Freo's View

CODA ARCHITECTS MERGE WITH NATIONAL COX GROUP

Posted in architecture, city of fremantle, city planning, Uncategorized by freoview on August 16, 2017

 

In a distinct acknowledgement of their high standards and credibility Fremantle’s CODA architects and city planners have merged with nationally acclaimed COX Architects.

Cox Howlett&Bailey, Woodland are highly respected in Western Australia and beyond, so this is a significant move for the Freo CODA group.

They have now moved from Elder Place to 360 Murray Street in Perth, but CODA director Kieran Wong and his family will continue to live in South Fremantle.

I have great respect for CODA and its directors and wish them all the best!

 

Roel Loopers

NO COMPROMISES FOR FREO’S WEST END

Posted in city of fremantle, heritage, Uncategorized by freoview on August 12, 2017

 

The FREMANTLE HERALD was kind enough to publish my Thinking Allowed about the necessary protection of Fremantle’s permanently heritage-listed West End this weekend. In case you don’t get the Chook home delivered or pick up a copy in town, I’ll post it here as well.

The attack by developers on Fremantle’s historic West End needs to be stopped and the City of Fremantle needs more support from State Government agencies to do that.

Applications for five-storey buildings keep coming although architects and developers are well aware that there is a three storey limit in the West End precinct.

There is an option for additional discretionary height of one floor, if it creates a better heritage outcome, or if the architecture of the building is considered to be of exceptional high quality.

What we see though are applications for boring and mediocre concrete boxes which would destroy the streetscape.

Architects show little to no respect for the spatial environment and the history of place, they just want to bang a totally inappropriate modern building in the middle of heritage buildings. This was shown in the recent application for three five-storey buildings behind Customs House in Henry Street going all the way to the former Centrelink site in Pakenham Street.

There was also a five storey application for the former Workers Club site in Henry Street, but fortunately that was rejected.

But even when Fremantle Council rejects development proposals the State’s Joint Development Assessment Panel or State Planning Commission can overrule council decisions, and they often do.

The State’s Heritage Office in my opinion sometimes also fails, as was the case with the now cancelled application by Notre Dame University for a mediocre five-storey building on the corner of High and Cliff streets. The Heritage Office recommended approval of the building, but Fremantle Council rejected it.

If UNDA had decided to go to JDAP with it they might well have approved the building the community and council did not want, on the recommendation of the Heritage Office.

It is only the sense of community and corporate responsibility of UNDA’s Vice Chancellor Celia Hammond that made the university decide to withdraw the plans for the new School of Nursing and Midwifery and start the process from scratch with a whole new design.

I am not against the development of some derelict sites and renovation of buildings in the West End, but there is nothing that can convince me that more than four storeys is appropriate for the heritage precinct. We only want outstanding development in the heritage area and nothing above four storeys!

Fremantle Council approved the five-storey nothingness of the Quest Hotel in Pakenham Street, because according to the planning and heritage officers of CoF it would preserve the interior heritage integrity of the building, but it hasn’t! Walk into the foyer of the serviced apartments buildings and you have no clue whatsoever that this is a heritage building. The blue artwork on the top corner of it is not suitable either.

Developers believe they can get away with murder in Fremantle because we are desperate for economic recovery in the port city. Yes we are, but not at any cost and the destruction of the unique character of our city.

If developers need extra height to please the bottom triple line they can develop in the east of Fremantle, and not even there indiscriminately.

Fremantle deserves more consideration when one wants to develop here and we need more support from State Government to protect the unique qualities of our city!

Roel Loopers

CELEBRATING FREO’S HERITAGE BATTLERS

 

High Street 1

 

I am delighted to have received notification from Fremantle Notre Dame University that the Vice Chancellor and senior staff have taken on board the suggestion I posted on Freo’s View last week of a commemorative wall at the back of the St Teresa Library in Henry Street.

The wall would commemorate the history of Fremantle and the contribution made by individuals and groups to preserve our heritage buildings.

UNDA wrote to me that they are now considering a wall with historic B&W photos plus a plaque that would feature individuals and groups, such as the Fremantle Society, who have been involved in preserving the precinct’s historic character.

This would be a nice new tourist attraction and acknowledgment of the dedicated work of Freo’s heritage warriors such as Les Lauder, Don Whittington, June Hutchison, John Dowson, Ron Davis, etc.

I hope that with collaboration with the City of Fremantle the wall will become reality in the not too distant future. Thank you UNDA!

If you want to learn about the many battles to save Freo’s heritage try to get a copy of the Fighting For Fremantle book the Fremantle Society published!

 

Roel Loopers

NO LUNATIC ARCHITECTURE FOR HISTORIC WEST END!

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

 

 

The lunatic development proposal for five storey buildings at 2 Henry and 7 Pakenham Street in Fremantle’s heritage West End Precinct will be deliberated at the W.A. Joint Development Assessment Panel(JDAP) this Wednesday August 9 at 10am at the Townhall. (Enter from the backstairs near the former Myer building).

Anton Capital and Hassel Architects show very little consideration for the unique heritage aspects and streetscapes of the historic West End, and hence the State Heritage Office recommended the refusal of the development, as did Fremantle Council unanimously.

The last thing we want to see in the West End is oversized boring concrete boxes, but that is all the architects could come up with. That is very disrespectful, arrogant and inconsiderate.

The City of Fremantle  and W.A. State agencies need to take a strong stand agains totally inappropriate development proposals for Freo’s gorgeous West End.

These applications are a total waste of time for the City’s planning department and for JDAP, Heritage Office, Planning Commission, etc. as they are un-approvable!

 

Roel Loopers

 

MODERN AND HIGH NEW FREO WOOLSTORES DEVELOPMENT

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

 

Woolstores design

 

Here a first look at the proposed development for the Fremantle Woolstores shopping centre site in Cantonment Street that will house an Adani Hotel.

It will be developed by Fremantle developers Silverleaf.  According to a talk Silverleaf boss Gerard O’Brien gave at the Fremantle Network a few months ago, it will also have much needed student housing.

The site is one of 13 Fremantle CBD sites included in Planning Scheme Amendment 49. which allows for it to have up to 11 storeys, which will make it the tallest building in the city.

It is not an outstanding building, but much better than the provincial country town look of the existing building. It would be the first of the inner East sites to be developed just after the start of the Kings Square Project.  The Hilton Doubletree Hotel development at Point Street has been pushed back by two years.

Silverleaf’s Gerard O’Brien said they would keep the Coles supermarket open during construction to retain activity in the area.

This development only needs WA Joint Development Assessment Panel approval, but will be debated at a City of Fremantle Planning Committee soon, where we will be able to see more detailed plans..

 

Roel Loopers

GREAT ARCHITECTURE STRESS RELIEF

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

 

After Fremantle Council last night rejected the awful development proposal for the historic West End, the newsletter of HAMES SHARLEY Architects comes timely today, to remind us that good architecture can help us de-stress.

The article by Peter Kempshall refers to research by the University of Warwick, that concluded that while green space is very important in the urban environment, aesthetically pleasing buildings are also a boost to our mental wellbeing.

Senior Associate Rachel Seal of Hames Sharley said that “There is no reason why an urban environment can’t have the same qualities to reduce stress as a natural one.”

If we can create urban green spaces framed by beautiful and site responsive architecture and marry the two elements together, all the better.”

“It’s that kind of mix that really makes the city cohesive, right down to the micro level of interior design. Design is concerned with the experience from both inside and outside buildings.

I wished more architects would consider these thoughts, because cheap and cheerful concrete boxes will hardly ever have the visual impact that great creative design does have.

Spatial respect for streetscapes, history and lifestyle of place should be top priorities when designing for character suburbs and places of historic significance, such as Fremantle.

Roel Loopers

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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

GRANTS FOR HERITAGE CONSERVATION AVAILABLE

Posted in city of fremantle, heritage, state government, Uncategorized, western australia by freoview on July 20, 2017

 

 

WA Minister for Heritage, Culture and the Arts David Templeman MLA liked my blog post about the heritage listing of Fremantle’s West End so much that he shared it on his Facebook page. That’s a nice acknowledgement, so thank you David.

I forgot to mention in that post on Wednesday that private owners are eligible to apply for a Heritage Council grant of up to $ 100,000 to help with conservation works.

 

Roel Loopers

 

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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

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