Freo's View


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




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)


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



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


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


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




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.


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




Posted in architecture, city of fremantle, heritage, Uncategorized by freoview on January 6, 2018


The proposal for the development and part demolition of the Manning buildings will come before the City of Fremantle Planning Committee this Wednesday January 10 at 6pm.

The plans by developers Silverleaf include a 250 patron dining area and 250 patron tavern and a micro-brewery, as well as office and retail accommodation.

The approval authority for the $ 10 million project is the WA Joint Development Assessment Panel. The City of Fremantle Officer’s Recommendation to the CoF Planning Committee is to recommend the conditional approval of the three storey development, that will retain the Manning Arcade between the High Street mall and Paddy Troy Lane.

The modernisation of the Frematle CBD is inevitable and should in general be welcomed I believe, as long as new development proposals are considerate of the heritage character of the inner city.

Silverleaf is a major player in Fremantle and therefore has an obligation to the community to do excellent and attractive development.

While Silverleaf is applying for the Manning development, and soon will be applying for the development of the Woolstores shopping centre and Justice and Police complex in Henderson Street, it still has not completed the development of the Attwell Arcade building and installed all the cladding on the four-storey building.

Completion of the Atwell development should be a requirement by the City of Fremantle before Silverleaf gets approval for any new development in Fremantle.

The planning officers also recommend the requirement of a photographic archival record of the existing building, but that should be amended to a professional high-resolution photographic archival record, as we might otherwise end up with useless low-res amateur photos.

Council meetings will be held at the North Fremantle Community Centre at Thompson Road during the Kings Square Project construction and start at 6 pm.

Roel Loopers





Posted in city of fremantle, heritage, Uncategorized by freoview on November 24, 2017


WA Heritage Minister David Templeman is serious about heritage protection. A bill will be introduced in parliament next week to stop Demolition by Neglect by uncaring property owners.

Fines of up to $ 1 million, or one year jail, and ongoing daily penalties of $ 50,000 are part of the new legislation that will be managed by the State Administrative Tribunal.

Under the legislation owners of heritage-listed buildings who don’t maintain the property will receive a Repair Notice that requires them to make buildings safe and secure to prevent further deterioration.

I would love Marilyn New woolstores eyesore in Fremantle’s Cantonment Street to be the first one to cop a huge fine as the Fremantle community has been held at ransom for over a decade.

Roel Loopers


Posted in architecture, city of fremantle, development, Uncategorized by freoview on November 3, 2017



The Fremantle LIV apartments built by Defence Housing along Queen Victoria and Quarry streets have reached the highest point of the building.

The development should be completed in just over 12 months and will provide a lot of new residential apartments in the inner city.

It is an utter shame that the architecture could and should have been so much better, and that the massive building could have been a inspiring entry statement to our port city.

Boring buildings are not very Freo at all!

It is time the City of Fremantle organised a forum with architects, city planners, the community, etc. to see how we can put better planning rules in place that will ensure better architecture in our city.


Roel Loopers


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


There was an interesting article on the property pages of the WEST AUSTRALIAN yesterday by senior architect Carmel van Ruth of the Office of the WA Government Architect about how good design is the foundation of infill development.

Van Ruth argues that urban infill has a significant impact on the public realm and the surrounding communities and needs to deliver improved site-specific outcomes.

I have been concerned for a long time that the importance of site-specific architecture in Fremantle and other character suburbs is something that seems to be lost on most developers and architects/designers, who just want to build something that might look good in Joondalup or Midland, but has no place in Fremantle. That attitude needs to change to guarantee we get outstanding modern Freo-specific architecture in Fremantle.

Innovative solutions will ensure that developers will receive discretionary addition height concessions from councils, van Ruth writes, and I believe Fremantle Council should have stricter rules for discretionary height.

Only really exceptional architecture should receive a reward in height for developers and will make them aware that only excellent design will be a win for the community and for them.

Van Ruth also writes that it requires skilled architects who understand the significance of infill development to get the desired outcomes. I totally agree with her, as the Fremantle example of poor architecture for development proposals is not acceptable.


Roel Loopers


Posted in architecture, buildings, city of fremantle, Uncategorized by freoview on September 13, 2017


Private owners of State Registered heritage places are invited to apply for a share of $1.2 million to assist with urgent conservation works to their properties.

The Heritage Council of Western Australia‘s Heritage Grants Program offers dollar-for-dollar funding for grants of up to $100,000, including for conservation plans to help guide works.

Last year, 13 metropolitan and 15 regional places shared in grant funding which, when combined with owner contributions, generated almost $3 million in conservation works.

The Heritage Grants Program is one of the few grants programs in Australia that assists private owners with the costs associated with maintaining heritage places.

Since the Heritage Grants Program’s inception in 1997, 745 heritage projects have received grants totalling more than $18 million.

Applications for the 2017-18 Heritage Grants Program are open until 12pm Tuesday October 31, 2017 and successful applicants will be announced in early 2018.


Roel Loopers



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