Freo's View

NO HIGHER DENSITY FOR QUARRY STREET?

 

The potential scheme amendment and zoning to R100 density for the properties at 7 and 9-15 Quarry Street in Fremantle is unlikely to proceed because of strong community objections to the idea.

The properties are owned by the City of Fremantle, which wants to sell them, but the community consultation showed that local residents are in favour of zoning the street for low-density R25 instead of medium-density R100.

Main concerns were the impact on the residential amenity of the streetscape, so the officers’ recommendation for this Wednesday Planning Committee is:

The report concludes that whilst there is planning merit in establishing a consistent zoning and suitable transitional density in this location, the complexity of developing mechanisms sufficient to address concerns raised to the satisfaction of the community, and the relatively modest increase in centre catchment/development yield likely to be achieved, does not warrant progressing the matter through all the stages of a formal scheme amendment process.

Roel Loopers

MORE AWARDS FOR FREMANTLE SLAVIN ARCHITECTS

Posted in architecture, awards, buildings, city of fremantle, development, Uncategorized by freoview on September 8, 2018

 

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My friends at North Fremantle SLAVIN ARCHITECTS are getting showered with awards for the very creative Mediterranean Shipping Company building in Cliff Street.

They just received the 2018 Australian Steel Industry Award for Small Projects, and already were awarded with the 2017 WA Architecture Awards – Winner – Colorbond Steel Award for Innovation in Steel, 2017 WA Architecture Awards – Commendation – Sustainability, 2017 WA Heritage Awards – Finalist – Conservation or Adaptive Re-use, 2018 Australian Steel Institute – Winner – Steel Excellence (Small Buildings), and also van Diddens painters received 2016 Master Painters Awards – Winner – Historical Restoration and the 2016 Master Painters Awards – Winner – Industrial and Protective Coatings.

Make sure to consider our excellent Fremantle architects for your next building projects!

Roel Loopers

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DEMOLITION OF FREO CIVIC CENTRE TO START SOON

 

Demolition of the City of Fremantle civic building at Kings Square will start next month, with preliminary work and asbestos removal by DELTA Pty Ltd. The demolition is estimated to be completed by October this year.

Vibration monitoring will be conducted to safeguard the integrity of the heritage listed Townhall and any demolition work immediately adjacent to the Townhall will be done by hand if required.

Daily air monitoring will also take place during asbestos removal by a third-party hygienist.

Roel Loopers

 

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SUNRISE IN FREO’S HISTORIC WEST END

 

High Street sunrise 1

High Street sunrise 2

MSC

 

It was pretty chilly this morning at sunrise and a few passers by must have thought the bearded old fellow in short sleeves was suffering from dementia, but it was all for the sake of photography.

I so much love Fremantle’s historic High Street and the entire West End. It always looks gorgeous, but even more so at sunset and sunrise.

Roel Loopers

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GOOD ARCHITECTURE FOR FREMANTLE

 

South Street

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The long time eyesore on the corner of Hampton Road and South Street in Fremantle will be developed into a modern attractive four storey residential and office development, after the City of Fremantle’s Planning Committee last night approved the alternate officer’s recommendation.

The building is designed by David Hillam Architects and will have eight multiple dwellings and two office tenancies, and will retain a portion of the heritage buildings on the site.

It is nice to see good modern architecture which fits the Fremantle lifestyle. I just wished that developers of major large developments would take more care and get outstanding architectural design.

Roel Loopers

GOOD ENOUGH NOT GOOD ENOUGH FOR FREMANTLE

Posted in architecture, buildings, city of fremantle, city planning, development, Uncategorized by freoview on April 28, 2018

 

It is rather strange that the Fremantle Herald front page this week features a letter to the editor about JDAP rejecting the Woolstores shopping centre site development plans, instead of publishing an editorial about it.

There is little reason for the Fremantle Society president to gloat about the JDAP decision because it would not be in the interest of Fremantle if the development plans are abandoned. However Silverleaf Investments also need to be aware that second best and it’s good enough will not be accepted in Fremantle.

To realise Fremantle’s rejuvenation, that will hopefully kick start the economic recovery, we need development investors like the Match Group, Sirona Capital, Silverleaf, and others, but they know Fremantle Council is so desperate for new development that developers think that just about anything will be accepted.

The Fremantle Society during my presidency fought tooth and nail to stop PSA 49 but pressure from the then owners suddenly saw Council approve 11 storeys on the Woolstores site, when Mayor Brad Pettitt had only days before expressed he would not vote for double digit development, so nine storeys would be the maximum.

But PSA 49 was very clearly about only granting additional discretionary height if development was of excellent design quality, and the Woolstores plans, rejected by Fremantle Council and the WA Joint Development Assessment Panel-JDAP, clearly were not.

It appears that developers and architects still have not got the message that the Fremantle community demands creative and innovative design, and sadly Fremantle Council, JDAP and the State Administrative Tribunal also still have not got that point, as they have too often allowed mediocre development that is hurting Fremantle’s unique character. Council is so desperate to achieve rejuvenation of the inner city and economic recovery that it overlooked design flaws, out of fear of upsetting developers.

The new Sirona Capital buildings at Kings Square are not outstanding and neither is the planned and approved Hilton Doubletree hotel development on the Point Street carpark site. The LIV development along Queen Victoria Street is repetitive boredom and the Quarry Street side of it is architecturally so unresolved that it hurts my eyes and soul.

In the development pipeline are also the already approved very boring eight storey development next to the Australia Hotel and the equally uninspiring Little Lane development on the former Spotlight site next to Target.

I do get it that developers want to make as much money as they can and I don’t have a problem with that, but the JDAP rejection of the Woolstores proposal should send a clear message that if you want more money making floorspace and height you will need to offer Fremantle something special and unique.

Not only did Fremantle’s Design Advisory Committee expert panel express that the Woolstores design was not excellent, so did the three architects who spoke for the Fremantle Society, and other architects JDAP panel member Councillor Rachel Pemberton consulted had the same opinion.

I also talked to three well-known local architects in Fremantle who told me the composition and balance of the plans were all wrong and that piecemeal changes to the design would not lift it to the highest architectural standards required to receive the bonus height.

Fremantle wants and needs development. I love modern architecture and am not off the opinion that no new development in Fremantle should be above six storeys, but like most people in the community I want to see the wow factor when it comes to new buildings here.

It is very disappointing, and I agree here with the Fremantle Society president, that the Chamber of Commerce keeps supporting any development plans, no matter how inappropriate and uninspiring. For the Chamber the motto seems to be Any shit will do as long as it is new. I expect higher standards from our business leaders.

The rubbish that is often proposed might not do great harm in Cockburn or Joondalup but it would make Fremantle a lot less attractive to visitors from all over the world. The community will not accept that and developers, architects, Fremantle Council, JDAP and SAT should listen to us!

Roel Loopers

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MSC CUPOLA GREAT HERITAGE FEATURE

Posted in architecture, buildings, city of fremantle, heritage, Uncategorized by freoview on April 13, 2018

 

hero shot

 

What an absolute delight it was this Friday morning to see the Mediterranean Shipping Company-MSC reinstalling the cupola on top of the heritage building on the corner of Cliff and Philimore streets.

The company has to be thanked and applauded for spending a lot of money on doing that important bit extra.  They should be an example and inspiration for other property owners of heritage buildings in Fremantle’s West End and elsewhere to reinstall some of the former features on buildings.

Very well done MSC and a big thank you from the Fremantle community!

Roel Loopers

 

APARTMENTS FOR FREMANTLE WORKERS CLUB BUILDING

 

Workers Club

 

While most Fremantle people are aware of the demolition of the Queensgate building and part demolition of the former Myer building at Kings Square another demolition has remained largely unnoticed.

The former Workers Club building in Henry Street is also a demolition site to make way for a four-storey residential apartment development.

It is one of the rare opportunities to develop in the historic West End of Fremantle and the plans for the building look quite attractive, with the former Workers Club facade retained.

Another building in Henry Street, next to the Customs House that was recently bought by Notre Dame University, was auctioned on Friday, but I don’t know if it was sold.

Roel Loopers

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BIG PROGRESS AT FREO’S KINGS SQUARE

 

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When it comes to the Fremantle Kings Square redevelopment project I am like a child waiting for my Christmas presents, so I wanted to see a bit more of what is happening and asked developer Sirona Capital for access to the site.

PROBUILD‘s Nick Croft showed me around on Wednesday afternoon, but unfortunately the photos I hoped to get, looking down into the big demolition site from the adjacent roofs, were not possible because of health&safety regulations. The hero shot from ground level was one taken prior to my visit by Nick on his mobile phone and I thank him for sharing it here on Freo’s View.

The roof of the former MYER building has now also come down, so that later on two new storeys can be added, and inside the building is stripped back to just its concrete skeleton.

The Queensgate building’s William Street facade is now also being pulled back and in about ten days the facade of the Myer building at Queen Street will come down.

I feel sorry for the traders who are negatively impacted by all this, but sometimes in life we need to acknowledge that the big picture has priority over individuals and individual businesses.

I just hope they can all hang in there and hopefully reap the benefits of a rejuvenated inner city in less than two years from now. Good luck to you all!!

Roel Loopers

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SPACE FRAME FOR SPARE PARTS THEATRE

 

spare parts 1

spare parts 2

 

The Fremantle Spare Parts Puppet Theatre building is getting a modern facelift in form of a so-called exo-skeleton. It’s a kind of Zimmer frame for buildings, as the images above show.

The Department of Local Government, Sport and Cultural Industries commissioned North Fremantle Slavin Architects to help solve a problem identified with the Spare Parts building at Pioneer Park.

Slavin Architects were engaged by the Department to assess the external walls which were showing signs of potential structural instability.

Instead of demolishing and rebuilding the walls, which would have had a dramatic impact on Spare Parts future programs, Slavin Architects took a more lateral approach which was to brace the outside of the building with an ‘exo-skeleton’ or space-frame. Not only was the cost substantially lower than rebuilding the walls, but the time lost was minimal.

“The minimalist works provide an elegant and sculptural solution to a building of cultural and social significance to the City and the State.

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