. w3st3ndr3sid3nt said, on November 25, 2018 at 7:41 am

    To paraphrase GBS, “Those who can’t do teach. Those who can’t teach become critics.”


  2. bigjulie said, on November 25, 2018 at 3:46 am

    Alas, you may be correct. This article discusses another city but it has comments from around the world. Whatever the artistic scope or Orwellian oversight, it should never preclude the Antoni Gaudi or Hector Guimard innovators. All true artists sign their work so architects should be required to sign their buildings with a small brass plaque.


Comments are closed.

%d bloggers like this: