Baugruppen at WGV explained

I think Baugruppen has huge potential to add affordability, sustainability and tailored innovation to medium density housing in a way that Perth has not seen before …

Move over MANY 6160. Make way for MANY 2.0

If you peek inside the old Spotlight Building on Adelaide St you will be in for quite a surprise. This once empty, derelict space is now home to the very impressive MANY 2.0 – in fact I think it is even better than MANY 6160.

Great projects like this can only happen because of good partnerships. As with Sirona at MANY 6160, development group Yolk have been essential to enabling MANY 2.0 become a reality in partnership with Spacemarket and the team at the City of Fremantle. So big thanks to all for making this happen.

Below is some photos of MANY 2.0 and an article that is in the latest copy of Fremantle Story Mag on the MANY transition. Check it out and enjoy.

The dynamic retail collective housed in the old Myer building has a new home. From March 2017 (well today in fact!) the eclectic pop-up with a difference is bringing new life to the old Spotlight building on Adelaide Street.

When it first opened in October 2013, nobody quite knew how long MANY 6160 (then known as MYRE) would inhabit the building vacated by the department store. Six months? Nine? More than three years later, the temporary concept store (a mix of retail and makers workspaces) is still busy incubating independent businesses.

It’s part of an emerging trend in retail that shuns the bland, soulless shopping centre vibe in favour of a fresher, more experimental approach. “MANY has been a huge, important and interesting project,” says project manager Kate Hulett of its first incarnation in Kings Square. She names the unusual nature of the building and the cooperation and flexibility of its owner Sirona and the City of Fremantle as contributing factors to its success. “Where else would you find 20,000 square metres of space to do something like this? And where else would this work but in Fremantle?

MANY 6160 has housed an evolving line-up of retailers selling hats, artwork, vintage clothing, retro furniture, artisan lamps, jewellery and footwear. Its rooftop has seen two new bars, a couple of motorbike shows and at least one wedding. Its basement has witnessed everything from mini golf to an acclaimed art gallery to performances by Falls Festival DJs.

Upstairs, furniture makers, costume designers, upholsterers, surfboard makers, metal workers and artists have toiled away on their own projects, in the company of like-minded folk. “It’s one of the hallmarks of MANY”, says Kate. Unlike other small businesses where people work alone, the retailers and makers here can talk, connect and sometimes collaborate as a result of the communal space. As well as nurturing a vibrant community, MANY is a way for people to test their businesses without taking on prohibitive leases.

For customers, the benefits lie in the variety, the original wares and the accessibility. People can wander between shops, read books or enjoy the café without feeling pressured to buy. Kate sees it as a space where mums, grandparents, hipsters and teenagers can feel equally at ease.

Vacating the premises for the Kings Square redevelopment (the space will become mixed use office and retail) has brought a new opportunity: to reenergise another dead space with a new-look pop-up. Overseen once again by Spacemarket, the Adelaide Street space has a similar vibe but a different look. Retail stores laid out on the diagonal, for example. The café fronts both the retail floor and the outside lane near Westgate Mall. It’s hoped that regular events will take shape here.

The makers have embarked on a diaspora of their own. Some have moved to studios at the old Fremantle Police Station (cleverly renamed MANY 000), while others plumped for a warehouse at North Fremantle’s Matilda Bay Brewing. Others still are headed for East Perth.

In Adelaide Street, MANY’s retail philosophy holds. MANY 2.0 prides itself on being an outlet for hard-to-find, often handmade items that are unique to Western Australia, in a space that feels interesting and creative. “It would be hard to manufacture the feel of MANY in a cold, new building,” says Kate, who has relished revitalising the derelict Spotlight store–which will be demolished within the next two years for new apartments–into MANY’s next temporary space. “There’s no sadness in the closure of the old place. It’s exciting to have the opportunity to refresh.”

Cycling and the State Election. A Westcylce Summary

WestCycle has drawn together the cycling commitments of the four major political parties ahead of the Western Australian State Election. This table summarises each party’s platform for cycling.

Where possible, we have used the party’s own words to describe their commitment.

Rob Broadfield goes Cocktail Commando at Bathers Beach House

I had to laugh at this amusing review of Bathers Beach House including the back-handed complement to the Freo Council from The West’s  food critic Rob Broadfield. He’s a witty guy.

Cocktail Commando 

 You’re in Bali or Europe; you’re lying on the beach and a little man comes to your sun lounge and dispenses drinks (in Dubai the little man is on a Segway complete with lowpressure sand tyres — cool eh?).

A hundred-odd years of officious fun police in local government and licensing have ensured we’ve never spawned a beach bar culture here. That is until now. The Bathers Beach House in Fremantle is the real deal: sun lounges on the sand with full bar service. You don’t even have to get up to order, they come to you. As far as we know, it is the only true full-service beach bar in Australia.

Three cheers for the City of Fremantle, which is controlled by environmentalists — and environmentalists are renowned fun sponges, so we don’t quite know how they got around to approving this. Nonetheless, Freo, we salute you.

The Bathers Beach House is a massive, cheap and cheerful restaurant with OK resort-style food including steaks, fish and chips, pork belly and barramundi. But it is its beachside bar culture which floats our boat.

To be clear, Bathers doesn’t have a cocktail program, it has a cocktail menu. There are no smartly made fruit syrups of house-made bitters here. This is a gin and tonic and Aperol spritz kind of place and frankly, when you’re lying on the beach there’s only three things you need, sunblock, a teeth-chatteringly cold bottle of rosé and an Aperol spritz. The Aperol spritz may have started life as the smart drink for the apres-ski set in the Italian Alps and yet it translates perfectly to WA’s hot, lazy beach scene. The Bathers version is proper and cold and laced with orange slices for extra punch.



Fair Share: community, affordability and housing in STM

For those of you that missed Belle Taylor’s excellent piece on community, affordability and housing with a focus on Freo in the Sunday Times Mag STM  last week then here it is. Well worth a read.



People Cities: the Legacy of Jan Gehl

This week a few us from the City of Fremantle had the pleasure of siting down and having a chat with acclaimed Danish urban planner Jan Gehl.  Jan was over in Australia to reflect on the work he had in Australian cities such as Melbourne and Perth.

He was also here to be part of a celebration and launch of a book on his extraordinary contribution to make cities all around the world better places for people. People Cities: the Life and Legacy of Jan Gehl is written by Curtin University’s Professor Peter Newman and Dr Annie Matan (who now works at the City of Fremantle advising us on sustainable city planning.

Jan’s contribution has been impressive and you can see this especially in his home town of Copenhagen where a few years ago I got to meet him and be shown around – on bike of course – the city by his impressive staff at Gehl Architects. In Copenhagen more people ride each day than drive a car and it has been said “a 10-year-old child can now cycle across the city because of an emphasis on safe intersection crossings.”.

Here is the link to the talk he gave while he was here. It is inspiring:


MANY changes but staying 6160

MANY 6160  is Australia’s largest temporary space activation project (possible the largest anywhere in the world but as they say it is a bit hard to know how to measure this) .

Since Spacemarket opened it in October 2013, the former department store has become a fabulous cutting edge retail space with producers above and a gallery below.

But all good things must … well … change and evolve and MANY 6160 V1.0 is closing and moving on so the Kings Square project can get underway.

In fact this weekend (18/19) is their last in the old Myer building (check out the leaving event below) and I think you’ll agree that the project has been a huge success for Fremantle and exceeded expectations in terms of longevity and quality. The City of Fremantle has been working closely with the MANY team since the project launched and lately on their transition plan.

So the exciting news is that MANY 6160 will transition to MANY 2.0 in three other under-utilised buildings in Fremantle:

Big parts of the retail floor will be relocating to 52 Adelaide St (old-Spotlight). It will be great to see that area get some much needed reactivation.

The production floor will largely go into 45 Henderson St (the Old Police Station) and 135 Stirling Hwy (Old Matilda Bay Brewery).

I am extremely pleased to see this amazing initiative continue and evolve. MANY has been a key part of keeping Fremantle unique and creative.

The leaving party is next Friday the 24th. All welcome.