Tag Archive | "Architecture"

Everybody's favourite do-gooder plans a tiny town punctuated by major Perth landmarks.

Const Care’s mini-Perth safety school

CHRIS THOMSON

Everyone’s favourite do-gooder is planning a traffic safety school at Maylands with an outdoor mini-town replete with replicas of major Perth landmarks.

The Constable Care Foundation wants to erect the pictured safety school outside Constable Care’s existing HQ at the defunct Maylands Primary School on Guildford Road.

The safety school is planned for the former primary school’s oval, beside the Seventh Avenue and Guildford Road intersection.

If the school is approved, there’ll be a modern classroom, mock road circuit, mock Winthrop Hall, Mock St Mary’s Cathedral, mock Transperth bus, mock rail carriages, and other mock landmarks.

The scale model buildings will be metal framed, compressed fibre clad and vinyl wrapped with an image of the building represented.

The only thing standing between Constable Care and his safety school is the WA Planning Commission who he’ll need to convince to approve it.

Perspective by Philip McAllister Architect.

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Design committee underwhelmed by half-billion-dollar, 64 and 55-level Northbridge phallic symbols.

‘Meh’gascrapers fail to raise a pulse

CHRIS THOMSON

New plans to erect massive 64 and 55-level phallic symbols on the former Megamart site in Northbridge have drawn a ‘meh’ from the City of Perth’s Design Advisory Committee.

The committee comprising David Karotkin, Andy Sharp, Warren Kerr, City Architect Craig Smith, and Government Architect Geoff Warn has unanimously recommended the developer of the pictured $488 million project, comprising 64-level and 55-level apartment blocks, and an 11-level hotel not be granted the bonus plot ratio they are after because, among other reasons:

  • megamart plans perth“the overall design of the ground plane seems to misunderstand the character of the surrounding precinct and the established city geometry, with the public plaza appearing more like ‘left over space’ rather than space with a considered public purpose and benefit;
  • the pedestrian desire lines, building footprints and orientation, and the dimensions and amount of public open space need to be reviewed to improve the quality of the public plaza, with a demonstrated understanding of the intended use of the plaza and its place within the hierarchy of public spaces in the locality; and
  • concern about the number of undersized apartments and balconies within a development of this scale and the missed opportunity to provide daylight into the lift lobbies and corridors to improve the internal amenity of these common areas”.

The pictured renders are the latest of several drawn up for the site since oneperth.com.au revealed the first ones in August 2013.

The new 64 and 55-level buildings are the tallest so far planned for the site. The highest of the earlier planned skyscrapers maxed out at 52 levels.

The project has earned the ire of onetime Penthouse pet Bree Maddox over fears the operation of her Court Hotel across the road might be curtailed if new residents start lobbying for noise restrictions on the popular venue.

If the skyscrapers are eventually approved, the 64-floor one will be the tallest apartment block in Western Australia.

Renders from documents submitted to City of Perth by TPG Town Planning

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Thousands of motorists to cop an eyeful every day.

Technicolor facelift for phone exchange

CHRIS THOMSON

The blank, white walls of the Brutalist-era Telstra exchange building on Albany Highway are in for a Technicolor overhaul.

Canning council’s marketing and communications manager Lisa Bradley has recommended that the pictured facelift by artist Leanne Bray be given the nod for the Cannington landmark.

Bray won Ms Bradley’s confidence after an expression of interest process run jointly by the council and Telstra attracted four artists to bid for the $25,000 paint job.

The exchange at present.

The exchange at present.

In her bid, Bray admitted she had a “fascination for the decorative elements of ethnic design based on years of living in Africa whee no surface if left blank”.

“Through the use of repeated patterning (embracing the recogniused corporate identity oif Telstra) the plan is to draw focus and add to the established of street presence,” Bray declares.

“(It is a unique building and I gave alats imah0ub ed how it could be enganced!)

Not shown in the pictured mockup of the project by Bray is the watermark of a world map that will infuse the artwork.

At a meeting on Tuesday night, Canning’s trio of non-elected commissioners will decide whether or not to approve Bray’s artwork.

If the artwork is approved, thousands of passing motorists will cop an eyeful every day.

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Mega Cockburn Central cop shop revealed

CHRIS THOMSON

EXCLUSIVE: Plans for a gigantic cop shop, the likes of which Perth’s southern suburbs have never seen, can be revealed here for the first time by a news outlet.

The pictured plans for Cockburn Central police station are likely to take between $14 million and $16 million to build.

The cop shop is slated to be erected on a vacant block at Lot 2, Linkage Avenue, not far from the Cockburn Central train station.

Originally promised for 2014, the police station will now be erected by September next year, the Liberal State Government says.

In a 2012 letterbox drop to his constituents, Liberal Member for Jandakot, Joe Francis, claimed work had started on the station. It had not.

Renders: Peter Hunt Architect

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No portrait for Gallipoli hero mayor

CHRIS THOMSON

With the centenary of the ANZAC landing just six weeks away, a people’s request for a portrait of Victoria Park’s first mayor, who was killed during an epic battle at Gallipoli, has been recommended for refusal.

Captain Robert McMaster (pictured) was a decorated soldier, and architect of some of Perth’s finest Federation-era buildings.

After becoming the first mayor of Victoria Park in 1897, he commanded the second Western Australian contingent in the Boer War and later received the Queen’s and King’s South Africa medals for his efforts.

Then, in 1914, Captain McMaster understated his age by five years to sign up to World War I – at the age of 48.

KILLED IN ACTION

He was one of 80 men from the 10th Light Horse killed in action in August 1915 at The Battle of the Nek, which was graphically portrayed in the climax of the Peter Weir film Gallipoli.

As an architect, Captain McMaster designed some of Perth’s finest buildings, including the ground floor of Cottesloe mansion Tukurua, a stretch of Central Arcade in the Perth CBD, and in Victoria Park the Broken Hill Hotel (pictured).

To honour the skill and sacrifice of Captain McMaster in the Gallipoli centenary year, the annual general meeting of Victoria Park electors late last year passed a motion that the council commission a portrait of him.

NO BUDGET

But now, in a report to her political masters, Town of Victoria Park executive manager Jude Thomas has recommended against a portrait of Captain McMaster.

“The commissioning of a mayoral portrait of Captain Robert McMaster is not preferred, as it raises equity issues with regards to the five other mayors who served the Victoria Park Municipal Council, as well as the chairmen of the Victoria Park Roads Board District,” Ms Thomas opines.

“Furthermore, commissioning a portrait based on a small, black and white photograph limits the opportunity for an artist to capture the essence of the individual.”

Nor has the town budgeted for a portrait, which Ms Thomas estimates would cost between $2000 and $10,000 to commission.

COST-EFFECTIVE RESPONSE

Ms Thomas considers that photographs of Captain McMaster, and all his mayoral successors, would be a “dignified, respectful and cost-effective response”.

She has recommended that a photographic wall of fame picturing all mayors up to the most recent two be established instead, at a cost of about $3000 to appear in next year’s council budget.

Captain McMaster already has a street in Victoria Park named after him.

But current mayor Trevor Vaughan and his predecessor, the late Mick Lee, are the only Victoria Park mayors to have portraits hanging at the council’s Shepperton Road HQ.

Mr Vaughan and his councillor colleagues are slated to debate Ms Thomas’ recommendation of refusal at a council meeting on Tuesday night.

Photo of Captain McMaster from The Cyclopedia of Western Australia.

Photo of The Broken Hill Hotel by ‘Zamphour’, Wikimedia Commons.

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South Perth skyscraper city

CHRIS THOMSON

EXCLUSIVE: Three skyscrapers between 29 and 39 storeys in height, and all set to be the tallest buildings south of the Swan River, have been recommended for approval, or at least endorsed, by the City of South Perth.

Tallest of the trio is a 39-storey tower (pictured above, right) set to rise at the corner of Labouchere Road and Lyall Street, not far from Perth Zoo.

If it were built today, the skyscraper, by Woods Bagot architects, would be Western Australia’s tallest apartment block. Whether it receives that distinction depends upon how quickly several other apartment tower projects already approved for Perth get built.

The City of South Perth has recommended that the $80 million building be approved by a state assessment panel that’s set to meet on March 11.

south perth skyscraperAlso recommended by the city for approval at that meeting is a $60 million, 29-storey apartment block, planned by Hillam Architects, at 74 Mill Point Road, as pictured, left.

The recommended approval of these skyscrapers follows last year’s announcement that developer Finbar had been selected to erect a 30-storey apartment block at the Civic Triangle site near the Windsor Hotel.

The initial design for that tower includes a national chain supermarket, restaurants, specialty stores and a plaza fronting Mends Street.

The tallest skyscraper south of the Swan at present is the big, blue, 17-storey apartment block behind Raffles Hotel at Applecross.

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Hotel pool to span two towers

CHRIS THOMSON

EXCLUSIVE: In a sign of what Perth has become, a hotel swimming pool stretching mid-air between two skyscrapers has been recommended for state government approval.

The pictured plans for a 29-storey hotel with 150 hotel rooms and 18 apartments have received the City of Perth thumb’s up for a block of land that runs between Pier and Nash streets in Perth, not far from McIver train station.

Perth hotel pool to span two towersTogether with a 16-storey office building also planned for the site, the project is expected  to cost $145 million to erect.

The main gimmick to draw tourists in is a rectangular swimming pool set to stretch between the two buildings at the 16th floor.

Adding even more razzle-dazzle to the already flamboyant proposal are four portholes that would allow begoggled swimmers to peer through the pool floor to the ground below.

The pan-tower pool is a mini version of the pool that sprawls atop the world’s second most expensive building, the Marina Bay Sands Hotel in Singapore.

Perth hotel pool to span two towersThe Pier Street site is owned by an outfit called Yuanlong (Aust) Investment Group Pty Ltd. The plans were developed by the Brisbane office of Marchese Partners architects, and submitted by TPG Town Planning Group.

TPG has told the City of Perth that while the project is undoubtedly ambitious, a structural report indicates it is buildable.

The company concedes that detailed design of the pool has not yet been undertaken, but that an approach to its design and construction has been discussed and agreed between the architect and engineer.

A state panel is scheduled to assess Perth council’s recommendation of approval at a meeting on February 26.

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$12 million Piccadilly Cinema overhaul

CHRIS THOMSON

Piccadilly Arcade and the art deco Piccadilly Cinema which closed down in 2013 will get a $12 million redevelopment if a City of Perth planner gets her way.

Palassis Architects has come up with the pictured renders that show the planned overhaul and renovation of the 1938-built landmark.

Palassis wants to replace the three existing cinemas and lower foyer level with shops, and spruce up the arcade.

Piccadilly perth redevelopmentThe company contends the use of lightweight flooring would allow future conversion of the shops back to a cinema. And Perth council planning officer Tegan Jeans has insisted that this be a condition of development approval.

The Hay Street Mall and Murray Street Mall facades would be reinstated close to their original art deco appearance, with arcade awnings, façade mouldings, and a missing fixed neon projecting vertical sign on the Hay Street Mall façade being rebuilt to original detail.

New double height glazing would be introduced on the Hay Street Mall façade at Level 1 to increase the profile of the planned upper retail tenancy from Hay Street Mall.

Piccadilly perth redevelopmentWorks undertaken in 1984, including the existing shop fronts, and later modifications along the arcade would be removed and new, more streamlined glazed shopfronts installed.

Despite the fact The Piccadilly is permanently listed on the state heritage register, Ms Jeans did not consult the public on the Palassis plans. She reasoned instead that the planned revamp would “enhance the locality and would not have any adverse impact on adjoining properties”.

The first opportunity Ms Jeans’ political masters will get to debate the plans is at a committee meeting on Tuesday night.

Before it closed in 2013, The Piccadilly, known for its prominent pink exterior, was the last cinema left in the Perth CBD.

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Marriott hotel design rejected

CHRIS THOMSON

A city design committee has rejected the design of a 23-level hotel planned by high-end international hotel chain Marriott for Wellington Street in the Perth CBD, and sent the architects back to their drawing board.

The committee, chaired by Government Architect Geoff Warn, and appointed by Perth City Council, was unanimously unimpressed by the pictured renders of the Marriott Courtyard hotel planned for 609 Wellington Street, opposite the gargantuan Perth City Link project.

marriott courtyard hotel perthAt a recent meeting, the committee refused to endorse the design of the $47 million, 330-room, hotel, recommending that more work be done.

“The lower levels of the development do not reference the adjoining heritage building and fail to reflect the intricate urban rhythm of the southern side of Wellington Street and, therefore, do not make a positive contribution to the streetscape or to the pedestrian experience of the city,” the committee opined.

The upper floors also copped some architectural critique, despite a 13-minute presentation on the blueprints by Alan Stewart and Daniel Hollingworth of Rowe Group planning consultants which had submitted the renders for council consideration.

The committee complained it had not received a faithful facsimile of what would actually be built, and asked that Rowe Group submit “realistic elevations and perspectives that reflect the floor plans”.

Pictured renders of planned Marriott Courtyard Hotel are as submitted by Rowe Group.

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‘Megascraper buyer beware noisy pub’

CHRIS THOMSON

Officials have moved to compel the developer of Perth’s tallest condominium to place noise warnings in all advertising for the 52-floor tower after the owner of WA’s best known gay bar objected to the project, claiming noise complaints from residents would hamper her business.

In a report to a state assessment panel, Perth City Council has recommended the pictured 52-floor skyscraper and two other towers, planned for the former Megamart site in Northbridge be approved, subject to a raft of conditions.

One of those conditions is that all marketing and contracts for sale or lease of apartments, and all strata titles, tell buyers and tenants the condo is “subject to noise and other impacts associated with an entertainment precinct and of the location of existing licensed entertainment venues in the immediate locality”.

In 2013, oneperth.com.au revealed that earlier plans for smaller triple towers on the site had been slammed by former Penthouse pet Bree Maddox who said noise complaints from tower dwellers would harm her landmark Court Hotel.

Perth's tallest apartments for Megamart siteNew, supersized plans for the Beaufort Street site have received only one objection – from the Court Hotel which again argued its business could suffer.

“The Court Hotel is a landmark venue in the entertainment precinct operating for over 126 years with an outdoor beer garden and dance floor alongside the internal facilities, generating loud music until 2am on weekends attracting thousands of people,” the Court’s submission read.

Consultant planners for the property’s owners, Northbridge Centre Custodian Services Pty Ltd, have promised noise-attenuating glazing will be installed in the towers. However, the city has urged the state panel to insist that a comprehensive noise management plan be developed to the council’s specifications.

If approved when the state panel meets on January 15, the tallest of the project’s skyscrapers, the so-called Beaufort Tower, will have the same number of floors as Perth’s current tallest skyscraper, Central Park on St Georges Terrace.

The Beaufort Tower would probably not be as tall as that shiny, silver ‘scraper, because residential floors are normally lower than commercial ones. But the new building would dwarf Perth’s current tallest apartment block, the 29-level Elevation Apartments on Adelaide Terrace

The Beaufort Tower would be joined by the 42-level Roe Tower, and 27-level Stirling Tower.

All up, the triple towers would have 804 apartments, 144 serviced apartments, and 4853 sqm of commercial floorspace. All apartments would have balconies.

The so-called Northbridge Centre has been designed by Melbourne-based Fender Katsalidis Architects whose named partners Karl Fender and Nonda Katsaladis are among Australia’s most esteemed architects.

The firm’s projects include the 297-metre Eureka Tower building in Melbourne, and back in the 1990s the masterplan for a 150,000-person satellite city on the outskirts of Bangkok.

The towers would cost $300 million to erect, and be the first very tall skyscrapers to rise north of the Midland to Fremantle train line.

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Privacy win for the suburbs

CHRIS THOMSON

A Spearwood man will have to tear down surveillance cameras and security lights atop an eight-metre high ‘multi-function pole’ after a tribunal found the structure could invade the privacy of neighbours.

In a decision published just before Christmas, State Administrative Tribunal member John Adderley ruled that the “very high surveillance capability” of the cameras on the pictured MFP could compromise the privacy of neighbours.

In 2013, Ivan Bacich erected the MFP near his front door after occupants of his Spearwood home received threats and had been the victims of crime at the residence.

Also in 2013, after learning of the steel pole, a City of Cockburn official directed Mr Bacich to seek planning approval.

In October of that year, Mr Bacich lodged a planning application for the MFP which is fitted with two security cameras, two floodlights and a yard-arm for flying a flag.

At a meeting in February the city’s councillors refused the MFP and directed council staff to order Mr Bacich to remove the lofty structure.

In recommending the MFP be refused, the council’s planners had concluded it would “set an undesireable precedent for camera poles” within Cockburn’s suburbs.

Of seven submissions lodged with the council, three objected to the MFP, three had no objections, and one supported the structure providing conditions were imposed.

The objectors claimed their privacy would be invaded, and light from the MFP would enter their properties.

Mr Bacich appealed to the tribunal, arguing the cameras’ field of view would be very narrow, and focused on the intersections at each end of his street. He stressed the cameras’ footage would only be reviewed if a crime were committed.

He submitted the cameras were needed to protect his family.

Despite refusing the MFP on privacy grounds, Mr Adderley noted the street was long, wide, open and dominated by street infrastructure such as power poles.

“The multi-function pole, while quite tall, is not visually out of character with this, perhaps, rather utilitrian streetscape,” Mr Adderley concluded.

Mr Adderley ordered that the council’s decision, which included a direction to remove the MFP, be affirmed.

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Locals slam Neofunctionalist flats

CHRIS THOMSON

A seven-floor Neofunctionalist block of flats has been recommended for refusal on Beaufort Street in Inglewood, across the street from the Inter-War Functionalist style Civic Hotel.

The City of Stirling has recommended that the pictured apartment block, across Wood Street from the hotel, be rejected when a state assessment panel meets on Thursday to decide the building’s fate.

If approved by the panel, against the city’s wishes, and erected as planned, the $27 million project will have:

* three buildings ranging in height from three to seven floors;

* an open plaza through the centre of the development;

* six shops;

* two restaurants;

* a ground-floor office;

* 72 multiple and 30 aged and dependent persons apartments; and

* 290 car bays.

The apartments would be a mix of one, two and three bedrooms.

But, at the conclusion of the project’s obligatory public consultation period, 21 objections and no expressions of support were received.

Just over 45 per cent of the objections came from within 100 metres of the planned building site. The other objectors hailed from elsewhere in the City of Stirling.

One objector dubbed the building an eyesore, and others said it was too tall for suburban Inglewood which is largely made up of Californian bungalows.

Functionalist architecture was an offshoot of the ever-popular art deco style of the early to mid twentieth century. Both styles are closely related and often revisited in more modern structures.

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Mitchell Freeway billboards slammed

CHRIS THOMSON

Two digital billboards planned for Mitchell Freeway will be kicked to the kerb if Joondalup city planners get their way.

oneperth.com.au can reveal the two planned billboards, beside the southbound lanes at Greenwood, and the northbound lanes at Duncraig, would be 12.66 metres wide and 3.35 metres tall and sit atop a pole, as pictured.

The planned billboards are the brainchild of the APN advertising company, which has asked the Department of Transport to approve them after former Transport Minister Troy Buswell last year announced eight sites would receive such signs on the Mitchell and Kwinana freeways.

Mictchell Freeway billboardsIf approved, the billboards would mainly spruik commercial products, and transmit the occasional message from Main Roads.

The billboards have not been advertised for the feedback of Duncraig or Greenwood residents because the department reasons they will not be able to be seen from nearby houses.

The plans have been sent to the City of Joondalup for comment though, and the city’s planners do not like what they see.

“It is noted that the use of signs as traffic control devices, or limited to the delivery of road related information to road users, is in greater accord with the intent of the reservation,” the planners have advised their political masters.

“However, the proposed signs will primarily be used for third party commercial advertising campaigns, with Main Roads WA related activities only displayed occasionally.

“As such, use of the signs for the advertising of unrelated goods and services is superfluous to the intended use of the [freeway] reserve and it is considered that approval of the development would not be in the interests of orderly and proper planning for the locality.”

The billboards would display static images only, with no animation or sound.

APN submits that the billboards are a “unique opportunity to not only enhance the role and function of one of Perth’s major thoroughfares, but provide an opportunity for architecturally designed signage to be appropriately integrated into the urban environment and contribute to the overall sense of place”.

“This innovative and coordinated proposal forms part of a broader national strategy with state and local government agencies as well as private organisations to construct digital signs in appropriate and strategic locations,” APN opines.

But the council planners advise that approval of the signs may set a precedent for using road reserves for advertising purposes, leading to a “potential proliferation and clutter of signs in the city’s transport corridors”.

The billboards form part of a larger joint venture between Main Roads and APN to erect various digital signs across metropolitan Perth. At this stage, two other sites have been proposed – in the City of Stirling and the City of Cockburn.

The planners have advised Joondalup city councillors to let them tell the department the city wants no bar of the billboards. The councillors will debate the planners’ recommendation at the city’s last council meeting of the year on Tuesday night.

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Fremantle has state’s best architecture

CHRIS THOMSON

Fremantle is Western Australia’s undisputed capital of fine architecture for 2014.

At last month’s national architecture awards in Darwin, the inaugural Award for Residential Architecture – Houses (Alterations and Additions) was presented to Beaconsfield-based architects Philip Stejskal Architecture for its renovation rescue of a heritage-listed house at Bellevue Terrace in Fremantle.

Awards juror Virginia Kerridge said the house (pictured, left) made “you really felt like you were in your own little world”.

“This beautiful sense of exuberance and playfulness, [the jurors] just sat there and didn’t want to leave,” Ms Kerridge said.

“I think that’s the mark of a really good building.

“It was just that sense of delightfulness and that sense of effortlessness and to me.

“It was also the fact that it was a very small budget that just achieved a huge amount and really deserves a big reward.”

And lauded twice at the national awards was Fremantle’s Bread in Common restaurant project (pictured right, and above, right), the emergence of which was revealed here last year amid objections to the innovative project by disgruntled locals.

The high-end restaurant project that gave a clapped-out warehouse a new lease on life won the Commercial Architecture and Interior Architecture awards.

In all, four Perth buildings were nominated as finalists for the awards across five categories.

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