Freo's View

MASSIVE STEEL STRUCTURE FOR FREO’S CIVIC CENTRE

 

Civic metal 2

Civic metal

 

I love to watch the massive steel structure going up for the construction of Fremantle’s new Civic Centre at Kings Square, that is due for completion by the end of this year.

It is going to be a pretty impressive building, by the look of it. It will house the City of Fremantle administration, the Council, Library, community meeting rooms, the Rottnest Island Authority, and a cafe, bar, restaurant and function room.

Roel Loopers

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FREO’S HERITAGE LOOKING EVEN BETTER

Posted in architecture, city of fremantle, development, heritage, Uncategorized by freoview on January 31, 2020

 

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Nice to see Silverleaf Investments putting a new balustrade on the building south of the Manning building in Freo’s William Street.

The work the company has been doing on the facade of the Manning building all along the High Street Mall and Market street is remarkable and a real feature for Fremantle. I love all the new entries into the retail outlets as they remind me of the good old high streets.

Roel Loopers

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CITY PLANNING NEEDS TO PROTECT UNIQUENESS

 

There is a very good opinion piece about city planning by Tanya Steinbeck in the West Australian today, that everyone should read.

Tanya Steinbeck is the chief executive of the Urban Planning Institute of Australia(WA), and her article makes a lot of sense to me, because it talks about the challenges of protecting the uniqueness of our cities, while supporting development. This is a challenge Fremantle is experiencing currently, with unprecedented and major development happening now, and in the pipeline for the next years.

Steinbeck writes that it is about authenticity, and that the planning experts believe we need a vision that articulates who we are and what we have to offer. It is important, she writes, not to lose ourselves as we grow, and that is a debate we are having in Fremantle at present. How do we retain and protect our unique heritage city, while encouraging new modern development? What is the Freo context? What is good and specific architecture for our city? I would love to have a public forum about that!

Tanya Steinbeck writes that identity is a complex concept, that always evolves because we evolve as people. Indeed, change is happening every day, everywhere, and is inevitable, but how do we manage change so that it does not destroy the uniqueness of our historic city? That is an issue not unique to Fremantle, but applies to many older suburbs.

I absolutely agree with Steinbeck when she says that we need to avoid homogenisation and that the planning system needs to lead there, so that we don’t get sameness when developing our cities. As she writes, it needs to be planning by people, for the people, and she points to the Town Team Movement, that is all about community-driven planning and is taking placemaking to a new level.

The article is on page 20 of today’s West Australian newspaper, so anyone interested in city planning and community, go and grab a paper from a newsagent.

Roel Loopers

FREMANTLE NEEDS MORE CREATIVE ARCHITECTURE

Posted in architecture, city of fremantle, city planning, development, Uncategorized by freoview on December 30, 2019

 

 

I am a rather simple and modest kind of old fella who does not have too many wishes for the New Year. A bit more money would be good, and having a lot of very gorgeous women throwing themselves at me would be nice too, but I know that won’t happen, so I’ll just keep living within the limitations of reality. What could improve though is what we build in our cities.

I would love to see a lot more creative architecture in Fremantle and the entire Perth metropolitan area, because the blandness and mediocrity of most of the new modern buildings we are getting is very disappointing, hence these inspiring photos from around the world, and I am sure there are many more examples of what great architecture could look like.

Roel Loopers

FREO CITY LOSES ONE OF ITS FINEST

 

The news that the City of Fremantle heritage coordinator architect Alan Kelsall has left the City at the end of this year is a loss to our city.

Alan, who looks 15 years younger than I but is the same age, won’t be retiring any time soon I hope, but wanted to move on.

I have real respect and liking for the gentle but assertive gentleman Kelsall is. We have had some very good talks about heritage, architecture, Freo’s progress and the significant change containerisation brought to Fremantle.

While Alan Kelsall was a staunch protector of Fremantle’s heritage, he was also pragmatic that progress is inevitable, and trying to accommodate the changes and modernisation of our port city.

Kelsall was often unjustly criticised and had to endure nasty personal and insulting attacks, but he remained the professional he always has been and fought for the best outcomes for our city when planning applications were debated.

The City is losing one of its finest, who will be hard to replace.  I like to thank Alan Kelsall for his dedication to Fremantle and his love for our heritage.

Roel Loopers

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WOOLSTORES PLANS A BIG IMPROVEMENT

 

Predictably the Fremantle Society has lodged a submission with the City of Fremantle against the planning approval for a mixed use development of the Woolstores shopping centre site, as the FS  president shared with his members.

John Dowson argues that there is no need to rush the development of the site and that the City should take possession of the six shops near the corner of Elder Place and Queen Street, which was investigated by Fremantle Council last year, but no action taken.

The Society has many arguments against the development, and I too have heard some architects say the plans were disappointing, while others find it acceptable. I believe the development would be a huge improvement to the bland and boring building that is currently there, so that would be a big step forward to modernising that run-down part of Fremantle’s CBD, and for me that is a priority for our city.

Of course the plans could be different and better, and if we asked 25 architects we would get 25 different plans, and everyone of them would receive criticism from the public and other architects. That is the simple reality of life and anything creative. Someone else will always have another, maybe better, idea on how to improve our city.

For example, as a layman, I would have liked to see the corner of the building at Cantonment Street be rounded, to compliment the other corner and also the roundabout there, and there are no doubt many other ideas on how the plans could be improved, but too many cooks…..

I am more interested in the big picture and see the development in context with what is happening at Kings Square, the Little Lane residential development over the road, the proposed Hilton Doubletree hotel development, the Energy Museum development, a possible new use for the Adelaide Plaza next to the Basilica, and maybe a new hotel on the former Spicers site at William Street.

All these developments, once realised, will make that part of Fremantle much safer, and far more attractive and it will start creating the 24/7 economy and lifestyle that Fremantle needs, if our retailers and hospitality providers are going to survive.

We all want perfection and outstanding architecture, but that will not happen overnight. We need to accept that progress is slow and not always perfect, but the plans for the Woolstores are a big improvement for this significant site, and I hope they will be approved, and that Silverleaf Investments will commence with the construction very fast.

Roel Loopers

FREMANTLE’S STEEL CENTRE

 

KS 1

KS 2

 

The steel structure of the new City of Fremantle Civic Centre is very impressive as it becomes bigger and higher.

Roel Loopers

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FREO’S BEAUT MARKET STREET

Posted in architecture, city of fremantle, heritage, shopping, Uncategorized by freoview on November 16, 2019

 

Market Street

 

A photo of Fremantle’s Market Street I took at 6.45am this morning.

Come do your Christmas shopping in beautiful Freo!

Roel Loopers

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FREMANTLE MALLS MALLS

Posted in city of fremantle, retail, shopping, Uncategorized by freoview on November 12, 2019

 

Fremantle Malls

 

There are definitely more than one Fremantle Malls. ; >)

Roel Loopers

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EAST FREO HERITAGE TEA TOWELS

Posted in city of fremantle, heritage, town of east fremantle, Uncategorized by freoview on November 8, 2019

 

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ON SALE NOW! High quality, ethically sourced cotton tea towels, printed in full colour with our local #eastfreo heritage building sketches.

Pre-order yours now ($12.50 each) via www.trybooking.com/556720

The tea towels will be available for pick-up on / after 1 December 2019.

We should create something similar for Fremantle!

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