Freo's View

A FREMANTLE TALE OF TWO TRIANGLES AND A SQUARE

Posted in architecture, city of fremantle, development, kings square, Uncategorized by freoview on July 22, 2017

 

There is a bit of ambiguity in this little snippet of the invitation to a Kings Square information session by the FRRAemantle Society.

“The Fremantle Society has from day one expressed concern at the King’s Square Business Plan. That and the flawed King’s Square Urban Design Study by CODA architects have set the parameters for large buildings insensitive to the scale of the historic human scale of Fremantle, the nearby World Heritage listed Fremantle Prison, turning King’s Square into King’s Triangle.” 

It was not the CODA Kings Square Urban Design Study that set the parameters for medium-rise buildings at Kings Square, but Planning Scheme Amendment 49, approved by the Minister in 2012.

PSA 49 identified 13 sites in the Fremantle CBD for high density infill. One site will become the Hilton Doubletree development, the Woolstores shopping centre site is another one, and Kings Square is also one of the PSA 49 sites.

Some of the historic woolstores in Fremantle are well above the “human scale” we constantly hear the Fremantle Society talking about, and the Townhall probably would not have been approved because of its height if FS had had anything to say about it.

The medium-rise Kings Square development will have no impact whatsoever on Fremantle Prison.

The lament about Kings Square being changed into two triangles is tedious, as in 1881 High Street was extended through the square, so two triangles were created then. One triangle belongs to St John’s church, the other triangle is City of Fremantle.

Only in 1960 was High Street closed and the square returned to a square, but the High Street road reserve still exists and St John’s church still own half of the square, realistically making it into two triangles.

Even now some traders in the West End want to reopen High Street through Kings Square to help their struggling businesses, but I hope that will never happen.

High density infill is a State Government requirement, and the near derelict condition of the city east of Kings Square will only benefit from substantial development, that will greatly help improve the retail and hospitality economy in our city.

Nothing is constant in life. The world changes, Fremantle progresses and modernises, and that is a good thing. We don’t live in a museum, but in a living, breathing space full of energy, innovation, change, creativity, and after 40 years of stagnation and hibernation, finally development!

What we need to be far more concerned about than the Kings Square Project and development in the East End is the relentless push by developers to get extra height in the historic West End of the city. That is not acceptable and needs to be stopped!

Roel Loopers

SAY NO TO RUBBISH DEVELOPMENT IN FREO’S WEST END!

Posted in architecture, city of fremantle, development, Uncategorized, western australia by freoview on July 21, 2017

 

Pakenham Street development proposal

 

EARLY WARNING FOR HERITAGE PROTECTION!!!!!

The absolutely inappropriate huge five-storey development for Fremantle’s Pakenham Street and the Customs Building is on the Fremantle Council agenda for this coming Wednesday.

It needs to be refused and it needs to be made clear to the WA Development Assessment Panel(JDAP) that the Fremantle community will not compromise on the preservation of the historic West End!

I understand that the C0F officers’ recommendation is for a robust refusal of the proposal, but we need to be there in force to tell our Elected Members that this is a rubbish proposal. It’s not only too heigh and too big for the heritage precinct, but it is also very ugly.

I will publish more about this once the agenda becomes available on-line at 4pm today, and when I have read all the details of the Fremantle Design Advisory Panel and planning staff.

SAY NO TO RUBBISH DEVELOPMENT IN FREO’S HERITAGE WEST END PRECINCT!

Roel Loopers

FREMANTLE’S UNIQUE HERITAGE SIGNIFICANCE ACKNOWLEDGED

Posted in architecture, city of fremantle, heritage, historic, Uncategorized, western australia by freoview on July 18, 2017

 

 

The new Western Australian Minister for Heritage David Templeman came into Fremantle today, in the company of Freo’s own Minister Simone McGurk, to announce at the National Hotel the official permanent listing of the historic West End in the State Register of Heritage Places.

The Minister said this was the largest single place to be included in the state register. The area of the Goldrush Period includes 250 buildings and 200,000sqm.

Templeman said that the City of Fremantle had played a critical role in the very long process and that the report about it is 574 pages long. It was a process of collaboartion with state and federal agencies, property owners and Fremantle Council and administration.

Fremantle is unique, the Minister said, and the state heritage listing has the potential to increase tourism marketing and attract new bars and eating opportunities.

The listing does not mean however that the place can not be altered and developed, he said.

Fremantle Mayor Brad Pettitt said he was proud to have been part of the process that took a very long time.

The listing changes the way we understand heritage, the Mayor said, and he quoted CoF heritage architect Alan Kelsall that Fremantle is not a museum and that it was essential to restore and use heritage buildings.

National Hotel owner Karl Bullers said there needed to be more state and national marketing for the historic area and the state listing would be a catalyst to drive heritage tourism to Fremantle.

Heritage and business need to work together as there needs to be a good return on investment.

Heritage is getting quite trendy, Bullers told the audience.

Roel Loopers

I JUST LOVE FREO!

Posted in architecture, city of fremantle, heritage, photography, Uncategorized by freoview on July 17, 2017

 

High Street 1

 

I just love Freo! I love being part of this great community and this unique city.

Took this photo a couple of hours ago from the Roundhouse steps.

Roel Loopers

FREO ARCHITECT DAVID BARR STEPS UP

Posted in architecture, fremantle, home, housing, living, Uncategorized by freoview on July 12, 2017

 

01_ARCHITECTURAL DOCUMENT_1

 

Congratulations to Fremantle architect DAVID BARR who won the LandCorp Step Up competition for sustainable medium-density housing with their ‘passive haus’ design for North Coogee.

Here the reasons why the judges believe they deserved to win:

KEY POINTS

AFFORDABLE DESIGNS
The winning design delivers a cost-effective build process, but also addresses the ongoing cost of living in the home through sustainability measures and shared facilities.

DESIGN QUALITY
Featuring an active edge, with integrated planter boxes on balconies and gold-finned window frames, a roof garden and shaded back verandah, the design offers a balance of privacy and community and will deliver an attractive, landmark development.

SUSTAINABILITY
The project will be Western Australia’s first apartment building to achieve an average 9-star NatHERS rating. It employs climate-responsive design and will be a Zero Energy building, meaning it will generate more energy than it consumes annually.

INNOVATION
The project will use a prefabricated ‘passive haus’ construction system, the first of its kind in Western Australia, which allows a rapid build process and significant savings on construction costs.

ENERGY EFFICIENCY
A PV system supported by 42kWh of energy storage will allow energy generated on-site to be used on-site, reducing peak demand by 30%.

WATER EFFICIENCY
A shared underground rainwater tank and above-code water efficiency measures are expected to reduce average water use by 60% and cut household water bills by up to $180 a year.

WASTE EFFICIENCY
Construction waste is dramatically reduced as a result of the prefabricated ‘passive haus’ system, and any waste created during the build will be recycled. The project includes space for green waste composting and a ‘swap space’ allowing residents to offer items they no longer need, but which may be useful to someone else.

BY GEORGE! BUT WILL IT BE ROYAL?

Posted in architecture, development, east fremantle, Uncategorized by freoview on July 9, 2017

 

 

It looks like finally something will happen at the Royal George Hotel in East Fremantle, with Council advertising a planned amendment (No 15) to Local Planning Scheme 3 and create a Special Zone Royal George Hotel that will deal with height, setbacks, public art, heritage conservation, etc.

The vacant and derelict building has been an eyesore for far too many years, to the chagrin of local residents and businesses. It became a target for homeless people, vandalism and graffiti, so renovating the old lady and getting it occupied again will be a very good step forward.

But I heard from local residents this morning that there are plans for a ten-storey building on the carpark behind the heritage building and that could become controversial.

Height is not necessarily  a bad thing, but it is the architecture that is often a worry, as the development next door in Duke Street of the Lauder&Howard building shows.

The very boring dark brick building should not have been approved and I feel sorry for the people next door whose house is set back and now intimidated by the scale of the boring apartment building.

It is a real blight on the streetscape of Duke Street and the elected members of the Town of East Fremantle will be the only ones who believe this building is acceptable in a low-rise residential area. Aesthetics? Never heard off it!

According to the signs the Amendment No 15 proposal can be viewed at the Townhall. Not sure why it is not on-line. It’s 2017 East Fremantle!

Roel Loopers

HAPPY BIRTHDAY TO FREO’S CODA ARCHITECTS

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

 

I just noted on Twitter that Fremantle architects and city planners CODA are celebrating their fifth anniversary, so happy birthday from me!

The Tweet reads: CODA 3.0 : frantic + fun 5 years in which we celebrated the delivery of public work, an expanded design team and our move into central Freo!

I am a fan of CODA and have been impressed with the work they have been doing and the very good community consultation projects they have been involved with in Fremantle.

The one project that stands out for me were the many sessions for Fremantle Ports about the Victoria Quay development. CODA director Kieran Wong was excellent and showed that leaving ones ego as home results in better outcomes.

Roel Loopers

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FREO NEEDS FAMILY FRIENDLY DEVELOPMENT

Posted in architecture, city of fremantle, family, living, Uncategorized by freoview on July 6, 2017

 

Interesting to read that there is an increasing demand for big 3-4 bedroom apartments by people who want to down-size from a house to a unit.

There is and oversupply of small 1-2 bedroom apartments in the Perth metropolitan area and some planned projects have been put on hold or cancelled because supply well exceeds demand in these difficult economic times.

The demand is for extra and larger living spaces for families and also for the 3rd or 4th bedroom to be used as a home office.

I believe this is relevant for Fremantle where new residential apartments don’t appear to cater for singles and couple, but not for families.

Freo is a family city and we love kids and it would be a shame if new infill development did exclude families because the units are too small and not family friendly.

 

Roel Loopers

EXCITING FREMANTLE KINGS SQUARE PROJECT

Posted in architecture, city of fremantle, kings square, Uncategorized by freoview on June 30, 2017

 

ks 4

 

The City of Fremantle and Sirona Capital held a Kings Square Local Traders Forum at the Federal Hotel on Thursday evening to update the businesses most affected by the Kings Square Project, which will start next month.

Fremantle Mayor Brad Pettitt and Sirona Capital managing director Matthew McNeilly presented the exciting project in detail and were assisted by Probuild managing director Sam Delmenico who will be responsible for the construction of the four buildings.

The Kings Square project is the biggest development ever in Fremantle and will take about 30 months to completion, with retailers expected to move in by mid 2019 and state government agencies by the start of 2020.

1,155  workers will be on the construction site full time for the 30 months, which will be a boost for the local cafes and traders. Most importantly they will also be there during the very quiet first half of the week, so local traders will no doubt benefit from it.

Probuild and the City should make sure that none of those building site coffee vans will drive to the construction site daily as that would negatively impact on Fremantle traders!

Matthew McNeilly told the audience that this is an extraordinary project for Fremantle that will significantly add to the Fremantle retail and hospitality experience. It will be a catalyst for future investment and development in our city.

There will also be an $ 8.5 million investment in the public realms with public art, nature playground, etc. which will make Kings Square an attractive place of lingering and relaxation in the city. It is meant to be a place for families to come to.

The new library in the Civic Centre will have 50% more space and badly-needed 11 community meeting spaces.

Mayor Brad Pettitt said it would be one of the most green buildings in Western Australia and that Fremantle could absolutely afford to build it. It is an investment into the City’s future!

Matthew McNeilly promised a whole new ‘deconstructed’ retail concept that is authentically Fremante, and a big exciting marketing campaign.

The precinct will be multi-layered with laneways running in different angles. It will be design-inspired retail and it will become a significant retail precinct for Freo.

Sirona Capital will also spend $ 8 million on the Queensgate carpark and activate Henderson and Queen streets with street level retail.

They will try to keep the carpark open for as long as possible but it will have to be temporarily closed at times, but 165 new parking bays will be provided at the Stan Reilley site and the vacant space on the corner of Point and Adelaide streets will also be made into a public carpark to add additional parking bays.

Probuild will try to minimise the impact of the construction site for local traders but it is important for them to receive feedback on any issues that might arise, so there is a new hotline to call: 1300 KSFREO.

While some concerns were raised by the traders present there was more of a sense of excited anticipation about the future of Fremantle and the much-needed economic recovery and making Freo a seven day a week shopping destination.

Fremantle Silverleaf director Gerard O’Brien was also at the forum and will have picked up some tips on how to proceed with the very important Woolstores shopping centre site development. Plans for that should be debated at Fremantle Council in the next month or so.

I personally feel like a child that has to wait before it is allowed to open his Christmas presents. I can only see good and positive things coming out of all the development in Fremantle. More people living, working and visiting the inner city will be fantastic!

Roel Loopers

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NEW FREO CIVIC CENTRE GOOD FOR HERITAGE

Posted in architecture, city of fremantle, kings square, Uncategorized by freoview on June 28, 2017

 

kings square_lr_1498613599015

 

An independent report by heritage experts Griffiths Architects has concluded that the new City of Fremantle civic building at Kings Square has a ‘favourable effect on heritage’ by providing strong interactions between the historic Fremantle Town Hall and the civic and community functions of the new building.

The soon-to-be-built $50m administration and library building will enhance the important heritage aspects of Fremantle’s Kings Square according to the recently received heritage impact statement.

The report advises the new building will help return the town hall to prominence by reintegrating the town hall back into the centre of civic life:

The overall presentation of the town hall, civic functions and administration will be visually enhanced by a more integrated 21st century building that relates well to the town hall, Kings Square and William Street and Newman Court.

The changes will reintegrate the town hall back into day-to-day city life, provide proper connections to services and lift areas and ensure that contemporary requirements that can be so damaging to historic buildings are located in the new building.

Fremantle Council wanted a long-term approach in determining the design for the new building and that it must stand the test of time to last 100 years or more to become Fremantle’s future heritage.

Council weighed up all the information and decided a full redevelopment rather than a refurbishment of the existing building would be best to meet the long-term needs of the Fremantle community.

The Griffiths Architects report was critical of the current building, saying it had failed to make a positive contribution to the urban setting of Kings Square, was intrusive, dislocated the town hall from its administrative functions and was past its useful life.

The current building is inefficient from an environmental and operating cost perspective, suffers from concrete cancer, has significant asbestos contamination issues and does not meet legal disability access requirements.

I don’t believe Fremantle Council has decided yet if it will add a third floor to the new Civic Centre, but I think it would be remiss, and Council would fail in their duty, if they did not plan for the future of a larger Fremantle, when there is little doubt that Fremantle is growing and local government reform through amalgamations will happen in the not too distant future.

The Kings Square Project will be a huge game-changer for Fremantle and change our fortunes for the better. I can’t wait for it to start!!

Roel Loopers

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