The project was initiated following Lawrence Associates’ completion of the restoration and refurbishment of the south wing of the heritage complex for the special use by the Western Australian Music Academy and as a result the submission had the benefit of first hand practical knowledge and experience of the complexities and actual cost related development considerations.
The project was community-driven and embodied unique features designed to satisfy the various interest groups and solve the problems, which had prevented redevelopment for 15 years or more. The heritage buildings were degenerating into a government maintenance headache.
The proposal comprised two distinct developments:
- the use of most of the heritage buildings and extensive grounds as a community and performing arts centre, and
- the construction of new luxury apartments on the escarpment at the eastern end of the site.
The Redevelopment included:
- a new medium-density residential development incorporating the old Administration Building;
- the upgrading of all existing buildings to useable commercial standard at the Developer’s cost, to the satisfaction of the Minister for Heritage;
- the provision of facilities within the buildings other than the Administration Building for use by the community and organisations in the performing arts;
- the establishment of new community and performing arts facilities at the Developer’s cost,
- the construction of new road access; and
- the provision of on-site parking to service the proposed uses, to the satisfaction of the local authority.
The new residential building and lot development generated sufficient revenue for the developer to independently fund and undertake:
- upgrading of all buildings to commercially-useable standard, satisfactory to the Minister for Heritage;
- landscaping the grounds to a high standard;
- providing for extensive public access to the grounds and buildings, with 1.5km paths, cycle-ways, disabled access, and community facilities; &
- provision of innovative access and parking solutions.
The completed complex was sanctioned by Sir Frank Callaway who endorsed the project. He very sadly died 2 weeks after signing his authority for naming the Foundation in support of the arts and specifically for the special use precinct.