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Construction to begin on Fremantle’s $270 million Kings Square civic and cultural precinct

Construction to begin on Fremantle’s $270 million Kings Square civic and cultural precinct
August 4, 2017

In what the City of Fremantle describes as one of the “biggest developments in Fremantle’s history”, construction is set to begin on a $50 million administration and library building, part of the $270 million central Fremantle cultural and civic precinct.

The new building will adjoin the rear of the historic 1887 Fremantle Town Hall replacing current Council facilities.

Designed by Kerry Hill Architects, it will form a triangular footprint that occupies the south-eastern half of Kings Square, adjacent to the city’s St John’s Anglican Church.

A key feature of the design is an inclined ‘City Lawn’, partially recessed into the building’s frontage, which will act as a public space and as the entrance to the building. On the ground plane, a new public library will sit partially underneath the lawn, with glass walls allowing views into the library from both the lawn and the street.

Inside the building, a sandstone ‘cylinder’ will contain a number of council offices and function spaces.

The building will replace the current administration facilities, public library and the Fremantle Visitor Centre with a heritage report prepared for the Council by heritage architects Griffith Architects applauding the way the “design reintegrates the Town Hall back into the centre of civic life.”

While the administration and library building is being paid for by the City of Fremantle, the development of the precinct also includes the $220 million commercial redevelopment of the former Myer building and the demolition of the Queensgate building that sit to the east of Kings Square, by developers Sirona Capital.

Kerry Hill Architects’ won an international design competition in 2013, beating shortlisted practices McBride Charles Ryan and Fremantle-based CODA Studio (which recently merged with Cox Architecture).

Announcing the Kerry Hill Architects design as the victor, Fremantle Mayor Brad Pettitt advised “as a jury, we selected the Kerry Hill Architects’ proposition of simple, clear elegance that centred on a compelling urban gesture to re-establish Kings Square, which we also found to have a refined architectural palette of form, space and materials.”

Former Western Australian Premier Colin Barnett announced in November 2016 that 1,500 public servants would be relocated to the new Kings Square facility once built.

Completion is expected in mid to late 2019.

Images: Overview of the The Kings Square civic building by Kerry Hill Architects. The 'city lawn' over the library can be seen in both uamges. Courtesy of Kerry Hill Architects

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