Freo's View

RARE ROUNDHOUSE UPSTAIRS VIEWS

Posted in arthur head, city of fremantle, heritage, roundhouse, Uncategorized by freoview on August 14, 2017

 

RH 1

 

Power is being installed in the Fremantle Roundhouse today, so a rare opportunity to climb the very steep and narrow steps and have a look the upstairs area, that is normally closed off.

It is quite clear that the steps are too dangerous to open up the upstairs of Western Australia’s oldest remaining public building to visitors, and most of the volunteer tourist guides have never been there either, so here some rare glimpses.

 

Roel Loopers

NO COMPROMISES FOR FREO’S WEST END

Posted in city of fremantle, heritage, Uncategorized by freoview on August 12, 2017

 

The FREMANTLE HERALD was kind enough to publish my Thinking Allowed about the necessary protection of Fremantle’s permanently heritage-listed West End this weekend. In case you don’t get the Chook home delivered or pick up a copy in town, I’ll post it here as well.

The attack by developers on Fremantle’s historic West End needs to be stopped and the City of Fremantle needs more support from State Government agencies to do that.

Applications for five-storey buildings keep coming although architects and developers are well aware that there is a three storey limit in the West End precinct.

There is an option for additional discretionary height of one floor, if it creates a better heritage outcome, or if the architecture of the building is considered to be of exceptional high quality.

What we see though are applications for boring and mediocre concrete boxes which would destroy the streetscape.

Architects show little to no respect for the spatial environment and the history of place, they just want to bang a totally inappropriate modern building in the middle of heritage buildings. This was shown in the recent application for three five-storey buildings behind Customs House in Henry Street going all the way to the former Centrelink site in Pakenham Street.

There was also a five storey application for the former Workers Club site in Henry Street, but fortunately that was rejected.

But even when Fremantle Council rejects development proposals the State’s Joint Development Assessment Panel or State Planning Commission can overrule council decisions, and they often do.

The State’s Heritage Office in my opinion sometimes also fails, as was the case with the now cancelled application by Notre Dame University for a mediocre five-storey building on the corner of High and Cliff streets. The Heritage Office recommended approval of the building, but Fremantle Council rejected it.

If UNDA had decided to go to JDAP with it they might well have approved the building the community and council did not want, on the recommendation of the Heritage Office.

It is only the sense of community and corporate responsibility of UNDA’s Vice Chancellor Celia Hammond that made the university decide to withdraw the plans for the new School of Nursing and Midwifery and start the process from scratch with a whole new design.

I am not against the development of some derelict sites and renovation of buildings in the West End, but there is nothing that can convince me that more than four storeys is appropriate for the heritage precinct. We only want outstanding development in the heritage area and nothing above four storeys!

Fremantle Council approved the five-storey nothingness of the Quest Hotel in Pakenham Street, because according to the planning and heritage officers of CoF it would preserve the interior heritage integrity of the building, but it hasn’t! Walk into the foyer of the serviced apartments buildings and you have no clue whatsoever that this is a heritage building. The blue artwork on the top corner of it is not suitable either.

Developers believe they can get away with murder in Fremantle because we are desperate for economic recovery in the port city. Yes we are, but not at any cost and the destruction of the unique character of our city.

If developers need extra height to please the bottom triple line they can develop in the east of Fremantle, and not even there indiscriminately.

Fremantle deserves more consideration when one wants to develop here and we need more support from State Government to protect the unique qualities of our city!

Roel Loopers

NO LUNATIC ARCHITECTURE FOR HISTORIC WEST END!

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

 

 

The lunatic development proposal for five storey buildings at 2 Henry and 7 Pakenham Street in Fremantle’s heritage West End Precinct will be deliberated at the W.A. Joint Development Assessment Panel(JDAP) this Wednesday August 9 at 10am at the Townhall. (Enter from the backstairs near the former Myer building).

Anton Capital and Hassel Architects show very little consideration for the unique heritage aspects and streetscapes of the historic West End, and hence the State Heritage Office recommended the refusal of the development, as did Fremantle Council unanimously.

The last thing we want to see in the West End is oversized boring concrete boxes, but that is all the architects could come up with. That is very disrespectful, arrogant and inconsiderate.

The City of Fremantle  and W.A. State agencies need to take a strong stand agains totally inappropriate development proposals for Freo’s gorgeous West End.

These applications are a total waste of time for the City’s planning department and for JDAP, Heritage Office, Planning Commission, etc. as they are un-approvable!

 

Roel Loopers

 

ATTACK ON FREO’S HISTORIC WEST END STOPPED

Posted in architecture, city of fremantle, development, heritage, Uncategorized by freoview on July 27, 2017

 

Pakenham Street development proposal

 

I am delighted that Fremantle Council last night unanimously rejected the application for three five-storey buildings in Fremantle’s West End.

The three buildings would have been built from the Customs House on the corner of Henry and Phillimore Street all the way to Pakenham Street and would have destroyed the West End forever and set a precedent for future massive buildings.

Not only did our Councillors reject the application but the State Heritage Office also recommended its refusal.

Councillor Bryn Jones said that the reasons for the refusal are very comprehensive and it would have been the end of the West End as we know it.

Councillor Andrew Sullivan said the development was significantly out of order and that the permanent state heritage listing of the West End was a game changer that would have an impact on how the State’s Joined Development Assessment Panel(JDAP) would rule on future applications for the historic area.

Councillor Jones said that JDAP cannot approve a development when the State Heritage Office recommend it to be rejected.

There is incredible arrogance by architects trying to get five-storey buildings in the West End, when the planning scheme only allows for three storeys, with a possible discretionary additional storey for outstanding architecture or heritage preservation.

The proposed buildings show absolute disrespect for the heritage significance of the beautiful West End and are very basic, boring, mediocre TBL(tripple bottom line) boxes that would do nothing to enhance the area.

The attack by developers on the West End needs to stop and the State Government needs to step in and be stronger and make sure that the DAP does not approve future five-storey applications.

Councillor Bryn Jones reminded us last night that the State Heritage Office had recommended the Notre Dame University five-storey building in High Street for approval and that is a serious worry.

It was only the university’s Vice Chancellor Celia Hammond’s respect for Fremantle Council and the Freo community that saw Notre Dame withdraw the development application after public rejection.

That building will now be totally redesigned to accommodate the wishes of the community. That is responsible and respectful development other developers should take heed off!

 

Roel Loopers

 

CANTONMENT HILL WORK GOING WELL

Posted in cantonment hill, city of fremantle, community, Uncategorized by freoview on July 19, 2017

 

Cantonment Hill

 

The Friends of Cantonment Hill have created a lovely walking tour map at Burt Street, so that people are aware that one can walk up the hill to get some of the best views of Fremantle, the port, and the Swan river.

Work on the playground area is well underway with retaining walls and steps being built, so the historic area will become a great destination for families in the very near future.

ENKEL should also be taking over the former Navy Stores building, as soon as earth works have been completed.

The former Signal Station is already well used by the Fremantle Volunteer Sea Rescue.

Roel Loopers

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

FREMANTLE PORTS NEGLECT HERITAGE

Posted in city of fremantle, fremantle ports, harbour, heritage, Uncategorized by freoview on July 13, 2017

 

 

Fremantle Ports is badly neglecting the old A Shed on Victoria Quay and that is not acceptable.

The shed is the one closest to the very popular Maritime Museum and should be looked after, so that we don’t have another case of demolition by neglect.

Last year Fremantle Ports demolished the old crane next to the E Shed Markets because it was in such a bad condition, for which they were responsible.

B Shed is maintained better because it has the Rottnest ferry terminal and events are held there, but one has to wonder what the condition of C and D Sheds are when one looks at the awful state of A Shed.

Roel Loopers

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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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FICRA LACKING VISION

Posted in city of fremantle, community, Uncategorized by freoview on May 24, 2017

 

Mary Rose Baker, the convenor of the Fremantle Inner City Residents Association also spoke at the Fremantle Network event on Monday evening and said her talk had forced the members to focus on what FICRA’s visions and priorities are:

Preservation of significant heritage, support for compatible development, heritage preservation and restoration, preservation of green and public open space, support for Notre Dame University, support unique and distinct Fremantle enterprises and businesses, support for commercial development with good design, no mono-culture of cafes in the West End, security and public order, the City of Fremantle Design Advisory Panel should protect the heritage more.

FICRA is also against the planned tavern at J Shed on Arthur Head and prefers activation through arts and craft. It also supports an ocean pool at Bathers Beach.

I would have liked to hear a few more specific ideas on how to revitalise the West End, especially on weekends and evenings, as it is very much a ghost town during those periods, even when the Cappuccino Strip is full with people.

One thing mentioned on the night is a sign on the corner of Market and High streets to point out Bathers Beach and the diversity of specialty shops along High Street.

I personally am still hoping that one day there will be a small growers market straight under the Roundhouse at Little High Street on Saturday mornings, or an arts&craft market in front of the Pilot’s Cottages.

I would also like to see those cottages lit at night to make them a heritage feature and to deter anti-social behaviour at Arthur Head.

Other small events could be organised there and the Street Arts Festival should have a stage/pitch in that perfect location at Little High Street next to Chalkys cafe that looks like a roundabout

I was surprised to hear that FICRA does not want to attract the high numbers of visitors the Fishing Boat Harbour has to High Street, because families wandering around there window shopping and taking in the history of our city would create vibrancy.

As ANJEL MS fashion shop owner Gaelle Beech said during the event, we need to find a better word than the ACTIVATION buzzword and Fremantle Council and the community should specify what that actually means. E,g. 500 drunks leaving the new J Shed tavern might be considered activation by some, but a bloody nuisance by others.

Roel Loopers

FREMANTLE CONSERVATION WORK GOING TO PLAN

Posted in architecture, city of fremantle, heritage, Uncategorized by freoview on May 10, 2017

 

Union Stores

 

Freo’s View reader Kel sent me some photos and complained about the condition of the historic Fremantle Unions Stores building on the corner of High and Henry streets, saying he feared the conservation work the City had conducted was not done properly and the same deterioration might happen to the Townhall.

I asked the Heritage Department of CoF for a detailed response and received this reassuring explanation:

UNION STORES
Since 2012 there has been an ongoing programme of works to conserve the Union Stores, to address various compliance issues and to upgrade services.
– 2013 – A safe roof access system was installed to allow for regular maintenance of the roof, gutters and air conditioning and also for undertaking conservation works in the following year.
– 2014 – Urgent structural repairs carried out to the parapets and gables. Parapets and gables conserved along with the deteriorated projecting flat surfaces of window sills, cornices and parapet copings. Street verandahs (reconstructed 1987) repaired and strengthened.
– 2015 – Electrical distribution board and fire systems upgraded and the rear verandah (1987) repaired and strengthened.
– 2016 – Ventilation of the basement improved to reduce damp and humidity to protect ground floor timbers and reduce problems with rising damp.

These works are part of the orderly process for the conservation and care of the City’s portfolio of heritage assets. The intention is to address building conservation in a manner that considers levels of urgency, economies of scale, correct sequence and good conservation practice. Many of these items of work will not be conspicuous but are vital to the conservation and long-term sustainability of these important heritage buildings for present and future generations.

Future works are planned to continue the conservation of the building facades once the moisture has evaporated from the walls and the damaging salts have migrated to the surface.

2014 Urgent Conservation Works
During 2012 and 2013 the poor condition of the rear of the parapets of the Union Stores was discovered and remedial works were planned for 2014. These parapets had become unstable due to the deterioration of the soft clay bricks – deterioration that had been exacerbated by well-meaning but inappropriate repairs in the 1980s as well as the painting of the building facades from the 1960s onwards.

Like the Fremantle Town Hall, damaging salts and moisture had seeped into the walls through hairline cracks and were trapped in the walls by cement render and plastic paints. The entrapped salts and moisture led to the deterioration of the soft clay bricks and lime mortar of the wall itself and caused embedded iron pins in decorative mouldings and structural bolts and plates to rust and expand causing cracking in the walls. To address this problem the paint and cement renders were removed to allow the walls to breathe and new repairs made use of breathable lime mortars, hydraulic lime renders and lime wash finishes.

However, the construction and condition of the Unions Stores was different to the Town Hall and required a different approach for its conservation. Removing the paint from the parapets was more difficult because the stucco surface was softer and in poorer condition. Also the early use of calcimine paint and lime wash on the building meant that although the walls could breathe well, not all of the pigment could be successfully removed.

The biggest difference however, was the volume of salt escaping from the walls. Almost immediately after the removal of paint and cement render from the parapets of the union stores large amounts of salt began to crystallise on the surface of the parapets. Within the same timeframe there was only a small amount of discolouration from salt at the Fremantle Town Hall. While the appearance of salt on the surface is good because it shows that the walls are healing themselves, when there is a large amount of salt it needs to be managed to minimise damage to the surface of the stucco. For this reason a sacrificial coating of lime wash was applied to the surface of the conserved areas so that the salt would crystallise on the lime wash causing it to decay rather than the stucco. The building was then left to gradually dry out expel the salts before any further works were undertaken.

Now in 2017 the salt crystals and some of the decayed lime wash has been washed off the Union Stores leaving the parapets looking somewhat patchy but in much better physical condition. This means that when further conservation works are undertaken in the future they will not be affected by salt damage.

We expect that the Fremantle Town Hall will suffer some deterioration from escaping salts as the walls breathe again but it will not be as significant as the Union Stores. Also, because the removal of paint from the stucco at the town hall was more successful, when there is some deterioration it will be less obvious as it will be the same colour as the surrounding stucco.

The Fremantle Townhall will officially be unveiled on Friday May 26 at 11.30 am at the start of the Heritage Festival. It looks absolutely stunning!

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