A magnificent wooden tower is expected to breathe new light into a ‘forgotten oasis’ along the Perth foreshore, with the $ 40 million development recommended for approval next week.
The 10-story proposal on Mounts Bay Road near the 1859 Bishop House will go to the Perth Local Development Review Committee on December 20, where staff recommended its approval.
The Brookfield and Hawaiian Property joint development proposal – which preserves the historic house and the iconic canopy that surrounds it – will have an area of almost 10,000 m² for office, education and training.
It will also improve pedestrian access to the gardens and to the house, with a new pedestrian entrance, new stairs on either side of Bishop’s House and a new lifting platform to be built.
The project will also include toilet replacement and landscaping.
The Bishop’s House and Gardens were built for WA’s first Anglican Bishop, Mathew Blagden Hale.
The structure was remodeled in 1904 by the third resident, Bishop Charles Riley, who turned them into an entertainment space and brought in exotic and native plants.
The area is also of importance to the Whadjuk Noongar people, with a spring once flowing at the western end of the foreshore and providing a source of food.
The developers said the monument has become a “forgotten oasis in the ever-increasing scale of the contemporary urban context.”
“The house and gardens will be revealed (…) and brought to life by a new generation of visitors and the daily occupants of a new workplace,” they said.
“The scale and orientation of the existing adjacent developments undermine and deactivate the boundaries of the place. The new building seeks to mediate between the scale and materiality of the place and its high-rise urban context.
“The eastern extent of the site remains readable through the hall, which repairs the current virgin parking structure and forms a new activated facade on the site. The horizontal and vertical rhythm of the Georgian Victorian building informs the structural rhythm of the new building.
In recommending the complex, the panel praised the design concept for using an ‘innovative timber framing solution’ and improving public access and use of the site’s gardens. .
Under the recommended approval conditions, substantial work must start within two years.