Should innovative façades be part of the new developments in Freo?

Interestingly, the Pixel Building (see last post) is only the first of several buildings planned as part of the major redevelopment of the former Carlton Brewery site on the northern edge of Melbourne’s CBD. The site will also include a number of other larger buildings and the plans for one of the buildings got me thinking about the aesthetics of new buildings and how it might apply to Fremantle redevelopment areas. Not only will these new buildings be green –waste, water and energy efficient – but they will start to capture what is special about the place they sit in.

In the case of the Carlton Brewery site, it sits at the northern end of Swanston St. At the southern end is the Shrine of Remembrance. As result of the importance of this site in Melbourne’s landscape a creative response to place was required.

Using innovative computer design, the architects designed the balconies each of the apartments slightly differently. Up close is reads as an interesting but not remarkable 32 level high-rise residential building. But back up a block down Swanston Street and the face of famous indigenous leader William Barak (from the Wurundjeri tribe) emerges from façade in a dramatic fashion. This simply but innovative method means that the buildings adds to a sense of place and history in a unique manner.

It made me think of some of the other innovative façades we are starting to see emerge from photo montages ( ie Sam Newman House and 2 Girls Building below) to solar shading (ie Pixel)  green walls (Copenhagen). Perhaps this can be part of the design policy for the East Ends of Fremantle that we will be developing together over the next few months? Of course the policy will exclude any references to Pamela Anderson.

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About Mayor of Fremantle Brad Pettitt's blog
City of Fremantle Mayor

4 Responses to Should innovative façades be part of the new developments in Freo?

  1. Paula amaral says:

    Hi Brad

    I’m glad you wrote about this subject. I sincerely hope that innovative facades will be encouraged and be part of the desirable criteria.
    However beauty and aesthetics should always be the goal. Even Kitsch can be either beautiful or ugly.


  2. freoishome says:

    I assume the Carlton Bewery site is being designed and built as a single site, ie, that they can plan from top down, a holistic plan, where the buildings and POS will all be part of an integrated whole?

  3. Gaz says:

    Great post, Brad. There are also blank spots in the West End prime for Pixel-style developments. That could be Freo’s style – Victorian ornaments and (restored) cast iron verandahs meets solar shading and computer-generated facades. Australia’s most visually engaging city? Let’s do it 🙂

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