Freo's View

COUNCIL TO REJECT NEW NOTRE DAME BUILDING

Posted in architecture, city of fremantle, development, notre dame university by freoview on February 18, 2017

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As expected the ‘Officers Recommendation’ to Fremantle Council for the proposed 5-storey building in High Street by Notre Dame University is for Council to reject it. The item will go to Council this Wednesday at 6 pm.

The decision-making authority is the state’s Joint Development Assessment Panel, but that will take Fremantle Council’s recommendation into consideration.

I was initially very irate about the UNDA proposal because I was very disappointed that the two community sessions had not changed anything, so as someone very passionate about Freo’s heritage I wrote a few things about the university I now regret, but my strong opposition to this inappropriate building has not disappeared.

I am a fan and strong supporter of Notre Dame University and believe they are good for the West End where many cafes would not survive without the patronage of 8000+ UNDA students and staff, but UNDA needs to be realistic and pragmatic about the development proposal for 3 High Street.

After reading the opinions of CoF planning and heritage staff and the Design Advisory Commission it becomes clear that the UNDA architects tried hard to accommodate the DAC wishes, while also trying to retain as much floor space as possible and that is the problem.

Fact is that the floor space UNDA needs for its School of Nursing can’t be achieved on that site without disregarding planning and heritage considerations, so it is not a realistic proposition to build something of that volume at the proposed site.

What UNDA now needs to do, after JDAP will also reject the development proposal, is to find an alternative location for a five-storey building, one where they might not even want to include a theatre space, thus giving them more floor space to use for education only and not a public community space.

The corner of Cliff and High streets is ideally suited for an iconic three-storey building, but unfortunately for Notre Dame it is unsuitable for a five-storey building and for the boring design that shows very little respect for the significant historic West End and the great heritage architecture in the area.

I intend to address Council on Wednesday to voice my opposition to the proposal, although I am a big fan of UNDA and its outstanding Vice Chancellor Celia Hammond, senior staff and the many lecturers I know. UNDA is good for Freo but the proposed building is bad for the West End and that’s why it needs to be rejected.

Roel Loopers

FREMANTLE ELECTION FORUM ON TUESDAY

Posted in democracy, election, fremantle, western australia by freoview on February 17, 2017

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There has been some confusion about the day of the Fremantle WA State Election Forum, so just to confirm that it is Tuesday February 28 at 6.30 pm.

It is as always at the Tannock Hall of the University of Notre Dame on the corner of Cliff and Croke streets.

All candidates have been invited, but it is a bit of a tradition for the Liberal candidate not to turn up, so let’s wait and see.

Roel Loopers

STOP NOTRE DAME UNI MONSTROSITY !

Posted in architecture, city of fremantle, development, notre dame university by freoview on February 15, 2017

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The awfully mediocre development proposal for a five-storey building on the corner of High and Cliff streets by Notre Dame University will go to Fremantle Council on February 22, so please do turn up in big numbers and voice your opposition to this disrespectful rubbish that totally ignores the extremely historic significance of the heritage-listed West End!

Here the info from the City of Fremantle:

Address: 3 High Street, FREMANTLE WA 6160
Application: Five (5) storey Educational Establishment, Shop and Small Bar

Please be advised that an item relating to the above application will be considered at the Council meeting to be held on Wednesday 22 February 2017 commencing at 6.00 pm.

An opportunity to address the Council on the proposal is given during ‘Public Question Time’ only and is limited to a maximum of three minutes. You must register to speak at the venue, before 5.50pm on the day of the meeting.

The council chambers are located on the first floor of the council offices at 8 William Street, Fremantle. Access to the council chambers is via the stairs located next to the children’s playground on the eastern side of the building.

After the proposal is considered by Council, the application will be determined by the Joint Development Assessment Panel (JDAP). The date of the JDAP meeting is not known at this time however is usually 1-2 weeks after the Council meeting.

Please check the JDAP website for the date, time and venue (the venue may not be the in the City of Fremantle). Should you wish to speak at the JDAP meeting, please complete a “Presentation Request Form” which must be submitted no less than 72 hours before the meeting.

Copies of the agenda, including the report and any attachments for the abovementioned item, are available for viewing from the Friday afternoon prior to the meeting. The agenda may be downloaded from the website at http://www.fremantle.wa.gov.au or can be viewed at the City Library located on the ground floor of the council offices during normal library hours. Library hours are available on the website. In the instance that you can’t access the information on the City’s website hard copies of the plans can be requested by emailing planning@fremantle.wa.gov.au with your request.

SO HAPPY I LIVE IN FREO!

Posted in aboriginal, fremantle, heritage, history, tourism by freoview on February 13, 2017

One of the things I very much enjoy is showing people around Fremantle and a few of the hidden treasures they might not otherwise discover, so today I spent two hours with the lovely Italian Elisabetta and Matilda.

Matilda lives in Freo and runs the cute fashion boutique and Birkenstock outlet Creato a Mano at Marine Parade and her husband Roberto runs the equally cute Galleria D’Arte West End just a few metres awy, so go and check them out!

Elisabetta though lives in beautiful Rome, so hence the need for a guided tour.

The Roundhouse and Arthur Head had to be the starting point and soon we walked into Bruce from Replants who is setting up a tree installation on Bathers Beach for the Sculpture@Bathers show which starts on the 24th of this month.

The former long jetty and ocean pool and the mortuary and kerosine store were clearly a must and gave me the opportunity to talk about the horrendous Rottnest Island indigenous Quod prison.

From there we wandered into Notre Dame University territory. We had a few sneak peeks inside some of the gorgeous adaptive reuse heritage buildings, the beautiful library and also the stunning Aboriginal art collection of UNDA. I recommend anyone to take a guided tour of the campus on Friday morning which UNDA organises. Contact them to book it!

The flat where FBI boss J Edgar Hoover lived, which is now part of Kerry Hill architects in Mouat Street, is also largely unknown. Kerry Hill by the way designed the new City of Fremantle Civic Centre at Kings Square.

I showed my guests the PS Art Space and studios upstairs, the former Police Station at Victoria Quay and the historic artworks inside B Shed, even the toilets, and wandered around the Maritime Museum under the watchful eyes of a lone Nankeen heron.

The old submarine, the connection to Gallipoli and the migrant wall were a talking point for us that connected Freo to Europe.

From there past the J Shed art studios and back through the Whalers Tunnel for a nice iced coffee at my friends at Chalkys in the former Trams Building.

What is there not to love about Freo. So happy I live here!

Roel Loopers

 

NOTHING NEW ABOUT STUDENT DISCOUNTS

Posted in election, fremantle, notre dame university by freoview on February 10, 2017

I like politicians to have an informed opinion and make informed suggestions, so I am quite amused by Fremantle Liberal candidate Hayden Shenton’s suggestion in the Fremantle Herald today that BID businesses should offer discounts to Notre Dame University students.

Had the wannabee politician done his research by walking down High Street he would have noticed several cafes and food outlets, and even hairdressers already offer discounts to UNDA students.

I guess this is one of those anything will do to get media exposure thought bubbles by someone who has no public profile in Freo.

The election candidates forum is on Tuesday February 24, 6.30 pm at the Tannock Hall of UNDA, corner Cliff and Croke streets, so come and find out how many more ‘new ideas’ the candidates have for Freo.

Roel Loopers

FORGETTABLE ARCHITECTURE SUCKS ESSENCE OUT OF WEST END

Posted in architecture, city of fremantle, development, heritage by freoview on February 10, 2017

North Fremantle architect Murray Slavin has written an excellent Thinking Allowed in the Fremantle Herald today about the quality of architecture in Fremantle’s heritage West End.

Slavin Architects designed the stunning heritage of the future Mediterranean Shipping Company building in Cliff Street that connects to the old Wilhelmsen building on the corner of Phillimore Street.

Slavin writes that the proposed five-storey Notre Dame University building for the corner of High and Cliff streets needs a rethink, as I have suggested a few times on Freo’s View.

He says that “A clear and present danger is that the West End will become characterised by the lowest common denominator architecture” and that the historic area should not be “dumbed down to a forgettable architecture form that sucks the essence out of its neighbourhood.” Hear, hear!!

Murray Slavin states that it is time to live up to community expectations with a clear understanding of Fremantle’s social and physical context.

“Many buildings appearing in the West End could be from any Australian city” and show little respect for the historic buildings around them, the North Freo architect writes.

Make sure to get a copy of the Freo Chook and read the entire article and many other good ones in this week’s issue.

The deadline for submissions against the in my opinion totally inappropriate building proposal by Notre Dame is February 13, so email your opposition to it to the City of Fremantle NOW. Go to the CoF website for a submission form!

Roel Loopers

FREMANTLE ELECTION FORUM ON 28TH

Posted in community, democracy, election, fremantle, western australia by freoview on February 7, 2017

The WA state election campaign is heating up with lots of promises, so time to get rid of the ‘fake facts’ and grill the candidates to see what they will be doing, or promise to do, for Fremantle.

The traditional election forum will be held on Tuesday February 28 from 6.pm at the Notre Dame University Tannock Hall on the corner of Cliff and Croke streets, so dot it down in your diary.

Roel Loopers

STOP DISRESPECTFUL DEVELOPMENT IN WEST END

Posted in architecture, city of fremantle, development, notre dame university by freoview on January 23, 2017

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This is the boring bland building proposal for the corner of High and Cliff streets in Fremantle’s historic West End that Notre Dame University believes is good enough and acceptable for the heritage listed area. It isn’t by a long stretch.

I am a big fan and supporter of Notre Dame, but this is just not on!

Please do write your submissions to the City of Fremantle and the WA Joint Development Assessment Panel before February 13 as we cannot allow the destruction of Freo’s historic West End through uninspiring architecture that shows no respect whatsoever for the historic significance of the area. This building needs to be stopped at all cost!

Go to Community Engagement on the CoF website (top left) and submit your objection to this boring building.

Roel Loopers

UGLY NOTRE DAME HIGH STREET DEVELOPMENT

Posted in architecture, city of fremantle, development, notre dame university by freoview on January 19, 2017

Fremantle Notre Dame University has submitted their very disappointing building plans for 3 High Street on the corner of Cliff Street to the City of Fremantle.

The very boring and ugly five storey building will house the Nursing School, a theatre and a bar, but in my opinion it is absolutely inappropriate for Fremantle’s historically significant heritage-listed West End.

This proposal is utter boredom and lazy architecture that does not compliment, reference or respect surrounding heritage buildings and the close proximity to Western Australia’s oldest public building the Roundhouse.

UNDA has decided to go straight to the State’s Joint Development Advisory Panels which is also disappointing.

There will be a community session at the Townhall (back steps near Many 6160) on Thursday February 2 from 5.30-6 pm and written submissions to council need to be in by February 13. Please write in and tell UNDA we want beautiful buildings in our West End and not the ugly rubbish they are proposing.

To view the plans and pictures click on the Community Engagement page of the City of Fremantle website.

Roel Loopers

NOTRE DAME MEDIOCRITY IS NOT VERY FREO

Posted in architecture, city of fremantle, development, heritage, notre dame university by freoview on November 21, 2016

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What frustrates me most about the proposal by Notre Dame University to build a mediocre and inappropriate building in Fremantle’s historic West End is that UNDA are not just greedy developers but educators with a great history department who should know better.

We can witness in Perth what awful damage inappropriate buildings of the 60s, 70s and 80s have done to that city and I often receive comments about that at the Roundhouse from overseas and interstate visitors who are impressed with Fremantle’s heritage but not impressed with the blandness of Perth.

A university does have even more responsibility to be a good corporate citizen than other organisations and that is why it is staggering that the UNDA management accepts such a bland building from its architects.

Universities need to be innovative and push boundaries because they are education our future generations of leaders, so it is not acceptable for them to just put a glass box in a heritage precinct because they need more space for their medical department.

Edith Cowan University in Joondalup builds creative modern buildings there, so why does Notre Dame believe that boring mediocrity is good enough for Freo’s most beautiful precinct?!

Many developers have no respect for the unique character of Fremantle, but I do understand for them it is all about the triple bottom line and that most don’t give a rat’s arse about the beauty of Freo as long as the dollar signs keep flashing and their bank accounts bulge, but that should be different for a university which has a much greater responsibility to the community than ordinary developers.

For those who missed this comment to my blog by renowned award-winning Perth architect Jean-mic Perrine, here it is again:

Roel,

In an age of VIRTUAL everything, it is symptomatic of those who do not actually want the public to understand the true impact of a building to resort to an “artists impression” which is all this submission offered. 

I have dealt with heritage buildings for over 25 years. I say the following for one purpose only and it is not to gloat: From the Commonwealth Bank and GPO redevelopments in Forrest Place to the Heritage award-winning projects of the Leederville Post Office and Box Building, City of Perth inaugural Heritage award winner for interpreting modernity in a historically sensitive manner. Of course I recently completed the celebrated Terrace Hotel in the city, revitalising one of Perth’s oldest residential buildings into a luxury hotel.

I say the above to be able to give context to what I say now.

The proposal by NDU is inappropriate, poorly conceived and disrespectful of a heritage precinct. What is sadder is that it has little original architectural merit and reminds me of the lazy days of the 70’s when this sort of sketch allowed monstrosity to mushroom in our historic precincts.

Roel Loopers

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