Freo's View

MANY REASONS TO CELEBRATE

Posted in city of fremantle, retail, shopping, Uncategorized by freoview on May 4, 2018

 

MANY 2.0 birthday party

 

 

Fremantle retail incubator MANY 2.0 is celebrating its first anniversary in the new location in the former Spotlight building in Adelaide Street this Saturday with a party from 5-8pm.

MANY had to move out of the former MYER building at Kings Square last year to make way for the redevelopment there.

Go check out all the lovely shops and the cafe and support our local small businesses.

Roel Loopers

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WOOLSTORES PROPOSAL AT JDAP TOMORROW

 

Woolstores

The proposal by Silverleaf Investments for the development of the Fremantle Woolstores shopping centre site will come before the state’s South West Joint Development Assessment Panel tomorrow morning at 10 am at the temporary council chambers at Fremantle Oval.

Fremantle Council have recommended to reject the proposal because the proposed additional discretionary height conditions are not met to give the proposal the excellent design rating that is required to be granted extra height.

I hope a compromise can be reached between the City of Fremantle and Silverleaf Investments as the site is of great importance for the rejuvenation of the CBD and Fremantle’s attempt at economic recovery.

The present building is ugly and boring and offers a provincial low-key shopping experience, so a new development, especially with a hotel, would be very good.

We should also not forget that the developers could simply drop their request for additional discretionary height and build a very mediocre building that is within the PSA 49 rules, so the City and Silverleaf need to try to work together to get an exceptional iconic building.

Roel Loopers

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COME ON SILVERLEAF. PUT A GARDEN ON THE WOOLSTORES DEVELOPMENT!

Posted in architecture, city of fremantle, development, Uncategorized by freoview on February 14, 2018

 

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What a coincidence to just see an article on Facebook about a rooftop garden on a Melbourne shopping centre, when I only yesterday talked with North Fremantle architect Murray Slavin about the opportunity lost to do something similar with the proposed Woolstores shopping centre development in Fremantle.

Besides the poor design qualities of the proposed development, Murray and I both lamented that a rooftop garden for residents and hotel guests on top of the four-storey carpark had not been included in the development, as that would lift it to another level.

I also sugested that to indicate the bulk of a woolstores the two towers of the development could be linked at the top with massive steel beams, so that there is an impression of bulk, but it does not fill up the space above the carpark.

Unfortunately we are getting very conservative and rather boring new development in Fremantle and that is partly to blame on a council that is so keen on economic recovery that it is willing to compromise far too easily on the beauty and aesthetics of new buildings.

Fremantle is unique and that unique character needs to be acknowledged with creative and outstanding design!

Roel Loopers

DISAPPOINTING DESIGN FOR FREMANTLE WOOLSTORES PROPOSAL

Posted in architecture, city of fremantle, development, planning, Uncategorized by freoview on January 26, 2018

 

Woolstores

A City if Fremantle Special Planning Committee will be held on January 31 to consider the design and planning principles for the proposed development of the Woolstores shopping centre site.

Silverleaf Investments is proposing a 4-10 storey mixed use development that will be a public carpark, shops, hotel, offices, student accommodation and aged and dependant persons accommodation.

The agenda states that the planning officers and Design Advisory Committee believe the plans have merit to develop into a scheme capable of satisfying the scheme provisions to exceptional design quality, which I find hard to believe

While I quite like the modern and light five-storey container shape with porthole windows idea for the hotel there is a severe disconnect to the red brick four-storey podium it is resting on.

The rest of the very large building is boring, plain, sombre, unimaginative standard red brick nothingness that does not qualify at all to get design excellence standards, and surprisingly the officers recommend to increase the use of red bricks, which will just enhance the darkness of the building and increase its blandness.

Woolstores 2

Here some snippets from the agenda:

The design and planning principles this report will consider are as follows:

  •   The proposed brick podium component of the development and its empathetic response to the scale and architectural character of the adjacent Elders Woolstores
  •   The Hotel building located at the Queen Street end of the site and the Aged Care (Retirement Living) building located at the Goldsbrough Street end of the site particularly the external appearance of the upper floors of these buildings.
  •   The location, design and activation of the proposed mid-block pedestrian link.
  •   The presentation of the proposed development to the corner of Queen Street and

    Elder Street, specifically the interaction of the Hotel lobby with Queen Street.

Brick Podium

The proposal includes the construction of a brick podium base to the development of approximately 4-5 storeys in height, extending across the whole site. The DAC has been consistent in its encouragement to the applicant to respond more emphatically to the scale and ‘weight’ of the remaining former Woolstores building on Elder Place.

The applicant has been encouraged to use brick as a utilitarian and structural element of the proposal to produce a meaningful representation of the scale and ‘weight’ (in an architectural sense) of the adjacent Elders Woolstores. The current concept uses brick as the primary material for the podium, however its use has evolved more into a decorative screen rather than an essential structural element of the podium. The proposed use of brick as a primary material is still supported, however the applicant is encouraged to develop the design of the podium as discussed below.

In my opinion the overall visual appeal of the building is very disappointing, with only the hotel component as a stand out of modern architecture, while the rest is 1970s design that is unbecoming to modernising the boring east of the Fremantle CBD.

Roel Loopers

FREO DEVELOPMENT NOTHING LIKE EAST BERLIN

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

 

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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

 

 

KELSEY ASHE’S ART SHOW IN THE ROUNDHOUSE

Posted in art, city of fremantle, fashion, roundhouse, Uncategorized by freoview on November 15, 2017

 

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The Fremantle Roundhouse, Western Australia’s oldest public building was a wonderful setting for a very wonderful art show on Wednesday evening.

Fremantle artist Kelsey Ashe had created ten limited edition drawings as a fund raiser for the Fremantle Fashion Collective and many people turned up to admire and buy her work.

The Roundhouse is a great setting for small events and functions, so keep it in mind.

 

Roel Loopers

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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

VELVET SUSHI FASHION NEW BOUTIQUE

Posted in fashion, fremantle, Uncategorized by freoview on April 25, 2017

 

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That lovely very Freo tiny fashion empire VELVET SUSHI had to move shop because of the Kings Square development and you can now find the boutique in Bannister Street just off the Fremantle Cappuccino Strip.

New shop location 5 BANNISTER Street. FREMANTLE.

The Attic Cafe, Stable Hands Restaurant and Hougoumont Hotel are neighbours, so go and check out the new shop.

Open for business from this Thursday 27th April

Shop Hours

Tues- check in before you pop in
Wed- 11-5pm
Thurs- 11-5pm
Fri- 11-5pm
Sat- 11-5pm
Sun- closed
Mon- closed

 

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GO VISIT THE NEW FREO MANY 2.0!

Posted in fremantle, retail, shopping by freoview on April 7, 2017

 

Don’t forget to go and visit the new MANY 2.0 that relocated from Kings Square to the former Spotlight building at Adelaide Street next to Target in Fremantle.

This retail incubator is full of great surprises and gifts and has so many eclectic wares to choose from.

It is a real pleasure to browse through the large but cosy space and check out all they have on sale. There is also a hairdresser and a cafe, and if that is not enough why not try out the fantastic Thai food at The Loft cafe on the corner of Point Street, just down the road from MANY 2.0.

And there is an Opening Party this Saturday from 5-9 pm!

Roel Loopers

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FREO’S MANY 2.0 IS EVEN BETTER!

Posted in fremantle, retail, shopping by freoview on March 17, 2017

Fremantle has a fantastic new large retail outlet in the former Spotlight building at Adelaide Street next to Target. MANY 2.0 is the incubator for independent small businesses that started as Many 6160 in the former Meyer building at Kings Square in 2013, but had to relocate due to the Kings Square project development.

I like the more compact and cohesive MANY 2.0 retail collective in the new location better than at Kings Square as it looks more lively and like a nicely crowded creative market place that invites to browse and discover cute innovative things.

There is so much to look at and buy so MANY 2.0 should be one of your first destinations if you are looking for gifts for someone. There is bric-a-brac, art, fashion, craft, designers, a hair dresser, cafe, hats and a large variety of other quirky and funky things.

MANY 2.0 is open Thursdays to Sundays but they are already talking about probably opening another day because there are many more people in the area than at Kings Square.

Go and check it out and support local small retailers!

Roel Loopers

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