Freo's View

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

FREO ARCHITECT DAVID BARR STEPS UP

Posted in architecture, fremantle, home, housing, living, Uncategorized by freoview on July 12, 2017

 

01_ARCHITECTURAL DOCUMENT_1

 

Congratulations to Fremantle architect DAVID BARR who won the LandCorp Step Up competition for sustainable medium-density housing with their ‘passive haus’ design for North Coogee.

Here the reasons why the judges believe they deserved to win:

KEY POINTS

AFFORDABLE DESIGNS
The winning design delivers a cost-effective build process, but also addresses the ongoing cost of living in the home through sustainability measures and shared facilities.

DESIGN QUALITY
Featuring an active edge, with integrated planter boxes on balconies and gold-finned window frames, a roof garden and shaded back verandah, the design offers a balance of privacy and community and will deliver an attractive, landmark development.

SUSTAINABILITY
The project will be Western Australia’s first apartment building to achieve an average 9-star NatHERS rating. It employs climate-responsive design and will be a Zero Energy building, meaning it will generate more energy than it consumes annually.

INNOVATION
The project will use a prefabricated ‘passive haus’ construction system, the first of its kind in Western Australia, which allows a rapid build process and significant savings on construction costs.

ENERGY EFFICIENCY
A PV system supported by 42kWh of energy storage will allow energy generated on-site to be used on-site, reducing peak demand by 30%.

WATER EFFICIENCY
A shared underground rainwater tank and above-code water efficiency measures are expected to reduce average water use by 60% and cut household water bills by up to $180 a year.

WASTE EFFICIENCY
Construction waste is dramatically reduced as a result of the prefabricated ‘passive haus’ system, and any waste created during the build will be recycled. The project includes space for green waste composting and a ‘swap space’ allowing residents to offer items they no longer need, but which may be useful to someone else.

SUNRISE AT FREO’S FLEET STREET

Posted in city of fremantle, fremantle ports, photography, Uncategorized by freoview on July 11, 2017

 

VQ 4

 

Before hopping on the train this morning I had some time to spare, so I took these sunrise photos at Fremantle Fleet Street and Victoria Quay.

Roel Loopers

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NEW FREO CIVIC CENTRE GOOD FOR HERITAGE

Posted in architecture, city of fremantle, kings square, Uncategorized by freoview on June 28, 2017

 

kings square_lr_1498613599015

 

An independent report by heritage experts Griffiths Architects has concluded that the new City of Fremantle civic building at Kings Square has a ‘favourable effect on heritage’ by providing strong interactions between the historic Fremantle Town Hall and the civic and community functions of the new building.

The soon-to-be-built $50m administration and library building will enhance the important heritage aspects of Fremantle’s Kings Square according to the recently received heritage impact statement.

The report advises the new building will help return the town hall to prominence by reintegrating the town hall back into the centre of civic life:

The overall presentation of the town hall, civic functions and administration will be visually enhanced by a more integrated 21st century building that relates well to the town hall, Kings Square and William Street and Newman Court.

The changes will reintegrate the town hall back into day-to-day city life, provide proper connections to services and lift areas and ensure that contemporary requirements that can be so damaging to historic buildings are located in the new building.

Fremantle Council wanted a long-term approach in determining the design for the new building and that it must stand the test of time to last 100 years or more to become Fremantle’s future heritage.

Council weighed up all the information and decided a full redevelopment rather than a refurbishment of the existing building would be best to meet the long-term needs of the Fremantle community.

The Griffiths Architects report was critical of the current building, saying it had failed to make a positive contribution to the urban setting of Kings Square, was intrusive, dislocated the town hall from its administrative functions and was past its useful life.

The current building is inefficient from an environmental and operating cost perspective, suffers from concrete cancer, has significant asbestos contamination issues and does not meet legal disability access requirements.

I don’t believe Fremantle Council has decided yet if it will add a third floor to the new Civic Centre, but I think it would be remiss, and Council would fail in their duty, if they did not plan for the future of a larger Fremantle, when there is little doubt that Fremantle is growing and local government reform through amalgamations will happen in the not too distant future.

The Kings Square Project will be a huge game-changer for Fremantle and change our fortunes for the better. I can’t wait for it to start!!

Roel Loopers

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NOTRE DAME WITHDRAWS NURSING SCHOOL PLANS

Posted in city of fremantle, education, notre dame university, Uncategorized by freoview on June 16, 2017

I received this media statement from Fremantle Notre Dame University Vice Chancellor Celia Hammond and publish it in full.

I have highlighted some essential parts of it in bold.

 

Media Statement
For immediate release: Friday 16 June 2017
RE: Proposed School of Nursing & Midwifery building – 3-5 High Street ______________________________________________________________________________

In November 2016 The University of Notre Dame Australia announced plans for a new development at 3-5 High Street in Fremantle to house its successful and highly rated School of Nursing & Midwifery. Notre Dame’s architects and planners worked to a brief designed to provide the best possible facilities for students, to maximise street activation of the West End precinct and retain the existing heritage façade. Advice from the Heritage Council of Western Australia and the Fremantle Design Advisory Committee was sought and incorporated throughout the design process.

The University was enthusiastic about the resulting development and what it would bring for the future education of our students. The University was also mindful that the site is historically significant, and represents a key element in the continuing revitalisation of Fremantle’s West End.

Following consideration by the Fremantle Council, the University adjourned its subsequent application before the Joint Development Assessment Panel. The purpose of the adjournment was to consider matters raised by the Council (both in reports and discussions) and independently, by the community and community bodies. In addition, the University engaged the TPG Place
Match group to undertake further independent consultation regarding the proposed development.

As a result of this detailed consultation, and following thorough consideration of all feedback, the University has decided not to proceed with its current plan and to withdraw its current application for planning approval.

The University would like to thank all those who have contributed to this discussion. We have listened to, and taken account of, all feedback – both critical and complimentary. This has not only helped us reach our decision not to proceed with the current plan, but excited us about the potential for this building.

The University does therefore remain committed to this development and to ensuring that our nursing and midwifery students have access to state-of-the-art learning facilities. We also remain committed to our role as a key member of the Fremantle community, in developing a building that is architecturally and historically significant, sensitive to heritage, and an important contributor to the continuing revitalisation of the West End of Fremantle.

We will be releasing information about the next steps in relation to this development in the coming weeks.

 

FREO WANTS CREATIVE ARCHITECTURE

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

 

 

One of the pleasures of living in Fremantle is that one bumps into many people when one wanders the streets, so I was delighted to have a coffee and chat with architect Murray Slavin on the weekend, when he was walking his great dog that loves carrots.

Of course  when Murray and I catch up architecture and development in Fremantle is on the agenda.

I have been thinking for quite a few years why it is that modern development in Fremantle is mainly functional and often not very attractive. We get concrete square boxes instead of heritage of the future buildings.

Too many modern buildings lack attention to detail, there is no softness, no round shapes, just 90 degree corner angles. There are no features and no accentuation of great craftsmanship.

I am not suggesting at all that I would like to see mock heritage, but why don’t developers build small spikes, cupolas, towers, verandahs instead of boring awnings, different shaped  balconies and windows.

Why are there not more architectural features that become the new public art and are part of the building, instead of adding-sometimes inappropriate-art as an after thought.

And why is an eight-storey building just that and hardly ever a building that varies in height and becomes more attractive that way? A roof garden does not have to be on the top, it could be part of the third or fourth floor.

Facades of large development should be split up so that it looks as if there is more than just the one building and it creates a rhythm along the streetscape.

Existing streetscapes are mostly ignored and not respected in this selfie-period of architecture and look at me design, rather that adding to the spatial realm.

Unfortunately planning rules are very restrictive and local governments can’t really not approve building because they are not beautiful enough. I hope state government will improve the rules before we end up with a visual disaster.

Roel Loopers

FREMANTLE ARCHITECTURE AND MULTICULTURALISM

Posted in architecture, city of fremantle, development, Uncategorized by freoview on May 30, 2017

The controversial and often mediocre development proposals we get in Fremantle made me contemplate what good and acceptable architecture for our city is.

Some people say it is just personal taste, and the Fremantle Chamber of Commerce is quite happy to accept higher and architecturally average buildings in the historic West End than the planning scheme allows, because for them it is all about activation and revitalising the retail and hospitality economy. Will ugliness really achieve that?

Developing a city is much more than just adding new modern buildings and trying to push-start the economy with mediocrity for short-term gain.

Good architecture is like successful immigration and the integration into a multicultural society. It is about respecting and enhancing the diversity, blending in while retaining one’s culture, and making a positive difference to the community one joins. It’s about being considerate and accepting one comes into and adds to an established society, a streetscape, a history.

Architecture should be about respecting and enhancing the streetscape and blending in with what is already there. It is about accepting and respecting the history of place and the unique character a city like Fremantle has.

That does not mean we can’t have iconic buildings that make a statement about how good modern architecture can be, but it should not be about architects showing off their ego and ignoring the heritage significance of place.

It is telling and refreshing that Notre Dame University took the concerns of the community and Fremantle Council serious and will now redesign the new School of Nursing they want to build on the corner of Cliff and High streets. It shows real consideration and maturity, and the willingness to compromise to achieve a better outcome for Fremantle. That is what respect for one’s community should be all about!

Development should not be about trying to ram unacceptable ugly and too high buildings through at the W.A. Development Assessment Panel or State Administrative Tribunal, but it should be about making Fremantle even more beautiful and special, and outstanding modern architecture will do that.

Developers who want to come to Fremantle need to engage architects who acknowledge and respect that our city is different and unique and that there is greatness in detail, diversity of heights and splitting up facades, so that modern buildings do not look too massive in our low-rise environment.

Boring concrete boxes are just not on. They are proof of lazy, disrespectful architects and lack of creativity. We don’t want or need them in Freo!

When we cook we don’t just throw things in a pot and hope that somehow it will become a great meal. We carefully blend ingredients and spices to create the wow factor around the table and impress our guests. That is what architects need to do in Fremantle, because a lamb korma pizza with with mayo, tofu and pineapple, topped with Chinese dumplings won’t impress too many people.

To ignore Freo’s history when one designs new buildings for our city is ignoring that trees can’t survive without their roots. Our past is part of us and shapes our future.

Roel Loopers

FREO HEIRLOOM WINS STATE HERITAGE AWARD

Posted in development, fremantle, heirloom by match, heritage, Uncategorized by freoview on May 27, 2017

 

The Fremantle HEIRLOOM by MATCH residential development at Queen Victoria Street has won two categories in last night’s annual WA Heritage Council awards for adaptive reuse of a heritage building.

It won the Gerry Gauntlett award for excellence in conservation and also the adaptive reuse award

MATCH converted the former Dalgety Woolstores building, that was built in 1923. into 183 residential units.

The judges said that the building was a testament to the dedication and financial commitment of MATCH and they had used innovative solutions.

The Heirloom development was financially supported by Sirona Capital, which will start the Kings Square Project in the next few weeks, helping to rebuild the Fremantle economy.

Hillcrest in North Fremantle received a commendation for the conservation work done on it.

Roel Loopers

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HERITAGE FESTIVAL CONNECTS US TO THE PAST

Posted in city of fremantle, conversation, heritage, Uncategorized by freoview on May 26, 2017

 

townhall 3

 

 

The Fremantle Heritage Festival starts today with the unveiling of the sublime conservation work of the Townhall at 11.30 am. All are welcome and a historic group photo will be taken, so come along!

In the 32 years I have been in the west I have never seen the Townhall look so splendid. It is now an eye-catching icon for visitors and locals to enjoy.

When in two years the Kings Square development has been finished our city square will be a modern showcase that embraces the beautiful Townhall.

The Heritage Festival program is extensive so get a printed copy at the library or Roundhouse, or check it on the City’s website and Facebook.

Great historic Freo photos at the relaunch of Old Fremantle, a book by Fremantle Society President John Dowson. They are on display at Kidogo Arthouse at Bathers Beach. Don’t miss it! Perfect coffee table book and good presents for all who love Fremantle and history.

Roel Loopers

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SHIFTING GOALPOSTS NOT COMMUNITY PROBLEM

Posted in architecture, city of fremantle, development, Uncategorized by freoview on May 25, 2017

Fremantle Council deferred a decision last night on the application by developers Silverleaf to not go ahead with adding more fritted glass screens to the building, as was agreed on in the planning approval.

The planning officers and Design Advisory Committee wanted Council to  reject the application but an amendment by Councillor Rachel Pemberton is trying to find a compromise.

Pemberton said she was concerned and tried to understand the practical reality of not adding the glass screens, but it is the the original approved plans so why wasn’t it done? But there is no harm done to see if a good compromise can be found.

The DAC said it is very disappointed with the amended proposal as it spent considerable time with the proponent, and a number of design outcomes were negotiated and considered necessary components that lead to the DAC’s conditional approval of the building.

The DAC believes the fritted glass screens address the scale and massing by making the detail behind the glass less legible.

Silverleaf owner Gerard O’Brien said the developer had spent more money into details such as tuck pointing the facades in High and Cantonment streets and that he had been advised by the builders that retrospect adding of the fritted glass screens would be difficult.

I don’t mind the building as it kind of floats over the old facades and the fritted glass screens definitely help to give it that appearance of softness, so I would like to see the developer stick to the plans Fremantle Council approved. They made it more difficult for themselves, and probably more costly now, by not adhering to the plans and making unapproved changes as they went along.

I do understand the triple bottom line and Silverleaf at present developing eight major sites in different councils, but at the end of the day if developers move the goal posts during construction that is a decision they have to live with and pay for. The community should not be told that it is too expensive and troublesome now to do what they agreed on in the first place when they applied for planning approval from council.

Roel Loopers

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