CITY of Perth’s planning committee has given a qualified stamp of approval to a new exhibition centre and alterations to heritage buildings as part of the new museum project.
The site, bounded by James Street mall, Beaufort and Francis streets, and the Museum Street pedestrian mall, is within the Metropolitan Redevelopment Authority (MRA) Area and contains four State heritage-listed buildings.
The MRA referred the application for a new exhibition centre building and alterations to existing heritage buildings to the City for comment. The State Government is working with Brookfield Multiplex and Hassell Architects and Oma Architects on the new museum designed around an outdoor civic space at the centre which, together with the Old Perth Gaol museum cafe, will form a focal point for visitors.
City staff praised the project as one that will “deliver an iconic development of a high standard of design excellence within the Perth Cultural Centre Precinct” and “unite the existing heritage buildings through a holistic design… creating an exciting dialogue between contemporary architecture and heritage”.
Councillors Judy McEvoy, Jim Adamos and Keith Young voted to recommend Perth Council commend the MRA on the high standard of design excellence of the project and supports in-principle the proposed new exhibition centre and alterations to the heritage buildings.
The committee also resolved to recommend the council to urge the MRA to further review the setback to the new first floor exhibition link building between the Jubilee Building and Hackett Hall; submit detailed elevation plans for the proposed new entrance through the Beaufort Street Wing building; retain the existing brick additions at the western end of the Old Perth Gaol building, and retain the heritage staircase in the Beaufort Street Wing building.
The committee also recommended the council push for the tenancies indicated as ‘commercial opportunities’ at the ground floor plane along Francis Street and at Jubilee Hall be occupied with uses that provide for “street level interest and activity including ‘dining and entertainment’, ‘culture and creative’ and ‘retail’ rather than offices or other similar uses with potentially inactive frontages”.