And the winner of the Kings Square Architectural Competition is…

IT was a huge day for Fremantle today with the winner of the Kings Square Architectural Competition announced. I was excited by all three designs that were shortlisted and would have love to have seen all three of them built (although stacking them up would have blown our height restrictions!).

Well done to the winner Kerry Hill architects. I just spent an hour with them going through the design in detail and the more I see of it the more I love it. It is an elegant but robust design that is going to transform the civic heart of Fremantle.

Kerry hill 1

Here is the press release the city put out earlier with some links:

It’s official. The winner of the Kings Square Architectural Competition is Kerry Hill Architects, whose innovative design for a $45m, community, civic and retail hub in the centre of Fremantle got the nod over two other finalists from an expert independent jury.

The development will form part of the broader $220 Kings Square Project, one of the largest and most important new developments in Fremantle’s history.

The winning concept, announced today at a ceremony in Kings Square, was selected from a field of 53 entries submitted from around the world. Three of these entries were shortlisted by the independent jury in November with that same jury today selecting the winner.

Winning concept

(click link to download – warning large files)

Winning concept – Kerry Hill Architects

The key civic spaces within the winning concept include the inclined plane of the ‘City Lawn’, the ‘Verandah’, and the ‘Civic Drum’.  The intention is to establish a civic presence, a degree of formality, but to generate sufficient informal spaces to invite relaxed public participation.

The Civic Drum, expressed in the form of a sandstone cylinder, contains a number of public functions: council chamber on top, staff lounges, community room, exhibition, and multi-purpose room to the library in the basement.  The library, organised on a single floor plane, is located under the City Lawn with its side glass walls allowing the library to be visible from the ground plane.  It has a separate entrance which also provides a foyer to the town hall and a gallery space.

Fremantle Mayor, Dr Brad Pettitt, said the winning concept had the design and sustainability qualities that the Fremantle community demands and deserves.

“I’m very pleased with the jury’s decision and on how the competition was managed from the outset. I thank both the jury and City staff for the enormous time and effort spent getting to this point, which has resulted in some high calibre entries and a first-class winning design,” Dr Pettitt said.

“What we’re ultimately ending up with here is Fremantle’s future heritage and with the Kings Square Project being the cornerstone of Fremantle’s $1bilion development pipeline and revitalisation, we wanted to make sure we get the best possible outcome in terms of design. The council agreed that an international architectural competition was the best way of ensuring this would happen.”

Competition jury comment

Competition jury chair, Ms Shelley Penn, complemented both the quality and creativity of the entries received.

“We received a range of entries from around Australia and the world and as a jury we were pleased with both the overall quality and diversity of these entries. There were certainly some interesting ideas and ways of approaching the space, a lot of these very good. The final three shortlisted entries were all outstanding,” Ms Penn said.

“As a jury we ended up selecting the concept submitted by Kerry Hill Architects which offered a proposition of simple, clear elegance that centred on a compelling urban gesture to re-establish Kings Square. The jury also found this concept to have a refined architectural palette of form, space and materials.”

Next steps

Once final tenancy agreements are secured and commencement of the broader Kings Square Project is confirmed, Kerry Hill Architects will be engaged to finetune their concept and work with the City of Fremantle and project partner Sirona Capital, to bring their design to life.

The winning design concepts, along with the two other shortlisted concepts, will be on public display at the former Myer building for the next two weeks.

Runner-up concept designs (click link to download – warning large files)

McBride Charles Ryan: concept

CODA:  concept

kerry hill 2

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6 Responses to And the winner of the Kings Square Architectural Competition is…

  1. Audrey Bolger says:

    I am so disappointed. Why are we stuck with another boring, conservative box? When we could have had something innovative and beautiful as the MacbrideCharlesRyan design. Then we would have had something making a statement and drawing people to our wonderful Kings Square. I now know what to expect for the rest of our developments. I was never against height as such – a low box is still a boring box, and that is what we are heading towards.

  2. Paula Amaral says:

    I fear Council has just missed a fantastic opportunity, by choosing the most boring, conservative, and uninspired of the 3 final designs. What a great pity!
    A pity too that there wasn’t a popular vote along with it, it would have been interesting to see what the Fremantle people would vote for.
    My vote would have been for the McBrideCharlesRyan design.
    So much for the “amazing architecture ” we were promised by the City.

  3. Ava says:

    Sometimes a beautiful elegant building does not look as good in the renderings, I think the Kerry Hill design is incredible and will be the example of amazing architecture the City is looking for. sometimes it is about the volume you are in, not the added decoration that has the most profound impact. It was a clever choice of the judges for this reason. Walk through his State Theatre building in Northbridge if you need reassurance.

  4. A mature timeless piece. Well done to all concerned. Bonus in having a Fremantle-ite as the principal of the winning architect firm. Great assured work. Very happy with the panel decision and another truly winning design from one of the worlds best.

  5. Spiro says:

    I have to say that the winning design has grown on me over the last couple of days. I fear that the one that wowed people (the ship thing) might just have been a bit too impractical and more a piece of art than a functional building. I recognize that Freo is an artsy place but the building still has to serve its purpose.

    I can also see that its construction would have been quite difficult compared to the one chosen and probably a lot more expensive from the look of it?

    Well done to the city and the judges. I think they made they right decision. Now it just needs to get done!

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