Freo's View

FREMANTLE A WORK IN PROGRESS

 

work 3

 

Fremantle’s CBD is a work in progress, with the crane of the residential development at the former Workers Club site in Henry Street coming down today.

At Kings Square the triangular slab of the new Civic Centre has been put down and is destined to become a cafe. A new crane will go up there pretty soon.

Roel Loopers

WHAT IS GOOD TASTE IN BUILDING DESIGN?

 

I think all of us who often complain about the mediocre new architecture we are getting in Fremantle should be delighted that the new DESIGN WA guidelines will apply from today on, but I am quite skeptical about the impact it will have, because good design is like good taste. It is very personal and hard to quantify.

Often when I have slammed the design of buildings others have commented they liked what I believed was atrocious architecture, so why would expert panels be any different in their different taste and preferences? Who dictates what good taste and good design is?

The new DESIGN WA guidelines are all about aesthetics and a review panel of 50 people will decide which planning proposal is in good taste and which one is not. The design review panel comprises of people from architecture, urban design, planning, and landscape architects plus more from heritage, public health, sustainability and engineering. It will be near impossible to reach consensus in such a big group I fear, so Chair Geoff Warn, who is the WA Government Architect, will have a big job ahead of him.

DESIGN WA has got rid of the controversial R-Code system applied up to now, so I wonder if Fremantle and other local councils will also do that. I’ll ask the Fremantle Planning Department if changes will be made in that regard.

I believe that our cities and communities deserve much better design than what we largely have been getting lately, especially for substantial apartment and office buildings. Retaining the tree canopy or providing significant numbers of trees and plants and creating much better streetscapes and public realm will be a very positive step forward. Let’s hope it can all be realised.

Roel Loopers

FREO HILTON SITE SALES OFFICE REMOVED

Posted in architecture, city of fremantle, development, hotel, residential, Uncategorized by freoview on May 11, 2019

 

Hilton?

 

It is about time the SKS Group told Fremantle Council and the community what is actually going to happen with the site on the corner of Point and Adelaide streets.

SKS bought the site from the City of Fremantle and were going to develop a Hilton Doubletree hotel and residential units there, but they keep delaying the development.

This morning a crane removed the sales office that was installed as part of the agreement with the City of Fremantle when SKS asked for yet another delay in the commencement of the development.

Does the removal of the sales office mean that SKS wants to start developing in May and not as expected in October, or does it mean they won’t develop the site at all?

Roel Loopers

 

Henty ad

SOUTH FREO DEVELOPMENT WELL ON TRACK

Posted in architecture, city of fremantle, development, real estate, residential, Uncategorized by freoview on August 1, 2018

 

Match

 

The M/28 three-storey apartment development opposite The Local hotel in South Fremantle is well under way and on track to open early next year.

The Match group is developing twenty 2-3 bedroom apartments with large balconies. Some will have views of Fremantle Port.

I took this photo yesterday when I walked by on my way to the CBD.

Roel Loopers

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LIV APARTMENTS REVEALED

Posted in architecture, city of fremantle, development, living, property, Uncategorized by freoview on February 12, 2018

 

LIV 1

 

Scaffolding is coming down on the LIV apartment building in Queen Victoria and Quarry streets, allowing glimpses of what is to come.

Some of the windows in Quarry Street appear to be very large, so let’s wait and see till August when the building is supposed to open.

Roel Loopers

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

NOT A MATCH FOR FREMANTLE

Posted in architecture, city of fremantle, development, Uncategorized by freoview on June 27, 2017

Match

 

It appears that the MATCH Group have quietly postponed or abandoned their plans to develop the former Energy Museum site in Fremantle’s Parry Street.

All the signs to promote the mixed development of residential and commercial accommodation have been removed from the building’s facade.

Plans were for a four-storey residential new building behind the old one and the former museum transferred into a Bread in Common style restaurant and bar and other retail on street level.

While the delay is disappointing it is also understandable as there is a lot of apartment development happening in Fremantle and the Heirloom by Match building still has apartments for sale.

Real estate experts say their is a glut of apartments in the Perth metro area and an oversupply of them, so developers will probably have a bit of a wait and see attitude to see where the market is heading before realising plans that already have been approved.

Roel Loopers

LIV DEVELOPMENT GROWING FAST

Posted in architecture, development, fremantle by freoview on April 3, 2017

It is very lively and productive at the LIV residential development at Fremantle’s Queen Victoria and Quarry streets.

It is a very large development by Defence Housing straight opposite the beautiful Heirloom by Match development.

The east end of Fremantle is going through a well-overdue facelift that will improve the run down area dramatically.

Roel Loopers

 

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ICONIC HEIRLOOM BEAUTY FOR FREMANTLE

Posted in architecture, building, development, fremantle by freoview on January 18, 2017

 

heirloom

Delighted to see the Heirloom by Match residential development of the historic former Dalgety Woolstores at Fremantle’s Queen Victoria Street. It was the first time in years this morning that there was no scaffolding around it.

What a beautiful iconic entry statement to our city it is!

Roel Loopers

HERITAGE AND DENSITY NOT MUTUALLY EXCLUSIVE

Posted in architecture, city of fremantle, councils, development, heritage by freoview on November 23, 2016

After my previous post about the Atwell Arcade development and previous posts about my objections to the Notre Dame University proposal for the West End, and my reservations about the height of the Quest Hotel, and the general lack of creativity of new buildings in Fremantle’s CBD, it is interesting to read in the West Australian today the opinion of heritage architect Philip Griffiths, who spoke at a Future Bayswater forum.

Griffiths told the audience that respecting heritage and promoting local development are not mutually exclusive, and mentioned the City of Fremantle as a local government that got a lot smarter about preserving heritage while encouraging well-designed density. I believe the well-design part of that sentence is controversial as Freo is mainly getting mediocrity in design.

Heritage is a reason to be careful about how we develop because we don’t want to create a sterile town, but it is not a reason not to do anything, the architect said. That should be a very important consideration for the City of Fremantle because so far we are getting boring new buildings!

According to the Property Council of WA there is strong support for medium and higher-density apartments near public transport hubs and in the inner city.

I personally have no issue with higher-density in appropriate locations around Fremantle and in the east CBD but somehow we need to give more power to the Design Advisory Panel, and planning rules need to address the visual impact of new buildings better, so that we can get very good and outstanding buildings, not the bland and boring ones that are being built and proposed now.

Creating a new modern part in inner city Fremantle is in my opinion desirable as it means many more people will live in the CBD and that will encourage new traders, bars, etc to open up shop and make Freo more vibrant, but we need to get great architecture!

Roel Loopers

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