In­spi­ra­tion quay worry

Guardian Express - - FRONT PAGE - Jes­sica War­riner

A DE­CI­SION on an “unin­spir­ing” $122 mil­lion El­iz­a­beth Quay bus­port re­de­vel­op­ment has been pushed back amidst de­bate over its de­sign.

La­belled by the Of­fice of the Gov­ern­ment Ar­chi­tect (OGA) as “unin­spir­ing”, the City of Perth Lo­cal De­vel­op­ment Assess­ment Panel (DAP) voted unan­i­mously on Thurs­day to de­fer the mat­ter.

The re­de­vel­op­ment pro­poses an eight-storey of­fice build­ing above a re­fur­bished bus­port.

The OGA said in its sub­mis­sion to the panel that the built form of the com­mer­cial com­po­nent was “lack­ing the dis­tinc­tion war­ranted by the prox­im­ity to the state’s ma­jor con­ven­tion fa­cil­i­ties”.

The agency also said the tran­sit hall ren­ders in­di­cated an “un­re­mark­able space” and that it was over­all “be­low cur­rent stan­dards for re­tail de­vel­op­ment and pub­lic spa­ces within ma­jor trans­port fa­cil­i­ties”.

DAP pre­sid­ing mem­ber Ray Haeren asked as­so­ciate prin­ci­pal An­drew TangSmith, from Woods Bagot, about the OGA com­ments.

“All the struc­tural moves we’ve made have been nec­es­sary from con­straints put on us by the PTA; we de­cided to ex­press them as part of the ar­chi­tec­tural el­e­ments,” Mr Tang-Smith said.

He said the fi­nal treat­ment would pro­duce a “very good” out­come for the city.

PTS Town Plan­ning’s Peter Simp­son said the project had been in the pipe­line for at least five or six years and he was not sure some of the nu­mer­ous agen­cies in­volved had ap­pre­ci­ated the com­plex­ity of the area.

“A brief­ing last week may have ad­dressed some of their com­men­tary,” he said.

The project will be fully funded by Brook­field, which holds a lease over the area un­til 2103.

City of Perth chair com­mis­sioner Eric Lums­den rec­om­mended a de­fer­ral to al­low dis­cus­sion about the site.

“I un­der­stand all the site lim­i­ta­tions, but I am not sat­is­fied when there’s is­sues with de­sign that they’re post­poned or made with con­di­tions,” he said.

“I’m not com­fort­able in the cur­rent sit­u­a­tion that we know ex­actly what we’re ap­prov­ing.”

This was sec­onded by fel­low com­mis­sioner An­drew Ham­mond.

City of Perth of­fi­cer Mar­garet Smith said many is­sues had been ad­dressed through the amended plans, but a de­fer­ral would be ben­e­fi­cial for more time to get the agen­cies in the same room.

Of­fi­cer Craig Smith said there were re­fine­ments that could oc­cur in the de­sign.

The panel is set to re­con­vene in four weeks.

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