Timber offices proposed at Bishop’s House in Perth

14 December 2021

David Rowlinson

The proponent notes that the building design has been shaped by its garden setting and the heritage context. “The building facade will consist of a refined curtain wall system with a series of cantilevered rooms beyond the column line of the building to provide an interesting interface between the gardens and work spaces,” planning documents note. “Two rooftop terraces on the eighth level of the building offer views to the both the river and Kings Park.”

The proposed building will join other office buildings built next to the heritage Bishop’s House since Multiplex Property Trust and the Hawaiian Property Group purchased the site in 1999. A heritage impact statement prepared by Element in support of the proposal notes that while the scale of the new building is significantly greater than that of Bishop’s House, the separation between the two is similar to the existing surrounding multi storey buildings. Its form will also shield the intrusion of the neighbouring Forrest Centre, which currently detracts from the landscaped gardens around the residence due to its blank concrete wall.

The Heritage Council of Western Australia initially objected to the proposal, noting in August that the office building would overpower the Bishop’s House and that the scale of the protruding “pods,” particularly on the upper levels, would have an adverse impact on the site’s heritage values. But after a redesign that saw the pods’ width reduced and their protrusion limited to four metres the council lent the proposal its support.

The City of Perth Local Development Assessment Panel will consider the development at its 20 December meeting, which has been recommended for approval subject to a number of conditions, including that a final landscape masterplan is produced for the site and a dilapidation survey of Bishop’s House is prepared.

Article first appeared in Architecture Australia

Photo of the author: David Rowlinson
David Rowlinson

David hails from Lancashire, England and has lived in Australia since 1994. He studied Architecture at Sheffield University and also has an MBA from Macquarie University and a Master of Marketing from UNSW. Prior to joining Planet Ark in 2016 David was Marketing Manager then CEO of a major Sydney-based manufacturer of modular carpets used in all commercial building applications. His proudest achievement was the development of an industry-leading environmental sustainability agenda, including the unique Earthplus product reuse program.

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