Freo's View

NOTRE DAME HERITAGE FESTIVAL EVENTS

Posted in city of fremantle, heritage, notre dame university, Uncategorized by freoview on May 25, 2017

ND2641_Heritage Festival Poster 2017_v3_updated

 

The Fremantle Heritage Festival starts tomorrow, so make sure to get a program at the City of Fremantle Library or check it out on line.

Notre Dame University has several events during the festival as listed on the poster above.

Roel Loopers

NOTRE DAME WANTS FREO STUDENT ACCOMMODATION

Posted in city of fremantle, fremantle network, notre dame university, Uncategorized by freoview on May 24, 2017

 

The delightful Vice Chancellor of Notre Dame University Celia Hammond was one of three speakers at the monthly Fremantle Network event at the National Hotel to talk about UNDA’s Urban Activation Project for the West End of Fremantle, that will see four activation and relaxation nodes being created for students, the community and visitors to Freo.

Celia Hammond said UNDA had been pushed for years, by Mayor Brad Pettitt especially to do more for street activation in the precinct and was shifting offices away from ground level to make way for commercial tenancies. “We love being a part of the West End and are trying to be a good neighbour.”

UNDA creates 700,000 visits a year to the West End, so that is a very significant number.

The university engaged CODA for the activation plan that is about mixed use and a dynamic precinct, collaboration with the City of Fremantle, increase visitations and duration of stay, offer a rest place for all, improve high quality urban spaces and ground level activity.

The Vice Chancellor also said that Notre Dame University is looking at student accommodation but not in the West End and that the uni has refused a students’ request for an ATM on campus as it wants to encourage its students to walk into Fremantle and support local traders, as they do on the UNDA student App.

Councillor Rachel Pemberton who organises the Fremantle Network deserves to be congratulated for the idea as it is a fantastic way to hear from all different parts of the community. Contrary to what some people say about the Network it is not about Greenies and socialists but it embraces the whole community and gives us a chance to work together, share ideas and feel a great sense of belonging!

Roel Loopers

NOTRE DAME REDESIGN NURSING SCHOOL

Posted in architecture, city of fremantle, heritage, notre dame university, Uncategorized by freoview on May 23, 2017

Fremantle Notre Dame University Vice Chancellor Celia Hammond announced at a small community meeting about the proposed five-storey new Nursing School building in High Street that UNDA will not try to seek approval from the WA Development Assessment Panel, but will redesign the building instead.

The proposal was strongly criticised by the Fremantle community and West End residents and rejected by Fremantle Council because the design quality and height were deemed inappropriate for and disrespectful to the historic West End. The Fremantle Chamber of Commerce approved of the building.

The Vice Chancellor emphasised that Notre Dame is part of the West End and the Freo community and she did not want to put a building up that the community rejected.

From the first day I heard Celia Hammond speak during a Leaders Luncheon at the Esplanade Hotel years ago I have been impressed with her and how genuine she is. She has again shown very strong leadership on a contentious issue and she and UNDA deserve to be congratulated for it.

The small community round table talk was organised by TGP who have been contracted by UNDA to independently assess the pros and cons of the new School of Nursing and Midwifery.

Members of the Fremantle Inner City Residents Association were present, as were the CEO of the Chamber of Commerce, the president of the Fremantle Society, architect Murray Slavin and myself.

Roel Loopers

RETHINKING AUSTRALIA DAY

Posted in australia day, education, fremantle, notre dame university, Uncategorized by freoview on May 22, 2017

UNDA presentation

 

The Fremantle Heritage Festival starts this week with the unveiling of the Townhall conservation works at 11.30 am on Friday, so come along.

Notre Dame University students are jumping the gun though with two interesting presentations at the Maritime Museum on Thursday between 1.30 and 3 pm.

They will present a professional report titled Recasting Australia Day and and exhibition proposal Country and Conflict at Swan River 1829-1850.

EXCELLENT NOTRE DAME NURSING STUDENTS

Posted in education, fremantle, notre dame university, Uncategorized by freoview on May 21, 2017

Fremantle Notre Dame University did get a lot of stick, including from me, about their proposal for a five-storey new School of Nursing building in High Street, but they deserve to be congratulated on the high standard of education they give their nursing students.

While I was in Rockingham Hospital for an operation last week I was also cared for by UNDA students and they all were very good.

Especially one of them, Amy, was so incredibly competent, very confident and professional that she came across as a well-experieneced nurse.

She had great communication skills with the patients and the nursing staff and the most delightful personality.

We are lucky in Freo because Amy from Rockingham told me that once she graduates in July she has found employment at Fremantle Hospital. She will be a great asset to the nursing staff there!

Roel Loopers

 

NOTRE DAME APPOINTS WEST END CONSULTANTS

Fremantle Notre Dame University has appointed the recently merged TPG+Place Match group to undertake further independent consultation in regard to the proposed development of a new Nursery and Midwifery School on the corner of High and Cliff streets.

The five-storey  development was rejected for approval by Fremantle Council  because it exceeds the three-storey limit for the heritage-listed West End Precinct, and because of its inappropriate and poor design quality.

The deciding authority for the building is the WA Development Assessment Panel but UNDA adjourned the approval process to make changes to the building after strong community objections.

It will be interesting to see if UNDA will abandon their plans for an, in my opinion un-approvable, five storey building and alter the design to make its architecture more sympathetic and respectful to the heritage streetscape, or if they will go ahead and apply for approval of a five-story building at the DAP.

This from the TPG+Place Match website:

  • Stakeholder and community engagement
  • Place visioning and narrative
  • Strategic and statutory planning
  • Urban design and place planning
  • Heritage and cultural planning
  • Place branding and promotion
  • Community development
  • Place activation 

TPG+Place Match have a track record of working together on several high profile place-led projects, including the Perth Cultural Centre Place Plan, the Curtin University Place Activation project and several regional revitalisation and enhancement projects in Bunbury, Morawa and Esperance.

Since its inception in 2011, Place Match has become WA’s most sought after place making firm, offering niche expertise in place visioning and branding, destination planning, place activation and management.  The firm has breathed new life and added significant value to places across Perth city, suburban areas and into regional WA.

Roel Loopers

NOTRE DAME UNI WEST END ACTIVATION PLANS

Posted in city of fremantle, education, notre dame university, Uncategorized by freoview on May 9, 2017

UNDA

 

It has been a long time coming but Fremantle Notre Dame University is finally implementing its West End Activation Plan that is part of the Memorandum of Understanding with the City of Fremantle.

UNDA spends $ 75,000 yearly on community activation, but will now get really serious with moving university departments and offices from high profile to low profile locations.

Already three university offices have been moved from High Street to make way for three commercial tenancies to help activate the historic West End.

As part of enhancing Notre Dame activities in the public realm the Mouat Piazza will be created on the corner of Croke and Mouat streets, as well as the Gateway Park on the corner of Mouat and Phillimore streets.

Also part of the plans are activation nodes on the corner of Mouat and High streets and the Vice Chancellery entry to Mouat Street.

We will see new paving, seating, lighting and shade structures appearing in the West End soon and possibly a new public artwork.

Great stuff!

Roel Loopers

 

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FREMANTLE’S EXCITING MODERN FUTURE

Posted in architecture, city of fremantle, development, economy, retail, shopping, tourism by freoview on March 8, 2017

There was a rather exciting BID-Business Improvement District meeting at the National Hotel on Wednesday evening that spelled out the future of the Fremantle inner city, and I was very impressed.

Mayor Brad Pettitt said it was important that the business community engaged with the City and that they went on the journey together.

Pettitt admitted the next 3 years are going to be challenging for inner city traders because of the disruptions caused by the massive development at Kings Square and elsewhere in the CBD.

The Mayor said it was disappointing that the Hilton Doubletree hotel development on the Point Street carpark site will now only start in the first quarter of next year, so that is another lengthy delay.

The more I see of Gerard O’Brien, the boss of Fremantle developers Silverleaf, the more I like his no-nonsense approach and straight-forward message that Fremantle only has a three-year window before Garden City will more than double in size.

“We need to keep moving as we have suffered big time in Fremantle”, O’Brien said. “We need to get our act together and support each other as a community and Council. It needs to be a team effort!”

Silverleaf has huge plans for Fremantle and O’Brien said that they are only the custodians and want to leave something behind that all of Freo can be proud off, not just a glass box.

O’Brien then revealed his plans for the Woolstores shopping centre site and that is very exciting for Fremantle. The development is 26,000 square metres.

There will be an Adina Hotel, commercial floorspace and -hallelujah!- student accommodation! Plus a shopping centre at ground level and underground parking.

Coles will keep trading during the construction period and Gerard O’Brien believed that was essential to keep attracting shoppers into the inner city.

O’Brien said the design of the building pays tribute to the heritage and pays homage to the environment the new building will be in.

I quite like the old&new architecture with red bricks at ground level and vertical cladding similar to the new Perth library and theatre buildings, while the levels above that are very modern, but quite striking and minimalist.

The entire roof will be solar panels, which O’Brien said was a good investment, while the windows will be double-glazed and have new technology in them that will keep out the sun and keep the interior cool. I am impressed!

Silverleaf will also be developing “ the beautiful piece of history” former police and courthouse complex and Warders Cottages at Henderson Street into three-star history tourist accommodation with 64 rooms. It will also have a market place open space and four different concepts that are all about tourism.

New BID CEO Tim Milsom said the transformation of Fremantle is about to happen and that Silverleaf could develop anywhere in the world but chooses to do so in Fremantle.

Milsom said BID have plans for a creative hub and an aspirational business mix but O’Brien said that Fremantle has enough specialty stores.

Milsom said we need to find out from the community and visitors what is missing in Fremantle and what will bring people back. For example there is no hardware store in Freo anymore.

There is no bakery or butcher or corner deli in the CBD either, but more than a dozen new shops will open in Fremantle soon, so that is more good news.

Many 6160 are moving from the former Myer building at Kings Square to the former Spotlight building next to Target and are due to open next week.

I put my neck on the line and say that this is very good news for Fremantle and that we are on the right track to create a great vibrant city where hundreds of tourists will stay over night, eat, drink and shop and where we will finally have many students living in the inner city.

Roel Loopers

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EQUALITY IS RESPECT FOR WOMEN

Posted in fremantle, western australia, women by freoview on March 8, 2017

 

It is International Women’s Day today, so a good opportunity to celebrate all the great and strong women all over the world.

In Fremantle we are lucky to be represented in State Parliament by Simone McGurk and Lyn McLaren, and we have three female Councillors in Hannah Fitzhardinge, Ingrid Waltham and Rachel Pemberton.

W.A very first female Senator Dorothy Tangny is recognised in a mural at the Norfolk Hotel.

Notre Dame University is also lead by a female Vice Chancellor Celia Hammond and the Fremantle Chamber of Commerce CEO is Olwyn Williams.

There is an abundance of wonderful, strong women in Fremantle who are community leaders in their own right.

Equality remains a dream unfortunately when women still get paid less than men and the top positions in Australia are predominantly occupied by men. That needs to change!

I am not a fan of quotas though because I believe women can make it on their own merit. Quotas are a bit of tokenism to make political parties, or governments look good.

I do recognise however that it is difficult for women to climb the corporate and political ladders when the majority of decision-makers are men.

Today is a day for women to celebrate their achievements and for men to contemplate why women are still not treated the same in 2017 and why there is still so much domestic violence against women.

We need to do a whole lot better and that starts with one simple word. RESPECT!

Roel Loopers

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ARCHITECTS DEFEND NOTRE DAME MEDIOCRITY

Posted in architecture, city of fremantle, development, notre dame university by freoview on March 3, 2017

unda-building-from-corner-copy

 

In a rather petulant Thinking Allowed in the Fremantle Herald today Dean Fehlberg, a partner at MCDF Architects, who designed the mediocre proposal for the new Notre Dame University School of Nursing at 3 High Street claims Fremantle Council rejected the development because it was influenced by emotion and agitation.

Does Fehlberg mean with agitation the genuine concerns raised by Fremantle residents and the Fremantle Society in submissions to Council, and does he mean with emotion that we are very passionate about heritage protection in Fremantle?

Fehlberg shows a hint of arrogance and severe lack of self-criticism when he compares the height of the proposed UNDA building with the gorgeous National Hotel, Pearse Building, Orient Hotel and Fremantle Hotel. These are all buildings of outstanding Goldrush period architecture and can in no way be compared to the unimaginative, boring and mediocre design proposal for the historic West End of Fremantle by the MCDF Architects.

The architects are no doubts also aware that the criticism about the height of the proposed building is because the planning rules for the West End Conservation Area only allow for three-storey buildings with an option of a fourth storey if the architecture is outstanding, which it isn’t!

Architect Fehlberg also criticises the Slavin Architects designed MSC building in Cliff Street because “it is all glass and flowing curved lines of steel with no masonry at all and without any precedence in the West End.”

Indeed Mr Fehlberg, and that makes the MSC building so delightfully unique, inspiring, creative and heritage of the future architecture, while your team ignores the heritage significance and beauty of the West End by proposing a very bland design. It does not add to the architectural greatness of the West End, but the MSC building does.

Dean Fehlberg writes in the Herald that he was very disappointed with the Fremantle Council level of debate….and disrespect shown for the opinion of the State Heritage Office and City’s Design Advisory Committee.

What concerns the community and Fremantle Councillors more is the disrespect shown by MCDF Architects for the unique beauty and historic significance of the West End and that the architects believe their non-creative boredom is appropriate next to the stunning Lionel Samson building and opposite the beautiful Fremantle Hotel building and in Western Australia’s most beautiful street.

Harsh self-criticism is a great way forward to becoming excellent at what one does, not acknowledging one’s own limitations means accepting mediocrity.

Roel Loopers

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