Freo's View

SIX STOREY PLANS FOR OLD FREMANTLE COURTHOUSE

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

 

 

Fremantle developers Silverleaf have submitted plans to the City of Fremantle for the development of the Henderson Street Police and Court complex and Warders Cottages.

The mixed-use plans include a six-storey (58 rooms) hotel, changing the former Courthouse into a bar and restaurant and the Warders Cottages and Police Station into assorted shop tenancies and commercial units.

Silverleaf’s proposals for the Manning Building also includes a tavern and micro-brewery and their plans for the Woolstores shopping centre site include a tavern as well, so I am not at all sure that Fremantle needs three new taverns in the CBD.

Check out the plans on Have Your Say on the City of Fremantle website.

 

Roel Loopers

FREMANTLE DEMANDS CREATIVE ARCHITECTURE!

Posted in architecture, city of fremantle, development, heritage, Uncategorized by freoview on November 8, 2017

 

MSC 1

MSC 2

 

It is slow news day in Fremantle today, so not much to blog about unfortunately.

But walking through Cliff Street this morning I admired the innovative architecture of the Mediterranean Shipping Company new building and the respectful way the old building has been restored to its former glory.

It is fantastic to see that North Fremantle Slavin Architects were allowed to design such a creative heritage of the future building by their client MSC, and I wonder why one of our major developers Silverleaf constantly puts up mediocre development proposals, such as the Woolstores shopping centre and Manning building sites.

Do Silverleaf’s designers not understand the importance of heritage and streetscape, or can’t they be bothered being considered about the unique character of the historic Fremantle inner city?

It is important in this context to hear what professional architect Carl Payne commented about the Manning Building proposal:

In terms of the scale of Village-Fremantle, this is a massive re-defining of a hugely-important central “super-block”. We need to preserve the maximum original structures as is reasonably possible, both externally and internally.
The brewery-barn takes a lot of important old rear buildings – some of the early residential sections of the original street-front commercial, so that’s always a worry, because we lose historic context.
If Council played harder-ball, the design brief could respond by converting these into inter-related “snugs”; like the cosy-corners in European and British pubs. It just needs some strength and commitment from Council; and some imaginative responses from the building designers and their client.
I’m sick of lose/lose.
What about win/win. It’s possible if we try hard enough.
My other additional preliminary comment is that we now have a chance to fully restore/reconstruct all original street verandas, yet we are being offered a banal boxy awning. Not good enough you building designers!!!

I want Mayor Brad to come out strongly; and NOT say that we need to encourage investment and therefore we need to give a little. Getting a bit sick of that from Brad.
He needs to make a stand on what IS acceptable; and what ISN’T acceptable. We can now look back on the last few “development years”……..and measure what is good; and what is not so good.
It’s not development versus museum town any more. Those arguments were had in the seventies.
We need to be more mature than that now.
If the building owners/developers wanna make a buck – fair enough, but not at the expense of the town; not at the expense of the heritage; not at the expensive of missing the point of what Fremantle has to offer.

We just don’t really get it – yet. We go away and look at old towns overseas – rave on about character; and history; and all that. Then we are happy with stuff that chips away at the edges to the extent that all this chipping finally removes what we wanted to keep in the first place. Death by a thousand chips. Will you have fish with that?

Aaaaahhhhh!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

———-

Re my earlier reference to a banal boxy awning – I see the drawings actually show a detail, and that includes verandah posts and wall brackets, so there’s a nod to “original” detail, but is this just a generic reference? Or have they done their photo research etc?? Is this authenticity? Or just Disney?
And gee, the Paddy Troy Mall now ends in a basement carpark entry. The road to cars-ville. City of Fremantle, just drop the car-parking requirements please. OR, maybe this is just a client-driven detail, for business-owners parking?? Either way, it just reduces the internal courtyard to roads and car-park access. Do we really want to do this??

 

Roel Loopers

FREMANTLE MANNING BUILDING DEVELOPMENT

Posted in architecture, city of fremantle, heritage, Uncategorized by freoview on November 7, 2017

 

Manning Estate copy

Manning 2

 

Fremantle residents have until the end of the month to have their say on the planned refurbishment of the Manning Buildings in the city centre.

The heritage buildings – bounded by Market Street, High Street Mall and William Street – were built between 1902 and 1906.

The development proposal includes the restoration of original shopfronts and facades along High Street and Market Street, internal alterations and conservation works to the upper floor offices and ground floor shops.

The plans also include the partial demolition of some existing buildings at the rear of site, with the addition of two-storey offices off Paddy Troy Mall and a new building for a brewhouse, bar and restaurant at rear of existing buildings on William Street, including an undercroft carpark with 25 car bays.

A community information session will be held in the Reception Room on the first floor of the council offices at 8 William Street on Thursday 16 November from 5.30-6.00pm.

More information can be found on the My Say Freo website or by calling the City of Fremantle on 9432 9999.

People have until 28 November to comment on the proposal.

 

NOTRE DAME RETHINKS WEST END BUILDING PLANS

Posted in architecture, city of fremantle, heritage, notre dame university, Uncategorized by freoview on November 6, 2017

 

UNDA

 

It looks as if Fremantle Notre Dame University has abandoned their plans to build the new School of Nursing and Midwifery on the vacant block on the corner of High and Cliff Street in the historic West End.

I hear UNDA is looking for alternative options, but probably within their own property portfolio, so we’ll have to wait and see what will happen.

UNDA deserves to be congratulated for their community spirit and the fact they decided not to go ahead with the initial five-storey proposal, after Fremantle Council and the community objected to it.

The nursing school is very popular and has high demand, so there is a need for a bigger building to accommodate all those students who want to enrol in it.

Roel Loopers

 

NEW LIV AND FREO DIES A LITTLE

Posted in architecture, city of fremantle, development, Uncategorized by freoview on November 3, 2017

 

 

The Fremantle LIV apartments built by Defence Housing along Queen Victoria and Quarry streets have reached the highest point of the building.

The development should be completed in just over 12 months and will provide a lot of new residential apartments in the inner city.

It is an utter shame that the architecture could and should have been so much better, and that the massive building could have been a inspiring entry statement to our port city.

Boring buildings are not very Freo at all!

It is time the City of Fremantle organised a forum with architects, city planners, the community, etc. to see how we can put better planning rules in place that will ensure better architecture in our city.

 

Roel Loopers

SITE SPECIFIC ARCHITECTURE A MUST FOR FREMANTLE

Posted in architecture, city of fremantle, development, Uncategorized by freoview on November 2, 2017

 

There was an interesting article on the property pages of the WEST AUSTRALIAN yesterday by senior architect Carmel van Ruth of the Office of the WA Government Architect about how good design is the foundation of infill development.

Van Ruth argues that urban infill has a significant impact on the public realm and the surrounding communities and needs to deliver improved site-specific outcomes.

I have been concerned for a long time that the importance of site-specific architecture in Fremantle and other character suburbs is something that seems to be lost on most developers and architects/designers, who just want to build something that might look good in Joondalup or Midland, but has no place in Fremantle. That attitude needs to change to guarantee we get outstanding modern Freo-specific architecture in Fremantle.

Innovative solutions will ensure that developers will receive discretionary addition height concessions from councils, van Ruth writes, and I believe Fremantle Council should have stricter rules for discretionary height.

Only really exceptional architecture should receive a reward in height for developers and will make them aware that only excellent design will be a win for the community and for them.

Van Ruth also writes that it requires skilled architects who understand the significance of infill development to get the desired outcomes. I totally agree with her, as the Fremantle example of poor architecture for development proposals is not acceptable.

 

Roel Loopers

FREO COMMUNITY DEMANDS GREAT ARCHITECTURE

Posted in architecture, city of fremantle, development, Uncategorized by freoview on October 31, 2017

 

Woolstores

 

The latest boring and bland development proposal for the Fremantle Woolstores shopping centre by Silverleaf has made me aware once again that planning laws, rules and regulations are not adequate to ensure quality development in Fremantle.

It is not the height that worries me most, although PSA 49 should never have allowed anything higher than 8-9 storeys in the CBD, but it is the uninspiring architectural blandness of the proposal that makes me want to pull my hair out in frustration.

I like it that Silverleaf develop the properties they acquire relatively fast, but they are major development players in our city and need to understand they have a corporate responsibility to the Fremantle community to build high quality development, and not run of the mill mediocrity.

Silverleaf has every right to want to maximise the investment dollar with height and floor space, and I do understand that the triple bottom line is a priority for them.

They will also be developing the Manning Arcade and Henderson Street justice and police complex and adjoining Warders Cottages in the near future, so they need to realise that they do have an obligation to leave outstanding buildings for future generations.

The Mediterranean Shipping Company could have built a boring four-storey concrete box in Cliff Street, but instead got North Fremantle Slavin Architects to design an exceptional building for them that is heritage of the future quality.

After community backlash and Council rejection of the proposal, Notre Dame University decided that their community responsibility demanded they start all over again with the design of the new School of Nursing and Midwifery, because they understand their corporate obligations to Fremantle.

Developers who want to invest in Fremantle do need to understand they have an obligation to embrace, respect and enhance the unique character of our city. The anything goes and it’s good enough attitude toward development is not tolerated by the community.

Architects and designers should create more Fremantle-appropriate architecture that shows sensitivity toward Freo’s uniqueness, and major developers such as Silverleaf should insist on outstanding design because the Fremantle community demands it.

Great development is a win win for all!

Development plans can be viewed on the City of Fremantle website.

Roel Loopers

NEW WOOLSTORES DEVELOPMENT PLANS

Posted in architecture, city of fremantle, development, Uncategorized by freoview on October 26, 2017

 

Woolstores

 

Brand-new plans for the development of the Fremantle Woolstores shopping centre at Cantonment Street by Silverleaf are out and open for public submissions, so check out the City of Fremantle website.

The proposal is for a 4-10 storey mixed-use complex that would have shops, a market, a tavern, offices, student and aged-care accommodation, a carpark, etc.

There would be 799 car bays, 141 hotel rooms, 261 student accommodation and 155 retirement units.

 

Roel Loopers

BRILLIANT FREO WEST END PUBLIC ARTWORK

Posted in architecture, art, city of fremantle, fremantle festival, heritage, Uncategorized by freoview on October 24, 2017

 

A

 

Some of Freo’s View readers might say not again when they see this post about the Arcs D’Ellipses public artwork by Swiss artist Felice Varini, but I love the cleverness and creativity of the splendid Fremantle Festival work that is now near completion.

It is not just the great sense of perspective when one views the whole work from the Roundhouse steps, but all the quirky individual artworks it creates on the heritage buildings along High Street.

The work is part of High Tide that has many events and shows during this year’s festival that starts this weekend, so put your walking shoes on and head out to our beautiful West End.

How can one not love Freo!

 

Roel Loopers

EMBRACING GOOD URBAN INFILL

Posted in architecture, city of fremantle, development, local government, Uncategorized by freoview on October 20, 2017

 

The Perth’s Infill Housing Future report by the Bankwest Curtin Economic Centre has warned that the urban sprawl will create extreme infrastructure costs and traffic congestion.

It concluded that Perth is missing the vital medium-density housing options, and that forces people to live on the fringes, where property is more affordable.

There are many people who want to live closer to the centres but the housing options are not available to them, because the urban infill target of 47 per cent set by the WA government has not been met and is only at 35 per cent.

The report says that local councils play a key role in facilitating medium-density development and to help identify the right areas in the inner suburbs.

While Fremantle is getting substantial medium-density infill east of the CBD, there is not much happening further out, but there are very good opportunities at the Heart of Beaconsfield, Hilton centre, the Knutsford Sreet precinct, and North Fremantle’s McGabe Street.

One issue the report identifies is the NIMBY approach to higher density where locals just don’t want anything above four storeys. I believe it is not only that, but the boring and mediocre quality of architecture that we are getting in Fremantle.

More people would embrace medium to high density I believe, if we got more creative and visually appealing buildings, rather than square boxes with a bit of cladding around them.

 

Roel Loopers

Vote Roel for City Ward!

Comments Off on EMBRACING GOOD URBAN INFILL

%d bloggers like this: