Building’s historic bubble wrap
It was once the Leederville home to one of WA’s most successful soft-drink factories.
It is now a contemporary residential development — but the essence of its former life has not been forgotten.
The facade of the M/24 apartments in Carr Street has been designed to look like intersecting soft-drink bubbles — an architectural homage to the 60odd years when the Golden West Aerated Water Company operated from the site.
The development, which officially opens today, is the latest inner-city project by boutique apartment developer Match.
It recently completed the redevelopment of the Woolstores building in Fremantle.
In collaboration with Melbourne architects ARM, who designed Perth Arena, they used digital modelling to create the bubble pattern — known as Voronoi tessellations — on the facade.
Match Group managing director Lloyd Clark said the unique concept and historical perspective had attracted a great deal of interest and attention from the community.
Seventy per cent of the 39 one and two-bedroom apartments — which range in price from $420,000 to $650,000 — have sold.
Mr Clark said the interest indicated a thirst for edgy product that enhanced the landscape and told a story.
“M/24 demonstrates that investing in a good architect can pay dividends in a market that responds to unique product,” he said.
“The success of this project is more pronounced in an environment that is too often brimming with high-density, cookie-cutter designs that do very little for the streetscape or potential capital growth.”
The Golden West Aerated Water Company was established by James Wallis in 1902. It moved to the Leederville site in 1907. It made soft drinks and cordials using rainwater collected from on-site tanks.
Mr Wallis’ grandson Hal, now 85, said the family appreciated that the memory of the factory was being incorporated in the development.
“The factory was very important for the family,” he said.
“I used to work here on school holidays, putting labels on the bottles.
“I remember the factory’s ginger beer was considered the best in the State.”
Hal’s brother Ron was factory production manager and his son Peter also worked on the shop floor during school holidays.
“There are lots of memories in this building,” he said. “We are very appreciative of the developers for helping to keep these memories alive.”
James Wallis' grandson Hal Wallis and great-grandson Peter Wallis.
An ad for Golden West.
An early picture of the premises.