Freo's View

MSC CUPOLA GREAT HERITAGE FEATURE

Posted in architecture, buildings, city of fremantle, heritage, Uncategorized by freoview on April 13, 2018

 

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What an absolute delight it was this Friday morning to see the Mediterranean Shipping Company-MSC reinstalling the cupola on top of the heritage building on the corner of Cliff and Philimore streets.

The company has to be thanked and applauded for spending a lot of money on doing that important bit extra.  They should be an example and inspiration for other property owners of heritage buildings in Fremantle’s West End and elsewhere to reinstall some of the former features on buildings.

Very well done MSC and a big thank you from the Fremantle community!

Roel Loopers

 

FREMANTLE DEMANDS CREATIVE ARCHITECTURE!

Posted in architecture, city of fremantle, development, heritage, Uncategorized by freoview on November 8, 2017

 

MSC 1

MSC 2

 

It is slow news day in Fremantle today, so not much to blog about unfortunately.

But walking through Cliff Street this morning I admired the innovative architecture of the Mediterranean Shipping Company new building and the respectful way the old building has been restored to its former glory.

It is fantastic to see that North Fremantle Slavin Architects were allowed to design such a creative heritage of the future building by their client MSC, and I wonder why one of our major developers Silverleaf constantly puts up mediocre development proposals, such as the Woolstores shopping centre and Manning building sites.

Do Silverleaf’s designers not understand the importance of heritage and streetscape, or can’t they be bothered being considered about the unique character of the historic Fremantle inner city?

It is important in this context to hear what professional architect Carl Payne commented about the Manning Building proposal:

In terms of the scale of Village-Fremantle, this is a massive re-defining of a hugely-important central “super-block”. We need to preserve the maximum original structures as is reasonably possible, both externally and internally.
The brewery-barn takes a lot of important old rear buildings – some of the early residential sections of the original street-front commercial, so that’s always a worry, because we lose historic context.
If Council played harder-ball, the design brief could respond by converting these into inter-related “snugs”; like the cosy-corners in European and British pubs. It just needs some strength and commitment from Council; and some imaginative responses from the building designers and their client.
I’m sick of lose/lose.
What about win/win. It’s possible if we try hard enough.
My other additional preliminary comment is that we now have a chance to fully restore/reconstruct all original street verandas, yet we are being offered a banal boxy awning. Not good enough you building designers!!!

I want Mayor Brad to come out strongly; and NOT say that we need to encourage investment and therefore we need to give a little. Getting a bit sick of that from Brad.
He needs to make a stand on what IS acceptable; and what ISN’T acceptable. We can now look back on the last few “development years”……..and measure what is good; and what is not so good.
It’s not development versus museum town any more. Those arguments were had in the seventies.
We need to be more mature than that now.
If the building owners/developers wanna make a buck – fair enough, but not at the expense of the town; not at the expense of the heritage; not at the expensive of missing the point of what Fremantle has to offer.

We just don’t really get it – yet. We go away and look at old towns overseas – rave on about character; and history; and all that. Then we are happy with stuff that chips away at the edges to the extent that all this chipping finally removes what we wanted to keep in the first place. Death by a thousand chips. Will you have fish with that?

Aaaaahhhhh!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

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Re my earlier reference to a banal boxy awning – I see the drawings actually show a detail, and that includes verandah posts and wall brackets, so there’s a nod to “original” detail, but is this just a generic reference? Or have they done their photo research etc?? Is this authenticity? Or just Disney?
And gee, the Paddy Troy Mall now ends in a basement carpark entry. The road to cars-ville. City of Fremantle, just drop the car-parking requirements please. OR, maybe this is just a client-driven detail, for business-owners parking?? Either way, it just reduces the internal courtyard to roads and car-park access. Do we really want to do this??

 

Roel Loopers

FREO COMMUNITY DEMANDS GREAT ARCHITECTURE

Posted in architecture, city of fremantle, development, Uncategorized by freoview on October 31, 2017

 

Woolstores

 

The latest boring and bland development proposal for the Fremantle Woolstores shopping centre by Silverleaf has made me aware once again that planning laws, rules and regulations are not adequate to ensure quality development in Fremantle.

It is not the height that worries me most, although PSA 49 should never have allowed anything higher than 8-9 storeys in the CBD, but it is the uninspiring architectural blandness of the proposal that makes me want to pull my hair out in frustration.

I like it that Silverleaf develop the properties they acquire relatively fast, but they are major development players in our city and need to understand they have a corporate responsibility to the Fremantle community to build high quality development, and not run of the mill mediocrity.

Silverleaf has every right to want to maximise the investment dollar with height and floor space, and I do understand that the triple bottom line is a priority for them.

They will also be developing the Manning Arcade and Henderson Street justice and police complex and adjoining Warders Cottages in the near future, so they need to realise that they do have an obligation to leave outstanding buildings for future generations.

The Mediterranean Shipping Company could have built a boring four-storey concrete box in Cliff Street, but instead got North Fremantle Slavin Architects to design an exceptional building for them that is heritage of the future quality.

After community backlash and Council rejection of the proposal, Notre Dame University decided that their community responsibility demanded they start all over again with the design of the new School of Nursing and Midwifery, because they understand their corporate obligations to Fremantle.

Developers who want to invest in Fremantle do need to understand they have an obligation to embrace, respect and enhance the unique character of our city. The anything goes and it’s good enough attitude toward development is not tolerated by the community.

Architects and designers should create more Fremantle-appropriate architecture that shows sensitivity toward Freo’s uniqueness, and major developers such as Silverleaf should insist on outstanding design because the Fremantle community demands it.

Great development is a win win for all!

Development plans can be viewed on the City of Fremantle website.

Roel Loopers

WEST END CAR ACCIDENT

Posted in accidents, cars, city of fremantle, Uncategorized by freoview on June 8, 2017

 

 

A lot of people like the modern creative new Mediterranean Shipping Company building in Fremantle’s Cliff Street, but this motorist clearly went for a too close-up look of the Slavin Architects designed building this Thursday morning.

St John’s ambulance and the fire brigade attended the scene.

Roel Loopers

NEW FREO BUILDINGS OPENING SOON

 

The sun is out in Fremantle and I needed fresh air, sunshine and a nice walk, so I went and had a look at the progress of development around the CBD.

I started at the huge Defence Housing site at Queen Victoria and Quarry Street where building will start early next year. It is opposite the impressive Heirloom development of the old woolstores there, so two significant residential developments in the east of the CBD.

Over in the west end a lot is happening with the gorgeous Elders building in Cliff Street, the Quest Hotel on the corner of Pakenham and Short streets and the residential development on the corner of Pakenham and Bannister streets all opening very soon.

The Quest Hotel looks more acceptable now that the cladding has been put up, but for my liking it is still one storey too high for Pakenham Street.

The Atwell Arcade building is also close to opening, so we’ll see more office workers in the city soon.

City planning is a huge challenge for every local council, but without development there can’t be progress, so it is good to see Fremantle is moving forward to becoming a modern city with a beautiful heritage heart.

Roel Loopers

 

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MODERN DESIGN COMPLIMENTS FREO HERITAGE

Posted in architecture, building, development, fremantle, heritage, tourism, western australia by freoview on July 9, 2016

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Here another look at the beautiful former Elders building on the corner of Cliff and Phillimore streets in the west end of Fremantle.

The building now belongs to the Mediterranean Shipping Company together with the brand new modern one next to it, and should open in the next few months, attracting over a hundred office workers to that part of town.

MSA needs to be congratulated for spending so much money on restoring the heritage building back to all its glory and for embracing the daring design of the new building by North Fremantle Murray Slavin Architects!

Roel Loopers

RESPECTING HERITAGE A MUST FOR NEW FREO BUILDINGS

Posted in architecture, development, fremantle, heritage, western australia by freoview on July 5, 2016

Elders

Quest

 

The gorgeous old former Elders building on the corner of Cliff and Phillimore streets is being revealed again after extensive work on it as part of the new MSC-Mediterranean Shipping Company’s new office building next to it.

The new modern building adjoining it, designed by North Fremantle Murray Slavin Architects, shows that respectful modern design can be complimentary to neighbouring heritage buildings like the Elders one.

It is however a whole different and very disappointing story down the road at the new Quest Hotel building on the corner of Pakenham and Short streets. The designers show no respect whatsoever for the heritage building and the historic Pakenham streetscape. I think the building is a disgrace as it diminishes the heritage warehouse.

Sirona Capital who are the developers of the hotel have big signs stating “Investing in Fremantle’s Future” If this is the standard of buildings Sirona want to build in Freo I suggest they go and invest somewhere else because we want excellence in our historic city, not mediocrity.

Roel Loopers

NEW CLIFF STREET FACADE LOOKING GOOD.

Posted in development, fremantle by freoview on September 4, 2015

MSC

The entry to the new Mediterranean Shipping Company-MSC-building in Fremantle’s Cliff Street was installed this morning and looks interesting.  I am looking forward to seeing the creative glass facade being put in soon and many new office workers roaming the West End and supporting local traders.

The MSC building was designed by North Freo architects Murray Slavin.

Roel Loopers

THE OX IS SLOW BUT FREMANTLE IS PATIENT

Posted in city of fremantle by freoview on September 3, 2014

building 1 building 2

The ox is slow but the earth is patient, the saying goes. We can truly say that the Fremantle community, especially the business community, has been very patient and that we have been waiting for change, progress, new buildings and new businesses for a very long time.

The ox is moving, there is light at the end of the tunnel, and sun on the horizon, so don’t despair and just hang in there!

The demolition of the buildings at Adelaide and Point streets has started to make way for the new Hilton Hotel at Princess May Park, and in the west end of town ground work has begun on the new Mediterranean Shipping Company office building at Cliff Street.

I anticipate that we can also soon expect an announcement that a state government department will move into the former MYER building, which would be the start of the essential Kings Square revitalisation.

The final draft plan for Victoria Quay should also be made public soon, after a few details have been ironed out with the Public Transport Authority.

Roel Loopers

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FREMANTLE’S PAST IMPORTANT FOR THE FUTURE

Posted in city of fremantle, fremantle by freoview on July 4, 2014

MSC building

 

Scaffolding went up today at the MSC-Mediterranean Shipping Company building in Cliff Street, so it appears that the erection of the new building on the carpark site adjoining it will be happening soon as well. It is disappointing an archaeological survey of the carpark area was not demanded by the City of Fremantle, as was requested by Notre Dame University.

There seems to be controversy on the historic importance of the site, with the planning director saying there was only a shed there. However former Councillor John Dowson points out in his letter in the Fremantle Herald today that the City’s history library has  maps that show that in 1844 there were stone structures there and in 1855 a cottage. One has to wonder why the Director of Planning is not aware of that.

I suggested to Mayor Brad Pettitt, during a monthly Fremantle Society meeting with him on Wednesday, that instead of having a, rather ineffectual, archaeological policy, the City should make archaeological digs on development sites in the West End and other heritage sites in Fremantle compulsory and part of the act, so that it is not at the discretion of the officers. He promised to explore this suggestion further.

We had a bit of a win at the Planning Committee on Wednesday evening when an item came up the development of a new building and for the demolition of two heritage cottages in Jewel Parade, North Fremantle. The Fremantle Society opposed it because it was a Demolition by Neglect example in our opinion, and the Planning Committee rejected the development application.

Roel Loopers

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