The development has created connected, vibrant destinations which reinvigorate the surrounding urban fabric.
Brookfield Place is a newly activated urban precinct that is characterised by a central high rise office tower that is ‘grounded' in a carefully crafted ground plane consisting of a variety of old and new buildings within a pedestrianised city precinct. The brief was to create an appropriate setting for a premium commercial tower within an activated public realm that integrated the reactivated heritage buildings.
The site, an entire city block, had been dormant and unused for nearly 30 years. The public spaces and places were carefully designed to ensure the historic buildings could be comfortably sited. The differing scale of the old and new reinforces the dignity and character of the historic architecture. This approach was predicated on the understanding that the public realm and open spaces are equally important elements of a successful design outcome. The success of the adaptive reuse celebrates the fact four of the historic buildings sit as the last intact series of historic buildings within the CBD.
The intact facades of the buildings complement their newly restored interiors which now accommodate a range of cafes, restaurants, bars, art galleries and high end retail. The traditional restoration of the St Georges Terrace buildings is juxtaposed with the approach that characterises the old newspaper Print Hall behind. The Print Hall was an introverted drab concrete building containing a unique double story art deco meeting hall. The Print Hall has been wrapped in a new protective charcoal coloured panelised facade that is deliberately restrained and of a contemporary aesthetic.
The new bars, restaurants and function spaces are well suited to the restored historic interiors. The architectural design team worked collaboratively with HASSELL Landscape Architecture to ensure the exterior and interior spaces communicate in a manner that allows each restored building to make its own contribution to the greater precinct. The reinstatement of a permeable pedestrian grid across the site and careful control of differing building scales ensures the public realm celebrates the comfortable juxtaposition of the modern and historic.
The historic buildings now have a range of new contemporary uses that have enabled a series of beautiful introverted spaces to be developed; deliberately blurring the line between public and private uses. The public realm bridges the gap between the old and new by creating places that complement the nature of the surrounding built environment. The development has created connected, vibrant destinations which reinvigorate the surrounding urban fabric. The adaptive re-use of the historic buildings has seen a series of long dormant buildings re-engage with the citizens of Perth.