The State Government today released the initial architectural design for the redevelopment of Perth’s historic Old Treasury Buildings in the heart of the city.
The design, by Melbourne-based architect Peter Elliott and local architects Donaldson-Warn, Sandover Pinder and Palassis Architects, was unveiled by Acting Premier Eric Ripper and Housing and Works Minister Francis Logan.
Mr Ripper and Mr Logan welcomed the design and agreed that it represented a very contemporary solution to a difficult heritage project.
“This will become a landmark building that will reinvigorate a part of the city which has become lifeless,” Mr Ripper said.
“The design has to assimilate the old with the new - not an easy task, given that the nearby heritage buildings hold a special place in the hearts of all Western Australians.
“But this design will allow the heritage buildings to be fully conserved and re-occupied for the first time in more than 10 years.”
Under the State Government’s multi-million redevelopment proposal, the Old Treasury Buildings will be refurbished and a new multi-storey office block facing Barrack Street will be constructed.
“I am now more convinced then ever that we will create a fabulous building for Perth,” Mr Logan said.
“The proposed redevelopment will facilitate public access through the buildings, encourage after-hours activity and reinvigorate the area.”
Mr Logan said it was important that the design of the proposed new office building complemented the existing heritage structures of the Old Treasury Buildings, the Town Hall and the surrounding heritage precinct, including Cathedral Square.
The Minister said the State Government was working with the Perth City Council, the Heritage Council and the Department for Planning and Infrastructure, through a design review committee chaired by the Government Architect, to resolve heritage and planning issues associated with the redevelopment.
“The design concepts are currently very much a work in progress and are therefore subject to ongoing refinement,” he said.
“While they do provide for bars, a restaurant, specialty shops, caf�s and arcades for pedestrian access as the predominant uses at basement and ground levels, we will continue to work with the City of Perth to address its concerns.”
City of Perth councillors have been briefed on the designs and have raised a couple of issues which are currently being re-assessed. These include a greater setback from the Town Hall on Hay Street and no offices on the ground floor of the heritage buildings.
“The State Government will protect and preserve the heritage attributes of the Old Treasury Buildings, constructed between 1874 and 1903, which epitomise colonial architecture in WA,” Mr Logan said.
The refurbishment of the Old Treasury Buildings and the construction of the new office building will be funded and maintained by a private developer under a leasehold arrangement.
The State Government is expected to offset the cost by a pre-commitment to lease between 15,000 and 17,000sq.m of office space. Ultimately the redevelopment will revert to the State.
The State Government expects to tender the redevelopment scheme to the market in 2006.
Minister for Housing and Work's office: 9222 8950
Treasurer’s office: 9222 8788