Fremantle abandoned wool store building now heritage award winner

The Heirloom by Match project director Dean Burrowes.
The Heirloom by Match project director Dean Burrowes.

AFTER starting life with a bang more than 90 years ago, Fremantle’s iconic Dalgety Wool Stores have sat largely forgotten for the majority of the last two decades.

However, since 2015 the building has transformed into one of the biggest heritage redevelopments in WA, a transformation that last week culminated in dual recognition at the 2017 Western Australian Heritage Awards.

The 130m Heirloom by Match project picked up the Conservation or Adaptive Reuse of a State Registered Place award and the Gerry Gauntlett Award for Excellence in Conservation or Adaptive Reuse of a State Registered Place, recognition parent company M/Group managing director Lloyd Clark said made all their hard work worth it.

“Drawing on our experience with heritage renewals, we knew from the outset that this project would present challenges, however we also saw it as an extremely important opportunity,” he said.

“To be honoured so significantly at the Western Australian Heritage Awards is a credit to the tireless work of the entire project team, who left no stone unturned to make this building as special as it now is and it is an extremely proud moment for M/Group.”

Heritage minister David Templeman said the project would have the opportunity to compete on the international stage via the UNESCO Asia-Pacific Awards for Cultural Heritage Conservation.

“The restoration and adaptation of the former Dalgety Wool Stores was a massive undertaking that required its owners to find innovative solutions to conserve and enhance the Wool Store’s original heritage fabric,” he said.

“Having sat largely unused for 20 years it was one of the largest restoration projects of its kind in WA and heralds a new era for Fremantle.”

North Fremantle’s Hillcrest project was also recognised with a commendation in the Conservation or Adaptive Reuse of a State Registered Place category while Curtin University’s Historical Panoramas project, which juxtaposed images from Fremantle and Perth’s past with those of the present, received a commendation in the Interpretation Project category.

Historical Panoramas project supervisor Andrew Woods said they worked closely with the State Library to uncover the photos.

“This project is a great way for scholars, historians and members of the public to take a virtual tour through Perth and Fremantle over a 150 year period and it is wonderful to have the project recognised by the State’s peak body for Western Australian heritage,” he said.

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