Freo's View

CAN FREMANTLE INDUSTRIAL ARTS PRECINCT BECOME A REALITY?

 

art 1

art 2

 

A community working group came together at Stackwood on Monday afternoon to discuss if the dream of a Knutsford Industrial Arts Precinct can become a reality or if  the challenges are too daunting.

Architects, artists, planners and three Fremantle Councillors attended the meeting, as did Freo Mayor Brad Pettitt and CUSP Professor Peter Newman, and chair of the City’s Design Advisory Panel Geoffrey London.

The Mayor said the Knutsford Street area was an amazing precinct with amazing opportunities, but the question was what we want to create here and how do you compliment ‘making things’ work with the rest of the community?

Participants said a Fremantle Industrial Arts Quarter was all about place, people, creativity, resilience, community, heritage and innovation. It would be funky, green, amazing, economic, vibrant and sustainable.

Geoffrey London said it would need water-sensitive outcomes for infill developments and asked how can we make it into a sustainable precinct. He suggested to narrow the very wide roads which would create lots of recreational opportunities on the verges.

Participants suggested that housing that related to the industrial area with distinctive architecture should be considered, as is storm/grey and black water management solutions. There should be housing typologies for sustainability and density.

Peter Newman said the examples shown from European developments looked all the same, and I agree that many of these sustainable developments look monotonous. It is probably a challenge to create innovative and attractive buildings when one needs density to make it sustainable and affordable, so that would be a major challenge.

One huge challenge is the soil contamination of the area and how to remedy that, and also how to combine noisy industrial art studios next to residential housing. It is also important to combine living and working environment, so that artists can live where they work.

But how do we do it? A planning framework would be required, and community input, and State Government changing some of the suffocating planning rules.

People want bigger visions, and we need new governance and investment structures for these innovative ideas. Who has got the power to change the dynamics and create a culture of innovation?

Many of the warehouses are probably not worth saving but we should retain a warehouse typology in the precinct, and we need to be clear about the minimum standards we want to achieve and develop visual guidelines. What is the Knutsford style?

And the last speaker of the workshop said it would take five people who are willing to make less money to want to make a difference, to get it started.

It is a very challenging project and it will need a Heart of Beaconsfield style of approach to start finding practical, innovative and creative solutions. There is no doubt in my mind that the area has huge potential to become something special!

Roel Loopers

 

 

 

Comments Off on CAN FREMANTLE INDUSTRIAL ARTS PRECINCT BECOME A REALITY?

%d bloggers like this: