Freo's View


Posted in architecture, development, fremantle, notre dame univesrity by freoview on October 3, 2016


Fremantle Notre Dame University is holding an information session next Monday, October 10 for local residents and businesses about plans for a new building at 3-5 High Street on the corner of Cliff Street. It is at 3.30 pm at Fairweathers, the former Fremantle Hotel. RSVP essential:

I wished everyone who wants to develop a substantial building in the inner city would make the effort of connecting with the local community at the early planning stage, as UNDA is doing. Last year they had the first info session telling locals they were planning the development and now they want to update us about where they are at. This enables everyone to work together to get the best possible outcome, instead of being presented with final plans where the community often becomes reactive and negative.

The vacant lot has been a bit of an eyesore for years and a new building there will also cover up the back of very ugly number one High Street, where they only left the beautiful former tram building facade.

It will be interesting to see the design of the building after the recent opening of the daring MSC building at Cliff Street by Murray Slavin Architects. The streetscape aspect is very important on that corner opposite the former Fremantle Hotel and in front of the ‘Wedding Wall’ which will be retained, I have been told.

The university is also keen to get street level activation and is considering a theatre and cafe at ground level of the building.

Roel Lopers



Posted in architecture, fremantle, tourism, western australia by freoview on September 30, 2016



The artwork feature on the new Quest apartment hotel development at Pakenham Street turns out to be very disappointing and mediocre and not at all complimentary to the heritage building. It is basically the same glass panel twice with a lot of blue and not much else. What an opportunity lost to make a real statement on that corner!

Just down the road in Short Street there are real nice splashes of colour that make a lot of difference to the otherwise average-looking street. Well done to whoever is responsible for this bold colourful facelift of the building!

Roel Loopers


Posted in architecture, city of fremantle, development, fremantle, western australia by freoview on September 29, 2016

Fremantle is in danger of being swamped by ugliness and becoming a city with a split personality. At one end of town we have the gorgeous heritage West End, but at the other end we are getting boring bland mediocrity and ugly modern buildings in the East End that don’t reference Fremantle’s character and show little to no respect for Freo’s heritage and lifestyle.

We need to start a Keep Freo Fantastic! campaign to encourage our Councillors and planning staff to tighten the screws and put new rules in place which will stop the cheap blandness developers propose for the east of the CBD.

There is nothing outstanding about the Defence Housing project on Queen Victoria Street, and just down the road the development next to St Pats, approved by the State DAP, is even worse.

Go further west and the mediocre Hilton Doubletree hotel will pop up in a few years time and only a hundred metres west from that the ugly eight-storey building on the former Spotlight site at Adelaide Street is up for approval.

The very worst of all development proposals for the CBD will come to Council soon in the form of an utterly disgraceful five-storey building proposal at Mills Records in Adelaide Street at Kings Square. This is such outrageous ugliness that the City of Fremantle should kick it out and not even let the Design Advisory Panel look at it and suggest improvements, because it is impossible to improve shit even when you spray it with French perfume.

I support infill and higher density in appropriate locations in Fremantle but I will strongly fight any proposals that show absolute disregard for Fremantle’s beauty and heritage!  We need to urgently get new planning rules to stop Freo being swamped by architectural shit!

Roel Loopers

Queen Victoria:Beach Street

Freo Hilton Hotel 52 Adelaide Street

Queen Victoria Street development


Posted in architecture, art, development, fremantle, western australia by freoview on September 29, 2016


Bland mediocrity with very little colour is the fashion of the day for new development in Fremantle as architects keep designing uninspiring buildings for our inner city.

So it is great to finally see some bold colours in Short Street where they are giving the building opposite Spare Parts Puppet Theatre a facelift.

The QUEST apartment hotel is also getting a splash of colour on the corner of Pakenham Street there, but I am not certain that all that blue matches up well with the cladding of the building.

I also thought these glass panels were going to show a heritage feature and not just a modern abstract art work.

Roel Loopers


Posted in architecture, fremantle, fremantle ports, heritage, tourism, western australia by freoview on September 29, 2016



I love this angle of the Maritime Museum along the historic B Shed and A Shed buildings at Fremantle’s Victoria Quay in Fremantle Port and could not resist to take a photo of it again yesterday late afternoon on my way to the Council meeting.

Fremantle is in desperate need of some outstanding iconic modern buildings instead of the mediocre offensive rubbish architects and developers propose for our city.

Roel Loopers


Posted in fremantle, heritage, photography, western australia by freoview on September 28, 2016


Nice to finally see some colour appearing in central Fremantle in Short Street at Pioneer Park. It was too early to take photos but will do so later today or tomorrow and show you.

While wandering around Fremantle in the freezing cold and strong southerly wind I took this selfie at Phillimore Street.

Roel Loopers


Posted in architecture, city of fremantle, development, heritage, western australia by freoview on September 27, 2016


I went and had a look at the development plans for 18-22 Adelaide Street at the City this morning and I am outraged that architects could have so little respect for Fremantle’s heritage and character.

The five-storey short-term accommodation building is a disgrace because of its utter blandness and ugliness. The architects and developers no doubt believe they can get away with sticking three storey of ugly concrete boxes with balconies above the two lower levels because they are set back, but it is the most horrible architecture, if one can use that word for it, one could imagine for that location at historic Kings Square and next to a beautiful old building to the west of it.

For this disrespectful architecture we should open up the stocks at the Roundhouse again, so those who ‘designed’ the disgraceful proposal can get some appreciation of the beauty and heritage of Fremantle.

The proposed building is cheap, ugly, unacceptable and shows absolute disregard for what Fremantle is about!

Stop ugly development now, City of Fremantle, or you will have a riot on your hands!

Please do put your submissions against this unacceptable development in writing to the City of Fremantle by October 6. We can not tolerate this ugliness in the centre of our city. The plans are available for viewing at the reception desk at COF, so don’t take my word for it but get enraged yourselves when you see them.

Roel Loopers


Posted in accommodation, architecture, development, fremantle, tourism, western australia by freoview on September 22, 2016



Rain interrupted the installation of large glass art panels at the new Quest Hotel in Pakenham Street this morning, but the feature should be a new attraction for Fremantle from this week on, and the serviced apartments hotel opening very soon.

The new panel cladding has improved the look of the building significantly and I wished they had continued it around the corner in Leake Street where there is now a huge blank wall.

The interior courtyard looks interesting from what I could see, so looking forward to seeing the finished product and having more tourist accommodation in Fremantle.

Roel Loopers


Posted in architecture, city of fremantle, development, local government, western australia by freoview on September 21, 2016



52 Adelaide Street


Subiaco Councillor Julie Matheson, who has announced she will be standing as an independent for the seat of Fremantle at the March 2017 State election, wants Fremantle Council to introduce a cash for height scheme similar to that at North Sydney Council.

Additional discretionary heights would only be approved if the developers make a contribution to a community asset, such as the restoration of old buildings or improving the tree canopy, etc.

Matheson complained in an email to me that the extra height granted by the DAP for the proposed building on the former Spotlight site at 52 Adelaide street does not benefit the community.

I believe this is a good idea as long as the contribution is so significant that I might help deter developers from applying for additional height.

The eight storey building proposed for the location is mediocre and will not greatly enhance the area and that is what concerns me personally more than the height of the building. We are getting too many ugly big new buildings in Fremantle instead of the heritage of the future we would be more willing to accept.

Roel Loopers


Posted in architecture, city of fremantle, development, western australia by freoview on September 16, 2016

It is disappointing to read in the Fremantle Herald today that the Fremantle Society continues to oppose higher density and multi-storey buildings in the east of the CBD.

FS President John Dowson’s letter in the Chook is talking about human scale and against super high density housing, when he opposes the building proposed for the former Spotlight site at the Westgate Mall.

Dowson teaches us a bit of history of the area and it is nice to know that the paving leading into the Westgate Mall was taken in 1968 from the Point Street car park.

I have written about the eight-storey building before and believe it is ugly and should be rejected because of that, not because of its height.

Fact is the Point Street car park will be demolished and the Hilton Doubletree hotel built there. From memory that building will be six-storey high at Princess May Park and seven storey at Point Street, so it will step up just one storey to the proposed development a hundred metres away.

The east of the CBD has been a terrible eyesore for far too many years and has created an unsafe environment where people don’t even dare to wait for the bus, so improvement of the area is badly-needed and very welcome.

An eight-storey building is not highrise and the development of the Woolstores shopping centre site near it can go up to 11 storey under Planning Scheme Amendment 39. I was against the heights of PSA 49 as I believe the Woolstores and Gas&Coke sites should only go up to seven storey and only if exceptional architecture is offered should those sites be developed to up to nine storeys, but never higher than that! Sadly we lost that battle years ago and that can’t be reversed now.

We need to fight development battles in Fremantle on design quality and the insistence of heritage protection without compromise, not just on hight.

The Barnett Government demands higher density and infill from all metropolitan councils and it will take over if they don’t comply, so we are better off having our own Elected Members make those decisions. But those can still be overruled by the state’s Development Assessment Panels, as they did with the proposal for the ugly building next to St Patrick’s and the Fremantle Hotel. Freo Council refused the development application but the DAP approved it.

No matter how often the Fremantle Society baulks at change in Fremantle it will happen, because change is inevitable. What we need to do is insist on good change, not the mediocrity we are getting at the moment.

I believe planning changes need to be made at state level to insist on better quality and more creative buildings that suit the streetscape. If new buildings are truly outstanding medium height won’t be an issue.

Roel Loopers

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