Open House opens doors to architectural icons in Perth

Members of the public will have the opportunity to tour a number of Hames Sharley-designed buildings this month as Open House returns to Perth for a weekend of architectural tours, talks and events.

Open House was founded in London almost three decades ago, but by 2010 had grown to include 40 cities across five continents – the Open House Worldwide Family. The concept allows a city’s inhabitants to directly experience how good urban design can improve their lives. By granting them access to examples of excellent architecture, free-of-charge and in a non-elitist manner, the programme stimulates dialogue about architecture and learning, empowering people to advocate for a better built environment.

This year, the Perth Open House weekend will be held on 16-17 November, and promises to be the biggest yet.

Five Hames Sharley projects will be included in this year’s tour destinations.

The Bell Tower

The design of this unique building is inspired by boating and sailing on the Swan River. It consists of a concrete structure, copper sheeting and a tall glass spire reaching 82.5m high. Level four consists of a sound chamber that houses both the 290-year-old bells from St. Martin-in-the-Fields and the new 6.5 tonne ANZAC Bell. A spiral staircase and lift takes you to all six levels, finishing on the Observation Deck with views of the city and Swan River.

Harry Perkins Institute of Medical Research (North)

With Western Australia home to two Nobel Laureates in Medicine and some of Australia’s brightest scientific minds in the field of medical research, it was only fitting that they should have the best facilities in which to work.

The Harry Perkins Institute for Medical Research is the state’s premier research precinct, located at the QEII Medical Centre. The Institute is remarkable not just for its beauty – although it is a handsome building. What sets it apart is its dramatic departure from orthodox laboratory design. Hames Sharley’s architectural team conducted extensive research, including interstate and international study tours and input from respected collaborators, to design a building at the forefront of the research sector. It is organised with a strong vertical integration and visual connection between research floors, and a unique floor plate designed to maximise collaboration and flexibility. It also includes community education facilities supported by Lotterywest.

This fresh approach to lab design fosters a new way for researchers to conduct their work and collaborate, with the aim of reaching ever-better outcomes for the Australian public.

The Regal Theatre

Originally a cinema and now a venue for live performances, The Regal Theatre is an iconic Art Deco building that has been Subiaco’s home of entertainment since 1938.

In 2015, the Regal Theatre Foundation engaged Hames Sharley to conduct an extensive refurbishment of the main auditorium, as well as various front- and back-of-house facilities and external works. The results received the 2016 Master Builder’s Association’s Excellence in Construction Award for Best Refurbishment or Renovation.

Australis at Rossmoyne

Hames Sharley’s designs for Australis at Rossmoyne positioned Adventist Residential Care as a leader in retirement and aged-care services. Taking advantage of the site assets and location, the architectural design solution focused on opening up internal space to provide residents with a connection to the outside community within the village, the wider neighbourhood and surrounding environment.

A communal hub at the base of the building was designed to enhance the lives of the residents, who now benefit from the use of an active ground floor and well-designed circulation spaces with access to daylight and ventilation.

UNIT

UNIT is the architectural element of the 2019 Fremantle Biennale, and comprises short-life architectural and spatial installations at 13 waterfront sites. Designed by some of WA’s most eminent architecture and landscape practices, the individual UNITs form a walking trail exploring undiscovered sites from Victoria Quay to Bathers Beach and the Fishing Boat Harbour.

Through a special guided trail following the original Fremantle shoreline, Open House Perth guests will discover a new side of the port city, plus have the opportunity to hear the architectural rationale behind the sites from the 13 architect teams along the route.


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