Freo's View

THE IMPORTANCE OF TELLING OUR STORIES

Posted in aboriginal, architecture, art, city of fremantle, city planning, culture, history, Uncategorized by freoview on October 1, 2018

 

 

I had no idea how big and impressive the new WA Museum at the Perth cultural centre was going to be until I saw the building site yesterday.

Museums, cultural centres and state galleries are such important places to tell our stories, so I hope he WA State Government will in the near future also make an investment in Fremantle and build a migrant museum on Victoria Quay and an Aboriginal Cultural Centre as well.

Fremantle Ports is creating two new websites, one for normal port business and the other specifically for Victoria Quay, so it looks like they might go ahead with development there after all, and connect the port better with Kings Square.

 

 

While in Perth, during one of my very rare visits to the big smoke, I also noticed the SKS Group building the Hilton Doubletree hotel at Elizabeth Quay, so now hoping they will prioritise the Fremantle one at Princess May Park as well.

And isn’t it nice to see that there are actually architects who design nicely curved and round buildings, instead of the boring and predictable rectangular ones. Yes, these buildings are too high for Freo, but I’d love to see some rounded corners at new developments.

Roel Loopers

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FREMANTLE UPSIDE DOWN

Posted in architecture, art, city of fremantle, heritage, photography, Uncategorized by freoview on May 28, 2018

 

 

The FREMANTLE HERITAGE FESTIVAL is on all week, so I combined the autumn weather with heritage buildings and took these upside down/down under reflections in puddles of some historic buildings today.

Roel Loopers

NOTRE DAME HERITAGE NEGLECT

Posted in architecture, city of fremantle, heritage, notre dame university, Uncategorized by freoview on May 13, 2018

 

 

It is time for Fremantle’s Notre Dame University to do some urgent maintenance on the so called Wedding Wall in Cliff Street.

The heritage listed wall looks very uncared for and is becoming an eyesore because of all the cracks. It will be only a matter of time until it falls apart.

NDA cancelled their plans to build a new school of nursing on the carpark behind the wall, but Vice Chancellor Celia Hammond said last year she would like to see that site converted into a park. Nothing has happened so far and the beautiful wall is looking worse by the day.

Heritage neglect is unacceptable in Fremantle, so pull your sleeves up NDA and get working on it please!

Roel Loopers

FREO’S KINGS SQUARE WORK IN PROGRESS

 

KS 1

KS 2

 

The demolition of the Queensgate building and part demolition of the former Myer building at Fremantle’s Kings Square is progressing rapidly.

One can now clearly see the back wall of the Queensgate carpark and the scaffolding along William Street is coming down as the demolition progresses.

I am not certain when the demolition of the civic centre will start and when building activities for the Kings Square Redevelopment Project will commence, so keen to receive an update on that from Sirona Capital and the City of Fremantle.

Roel Loopers

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QUALITY THE KEY FOR SMALL INFILL DEVELOPMENT

Posted in architecture, city of fremantle, development, housing, local government, Uncategorized by freoview on March 19, 2018

 

The City of Fremantle’s Strategic Planning and Transport Committee will this Wednesday deliberate the implementation of Scheme Amendment 63 for Small Infill Development.

Small houses and so-called granny flats are popular but rare in Fremantle, so there is a need for them. However it is essential that PSA 63 does not become a license for a glut of unsightly portable mining dongas and sea containers in backyards as a form of alternative housing. Design quality needs to be one of the priorities when planning officers decide on approval.

You can read the entire agenda item on the City’s website. Click on Agendas and Minutes.

I have selected and copied some considerations addressed in the agenda below:

The Freo Alternative is an investigation into alternative housing forms for Fremantle’s suburban areas, to address gaps in provision.

The second stage of the Freo Alternative is a proposed amendment (no. 63) to the City’s Local Planning Scheme No.4 (LPS4 or Scheme) and a local planning policy (LPP3.20) for small infill housing in specific areas of lower density coded residential land in the City of Fremantle. The purpose of the proposal is to increase housing choice for smaller households in Fremantle’s suburban areas while maintaining what people value about their neighbourhoods. The approach focuses on the scale of housing, rather than the traditional metric of number of dwellings per land area.

The major themes that emerged from these discussions with the community were: location, housing choice, built form, sustainability, open space, trees and landscaping, community, and car movement and parking.

following spatial aspects contributing to the negative impact of infill housing:

reduction in tree cover

doubling in roof cover, crossover and paved area

decrease in usable outdoor space including private garden, open space and living areas

increase in areas required for vehicles including vehicle parking and manoeuvring

increase in impermeable hard surface.

The modelling and further research brought up a number of additional considerations. Based on this, council resolved to further refine the previously agreed principles, including a cap on the number of small houses, 70% open space and 25% DPZ requirements, to ensure a resultant scheme amendment achieves the purpose of providing diverse and affordable housing types in the City, whilst also retaining the character of the area.

Ensure good quality design outcomes including design that is responsive to local character and context.

The design of a development contributes greatly to the visual interest of the building.

Roel Loopers

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COOL PROPOSAL FOR PARRY STREET

Posted in architecture, city of fremantle, development, local government, Uncategorized by freoview on March 17, 2018

 

Parry 1

Parry 2

 

Finally a building application for Fremantle that passes my visual beauty test.

The plans for a four-storey mixed-use development at 18-26 Parry Street look pretty cool and different to me.

It will be tourist and residential apartment accommodation and cafe.

Check it all out at Have Your Say on the City of Fremantle website.

Roel Loopers

EAST FREMANTLE TOWNHALL RENOVATIONS

 

 

While Fremantle is eagerly awaiting the completion of the Kings Square project and the new Civic Centre the Town of East Fremantle councillors and staff have just returned to the Townhall there after 14 months of renovating the old building.

The renovation involved the removal of all previous office infrastructure i.e. floor coverings, fittings, partitions, bench tops etc. and included structural improvements, disabled access inclusion and an upgrade to all utilities.  The building was stripped of all services, electrical and mechanical and the plumbing has been replaced.

The aim  of the renovation is to provide a better use of the office space, an opportunity for community meetings, a more functional and contemporary reception and front counter, as well as getting the most out of one of the Town’s most beautiful buildings.

Roel Loopers

(Photos supplied)

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FOUNDATION OF OLD HALL FOUND AT KINGS SQUARE

Posted in city of fremantle, heritage, historic, kings square, Uncategorized by freoview on January 19, 2018

 

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1963 – corner of High St and Newman Court. Newsagent on the corner, with the Hall behind and in the rear left the back of the Centennial Building

ARCHAE-AUS Cultural Heritage Management have opened two more trenches near the corner of High Street and Newman Court for their archeological dig at Fremantle’s Kings Square  to look for remnants of late 1800s shops and a hall.

They report to have found substantial foundation of the hall, so that is exciting historic news for Fremantle.

Roel Loopers

PERCENTAGE FOR HERITAGE IMPORTANT FOR FREMANTLE

Posted in architecture, art, city of fremantle, development, local government, Uncategorized by freoview on January 10, 2018

 

An interesting flaw in the City of Fremantle’s Percentage for the Arts or Heritage policy came to light during the Planning Committee on Wednesday evening.

Fremantle Society president John Dowson made the very sensible suggestion that the percentage should be used to reinstate the wrought-iron verandahs on the Manning Buildings when they are developed, but was told it is not possible to use the percentage for the arts/heritage on a private building.

I had just written down that the Quest Hotel and another Pakenham Street development both have percentage for the art works attached to their buildings, when Silverleaf director Gerard O’Brien made exactly the same point to the Councillors.

The percentage for the arts and heritage policy was introduced to enhance and beautify the public realm, and Councillor Rachel Pemberton made the realistic observation that verandahs are very much in the public realm.

It is absolutely non-sensical that building owners and developers cannot spend percentage for heritage and arts money on beautifying the public realm with heritage features, but are forced to spend it on often pretty mediocre and uninspiring art that can be attached to their buildings.

Developers tell me that a lot of the money from percentage for the arts is spend on administration and art consultants, and not on the actual art work, so let gets some reality in a policy that is clearly flawed and needs to be amended, so that we can encourage developers to reinstate verandahs, which look much better than modern awnings.

It would be a win win for all!

And to make it clear! I love great public art and believe the percentage for the arts and heritage is good, but it needs to be realistic and flexible.

There are many silly rules and regulations in our planning laws and some of them are detrimental to achieving the best outcome. All the community wants is the very best building outcomes, not silly bureaucratic nonsense.

Roel Loopers

FREO DEVELOPMENT NOTHING LIKE EAST BERLIN

Posted in architecture, city of fremantle, development, Uncategorized by freoview on January 8, 2018

 

liv-apartments---artist-rendor_870x340

 

Fremantle Society president John Dowson has the uncanny ability to discredit himself by making ridiculous statements, as the rant below, which he sent to FS members about the LIV apartment development at Queen Victoria Street shows.

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Communist East Berlin Apartment Block Arrives

The raft of damaging oversized buildings is underway in Fremantle with the arrival of the East Berlin Communist inspired “Liv” apartment block in Queen Victoria Street opposite the “Giant of Fremantle”, the former Fort Knox wool store, the largest wool store left in Fremantle.

To allow the “Giant of Fremantle” to be overshadowed by an apartment block next to it is appalling planning and decision making, a failure of councillors to grasp very basic fundamentals of urban planning. 

The development suits the ideology of Fremantle Council, because the extensive number of low cost dwellings will largely be Labor voters.


 

The deciding authority for the $ 61 million development was the WA Joint Development Assessment Panel, if my memory serves me correct, and not Fremantle Council, because all development over $ 10 million automatically is moved on to JDAP.

Dowson must not have visited the former East Berlin and East Germany often when he claims the building is of the former communist country standards.  The LIV is built to One Planet green sustainability standards, and while I am not impressed either with the architecture it looks a whole lot better than the ugly dark concrete boxes they used to put up in East Berlin.

The six-storey LIV is a little higher than, but does not overshadow the very imposing HEIRLOOM woolstores over the road, but the length of the building is the issue and the facade should have been broken up a few times instead of just the one walk-through piazza to Quarry Street.

Only a wealthy person would claim that the building is for low cost occupation by Labor voters, when a small one-bedroom sells for over $ 400,000, a two-bedroom starts at $ 545,000 and a three bedroom for over one million dollars.  The building is developed by Defence Housing Australia and defence personnel will be occupying the apartments, as well as private owners.

The juxtaposition of old Heirloom and modern LIV on either side of Queen Victoria Street will make for an interesting entry statement to Fremantle when LIV is completed in August this year. It will show visitors that Fremantle is on the way to long-overdue modernisation of the run down east of the CBD.

But in general I would like to see much better, more innovative and creative architecture in Fremantle than what we are getting. The issues are not with Fremantle Council but with soft State planning laws that do not give deciding authorities the option of rejecting building approval on aesthetic grounds. I wished that would be changed to guarantee great modern design instead of mediocrity.

 

Roel Loopers

 

 

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