Home' Commercial : Commercial Building and Design 2013 Contents 118 SCOOP Commercial Building & Design 2013
Essays | The home stretch
One such facility is Murdoch’s $2 billion Fiona
Stanley Hospital by design team Hames Sharley,
Silver Thomas Hanley and HASSELL. Accessibility
has been integral in its design, which is linked to
Murdoch bus and train station by lifts and ramps
from the platforms. Inclined walkways then link
to Murdoch University.
State Architect Steve Woodland says while the
best intentions may be had, a TOD still requires
careful planning, given it’s a concept relatively new
to Perth, and we have lessons to learn from previous
developments. He furthers the analogy of Perth as
a teen, saying that just as teenagers make mistakes,
Perth as a maturing city hasn’t got its TODs right
every time. Bad design, he says, has resulted in
people ‘putting up the shutters’ when talk turns
to high density, and he believes people need wider
choices of housing, more creative designs, and
good-quality add-on amenities to really sell high-
density lifestyles. “It’s probably as much about
quality of design,” he says. “Small apartments are
okay – it’s not the size, it is the design, access to
quality light, and shared and community amenities,
because if you don’t have those you don’t have many
of the pluses of living in that sort of environment.”
Steve says the city’s latest growth spurt is
unique because it is not just more of the same
– it’s a multi-dimension growth that reflects deep
consideration about what makes a liveable city.
He points out that previously the CBD had a
singular commercial purpose with little emphasis
on the city as a place to live.
However, while things are changing, he concedes
there is still a long way to go. “What is critical
about this phase of growth of state and city is
it’s not just about growth in size and extent,”
he explains, “but growth in terms of a richer,
more varied built environment, rather than being
a mono-cultural place, more multi-dimensional,
not just in term of the city but also the suburbs.”
Kieran believes that as a place to live and work,
it is important the new Perth city has a ‘sense of
place’ when it emerges from construction; a unique
identity alongside high amenity and good transport.
But Steve and Kieran are quick to state that change
doesn’t mean forsaking the things we’re comfortable
with, agreeing that a liveable Perth will still be built
on the things West Australians value most – a strong
connection to the coast and river, spaciousness,
informality and unpretentiousness.
“Just as teenagers make mistakes, Perth as a
maturing city hasn’t got [it] right every time.
Bad design has resulted in people ‘putting up the
shutters’ when talk turns to high density.”
Subiaco Pavilion – previously the site of the Subiaco markets – is set
for a design makeover by Bollig Design Group that will see it fall in
line with the adjacent, higher density TOD by Hames Sharley, Subiaco
Square. It will include a mix of residential, retail and office space.
Bill Hames of Hames Sharley says light rail (above)
will be a ‘major game changer’, providing a tram-like
rail system built around shopping, health centres and
universities. This will open up possibilities for new types
of Transport Oriented Developments (TODs).
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