Freo's View

ARCHITECTS DEFEND NOTRE DAME MEDIOCRITY

Posted in architecture, city of fremantle, development, notre dame university by freoview on March 3, 2017

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In a rather petulant Thinking Allowed in the Fremantle Herald today Dean Fehlberg, a partner at MCDF Architects, who designed the mediocre proposal for the new Notre Dame University School of Nursing at 3 High Street claims Fremantle Council rejected the development because it was influenced by emotion and agitation.

Does Fehlberg mean with agitation the genuine concerns raised by Fremantle residents and the Fremantle Society in submissions to Council, and does he mean with emotion that we are very passionate about heritage protection in Fremantle?

Fehlberg shows a hint of arrogance and severe lack of self-criticism when he compares the height of the proposed UNDA building with the gorgeous National Hotel, Pearse Building, Orient Hotel and Fremantle Hotel. These are all buildings of outstanding Goldrush period architecture and can in no way be compared to the unimaginative, boring and mediocre design proposal for the historic West End of Fremantle by the MCDF Architects.

The architects are no doubts also aware that the criticism about the height of the proposed building is because the planning rules for the West End Conservation Area only allow for three-storey buildings with an option of a fourth storey if the architecture is outstanding, which it isn’t!

Architect Fehlberg also criticises the Slavin Architects designed MSC building in Cliff Street because “it is all glass and flowing curved lines of steel with no masonry at all and without any precedence in the West End.”

Indeed Mr Fehlberg, and that makes the MSC building so delightfully unique, inspiring, creative and heritage of the future architecture, while your team ignores the heritage significance and beauty of the West End by proposing a very bland design. It does not add to the architectural greatness of the West End, but the MSC building does.

Dean Fehlberg writes in the Herald that he was very disappointed with the Fremantle Council level of debate….and disrespect shown for the opinion of the State Heritage Office and City’s Design Advisory Committee.

What concerns the community and Fremantle Councillors more is the disrespect shown by MCDF Architects for the unique beauty and historic significance of the West End and that the architects believe their non-creative boredom is appropriate next to the stunning Lionel Samson building and opposite the beautiful Fremantle Hotel building and in Western Australia’s most beautiful street.

Harsh self-criticism is a great way forward to becoming excellent at what one does, not acknowledging one’s own limitations means accepting mediocrity.

Roel Loopers

NOTRE DAME ADJOURNS WEST END DEVELOPMENT

Posted in architecture, city of fremantle, heritage, notre dame university by freoview on March 2, 2017

Fremantle Notre Dame University Vice Chancellor Celia Hammond has advised city residents that the university has asked the state’s Joint Development Assessment Panel-JDAP to adjourn the application for a five-storey development at 3 High street by four weeks so that the university can further explore the details.

The application was scheduled to be considered by JDAP next Thursday on March 9.

UNDA are engaging an independent heritage specialist to assist them in addressing the heritage matters which have been raised. They will also be seeking the input and comments of the City Officers and Councillors throughout this time, the Vice Chancellor said.

This is a very professional and mature approach by Notre Dame University and shows real consideration and respect for the feedback they received from Fremantle Council and residents.

Roel Loopers

PERFECT FOR NOTRE DAME SCHOOL OF NURSING

Posted in city of fremantle, development, notre dame university by freoview on March 2, 2017

 

If as I expect the WA Joint Development Assessment Panel next Thursday rejects the application by Notre Dame University for a five-storey development at 3 High Street, the university will have to look at alternative solutions.

The School of Nursing requires a lot of floor space, so a lower three-storey building in the West End won’t be big enough for UNDA I presume.

I found the perfect location for the new Notre Dame building on the corner of Suffolk Street and South Terrace, opposite Fremantle Hospital.

It is a leisurely ten-minute walk from the rest of the UNDA campus, close to public transport and parking and just a ten-minute walk to the railway station.

The vacant site is outside the West End conservation area, so height won’t be an issue and neither would be street level activation.

The City of Fremantle is planning a new carpark at the Stan Reilley site, so no worries about parking either, and Queensgate and Collie Street parking is nearby as well.

Roel Loopers

JDAP DECIDES NOTRE DAME DEVELOPMENT MARCH 9

Posted in architecture, fremantle, notre dame university, western australia by freoview on March 1, 2017

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WA’s Joint Development Assessment Panel-JDAP will make a ruling on the development application by Fremantle’s Notre Dame University for a five-storey building at 3 High Street on Thursday March 9 at 9.30 am.

The council chambers are located on the first floor of the council offices at 8 William Street, Fremantle. Access to the council chambers is via the stairs located next to the children’s playground on the eastern side of the building.

Should you wish to speak at the JDAP meeting, please complete a presentation request form which can be found via the following link https://www.planning.wa.gov.au/7581.asp which must be submitted to the JDAP secretariat via daps@planning.wa.gov.au

For contact details, accessing the agenda and additional information please visit the http://www.planning.wa.gov.au/Development-Assessment-Panels.asp.

Unfortunately I won’t be able to attend the meeting and address the panel as I will be in Fiona Stanley Hospital that day, so please do raise your objections and submit your written protest against this totally inappropriate and very ugly building for Freo’s West End!!

Roel Loopers

UNI STUDENTS BACK IN FREO!

Posted in education, fremantle, notre dame university by freoview on March 1, 2017

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What a delight it is to see thousands of Notre Dame University students back in Fremantle’s West End.

The streets and cafes are full with gorgeous and colourful young people. I love it!

I considered doing a photo story on it but I’d probably get accused of being a dirty old pervert photographing young students, so this UNDA promo will have to do.

Roel Loopers

 

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NOTRE DAME UNIVERSITY WOW! DAY

Posted in education, fremantle, notre dame university, students, universities by freoview on February 23, 2017

 

They call it O-Day at Notre Dame University in Fremantle, but today’s Orientation Day for new students was more of a WOW!!!! Day.

It was the biggest number of new students ever at O-Day at UNDA and more than 2,000 paraded through the inner city by the sounds of a drum band.

Live music, food vans and even a licensed bar for the 18+ students were in the historic West End, so no doubt it will have been a fun-filled day and rite of passage for many.

I love having Notre Dame in the West End. I love the energy of the young students and the activation they bring to the inner city. The uni is highly respected and students and staff love it and it is is pretty special that Fremantle can call itself a university city.

Mayor Brad Pettitt said in jest that one day the City will sort the parking issues, but why not start by giving incentives to those students who car pool, as most of them drive all alone into Freo, hence the search for parking near the uni is annoying. Four students in one car instead of just the driver would take some 75% of student cars out of the West End.

Roel Loopers

 

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FREMANTLE COUNCIL REJECTS NOTRE DAME DEVELOPMENT

Posted in architecture, city of fremantle, notre dame university by freoview on February 22, 2017

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Fremantle Council unanimously rejected the development proposal for a five-storey building by Notre Dame University on the corner of High and Cliff streets on Wednesday evening.

It was telling that the only person on the night who spoke in favour of the terribly mediocre and boring development proposal for 3 High Street in Fremantle’s historic West End was Olwyn Williams the CEO of the Chamber of Commerce.

Very disappointing that the Chamber does not recognise that Fremantle is so popular with overseas and interstate visitors because of Fremantle’s beautiful West End and historic significance.

Everyone else who spoke was very strongly against the absolutely inappropriate proposal for what is arguably the most beautiful street in Western Australia. I understand 45 submissions against the proposal were sent to Fremantle Council and only three in support of it.

Some comments from public speakers: The design is totally inappropriate- Architecture unworthy of the historic location-  Does not respect existing heritage buildings- Rethink the location of the building and move it to the east end of Fremantle.

Councillor Jon Strachan said it was clear cut to him that he could not support the proposal, while Councillor David Hume said the street level activation carrot that was dangled was not enough to approve the building.

Councillor Rachel Pemberton said the proposed building does not integrate with the other facades at all and that the ‘urban grain’ is very important.

Councillor Simon Nabor said it was too bulky, too big and dominates the area, while Deputy Mayor Dave Coggin said that it is a terrible outcome and that High Street is an extremely important heritage street.

Councillor Andrew Sullivan who also spoke against the building warned that it might be approvable for the State’s JDAP which is the decision-making authority.

I am outraged to learn that the State Heritage Office has recommended approval for the building. The way they are going they are becoming as incompetent as the EPA. This is the same office that put the entire West End on the State Heritage List, but now supports the UNDA monstrosity that has no place in the historic West End.

I urge my friends at Notre Dame to not push this ahead against the wishes of the Fremantle community and council. UNDA needs to accept that the floor space they need for the new School of Nursing can’t be achieved at 3 High Street because it breaks development and heritage rules for the West End Conservation Area. Move the building east of the Townhall and you’ll get all the space you require! Please do it!!

Roel Loopers

 

COUNCIL TO REJECT NEW NOTRE DAME BUILDING

Posted in architecture, city of fremantle, development, notre dame university by freoview on February 18, 2017

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As expected the ‘Officers Recommendation’ to Fremantle Council for the proposed 5-storey building in High Street by Notre Dame University is for Council to reject it. The item will go to Council this Wednesday at 6 pm.

The decision-making authority is the state’s Joint Development Assessment Panel, but that will take Fremantle Council’s recommendation into consideration.

I was initially very irate about the UNDA proposal because I was very disappointed that the two community sessions had not changed anything, so as someone very passionate about Freo’s heritage I wrote a few things about the university I now regret, but my strong opposition to this inappropriate building has not disappeared.

I am a fan and strong supporter of Notre Dame University and believe they are good for the West End where many cafes would not survive without the patronage of 8000+ UNDA students and staff, but UNDA needs to be realistic and pragmatic about the development proposal for 3 High Street.

After reading the opinions of CoF planning and heritage staff and the Design Advisory Commission it becomes clear that the UNDA architects tried hard to accommodate the DAC wishes, while also trying to retain as much floor space as possible and that is the problem.

Fact is that the floor space UNDA needs for its School of Nursing can’t be achieved on that site without disregarding planning and heritage considerations, so it is not a realistic proposition to build something of that volume at the proposed site.

What UNDA now needs to do, after JDAP will also reject the development proposal, is to find an alternative location for a five-storey building, one where they might not even want to include a theatre space, thus giving them more floor space to use for education only and not a public community space.

The corner of Cliff and High streets is ideally suited for an iconic three-storey building, but unfortunately for Notre Dame it is unsuitable for a five-storey building and for the boring design that shows very little respect for the significant historic West End and the great heritage architecture in the area.

I intend to address Council on Wednesday to voice my opposition to the proposal, although I am a big fan of UNDA and its outstanding Vice Chancellor Celia Hammond, senior staff and the many lecturers I know. UNDA is good for Freo but the proposed building is bad for the West End and that’s why it needs to be rejected.

Roel Loopers

STOP NOTRE DAME UNI MONSTROSITY !

Posted in architecture, city of fremantle, development, notre dame university by freoview on February 15, 2017

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The awfully mediocre development proposal for a five-storey building on the corner of High and Cliff streets by Notre Dame University will go to Fremantle Council on February 22, so please do turn up in big numbers and voice your opposition to this disrespectful rubbish that totally ignores the extremely historic significance of the heritage-listed West End!

Here the info from the City of Fremantle:

Address: 3 High Street, FREMANTLE WA 6160
Application: Five (5) storey Educational Establishment, Shop and Small Bar

Please be advised that an item relating to the above application will be considered at the Council meeting to be held on Wednesday 22 February 2017 commencing at 6.00 pm.

An opportunity to address the Council on the proposal is given during ‘Public Question Time’ only and is limited to a maximum of three minutes. You must register to speak at the venue, before 5.50pm on the day of the meeting.

The council chambers are located on the first floor of the council offices at 8 William Street, Fremantle. Access to the council chambers is via the stairs located next to the children’s playground on the eastern side of the building.

After the proposal is considered by Council, the application will be determined by the Joint Development Assessment Panel (JDAP). The date of the JDAP meeting is not known at this time however is usually 1-2 weeks after the Council meeting.

Please check the JDAP website for the date, time and venue (the venue may not be the in the City of Fremantle). Should you wish to speak at the JDAP meeting, please complete a “Presentation Request Form” which must be submitted no less than 72 hours before the meeting.

Copies of the agenda, including the report and any attachments for the abovementioned item, are available for viewing from the Friday afternoon prior to the meeting. The agenda may be downloaded from the website at http://www.fremantle.wa.gov.au or can be viewed at the City Library located on the ground floor of the council offices during normal library hours. Library hours are available on the website. In the instance that you can’t access the information on the City’s website hard copies of the plans can be requested by emailing planning@fremantle.wa.gov.au with your request.

NOTHING NEW ABOUT STUDENT DISCOUNTS

Posted in election, fremantle, notre dame university by freoview on February 10, 2017

I like politicians to have an informed opinion and make informed suggestions, so I am quite amused by Fremantle Liberal candidate Hayden Shenton’s suggestion in the Fremantle Herald today that BID businesses should offer discounts to Notre Dame University students.

Had the wannabee politician done his research by walking down High Street he would have noticed several cafes and food outlets, and even hairdressers already offer discounts to UNDA students.

I guess this is one of those anything will do to get media exposure thought bubbles by someone who has no public profile in Freo.

The election candidates forum is on Tuesday February 24, 6.30 pm at the Tannock Hall of UNDA, corner Cliff and Croke streets, so come and find out how many more ‘new ideas’ the candidates have for Freo.

Roel Loopers

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