A new local landmark and tourist attraction, reminiscent of the popular ‘silo art movement’, has been installed at Albany’s new Bunnings site at Chester Pass Mall.
Commissioned by developer M/Group, the 64-panel Indigenous artwork covering two massive water tanks is inspired by the region’s diverse sea life and its deep connection to the original owners of the land.
The works were created by five traditional local Indigenous artists, Lyn Knapp, Michael Cummings, Tameka Cummings, Kathleen Toomath and Margaret Miller.
Commissioning artwork agent and Wardandi Bibbulmun Elder, Dale Tilbrook, said she started with a concept, but the piece took on a life of its own.
“Our original concept for the installation was for it to resemble a book of stamps, so that each section would be placed between the structure’s rivets. I did a lot of research on the wealth of sea life in the local waters, and when the artists took inspiration from this, the piece materialised into something quite extraordinary,” she said.
“This has been an important project for this group of Aboriginal artists at a time when the steady flow of interstate and international tourisms has been absent from the local galleries. Each artist shared in the commission and have now left their stamp on what will soon become a high traffic area of Albany.”
The public artwork commission represents the value of 1% of the entire development and held a mandate to reflect or enhance the local cultural identity.
Co-ordinated by Minang Elder, Vernice Gillies, and printed by Indigenous owned and operated print company, Sista Girl, the artwork compilation incorporates sea animals from humpback whales to tiny blue ringed octopus and seahorses, displayed on vinyl panels sized between 2200 x 1100mm.
M/Group Managing Director, Mr Lloyd Clark, said the Indigenous artwork does not only pay homage to Albany’s extraordinary natural asset, it also stands as a tribute to the significant contribution that Indigenous communities have had in the development of the new Bunnings property.
“The new Bunnings is the first of its kind to be constructed by Indigenous building services company, Marawar, and supported, where possible, by a fully owned and operated Indigenous supply chain. It is part of M/Group’s commitment to the Reconciliation Action Plan to support Indigenous programs and initiatives,” he said.
“The Bunnings development has allowed us to create a platform for Aboriginal people demonstrate their sheer capacity in delivering outstanding work.
“The new artwork installation will serve as an enduring reminder of their involvement and a visual backdrop to those visiting the new Bunnings building.”
Accompanying the work will be a commemorative plaque:
The oceans surrounding Albany hold myriad treasures. A selection of these wondrous sea creatures has been painted by five Minang artists. Their work has been transformed into the pictures on the water tanks.
Bunnings Regional Operations Manager Hayley Coulson said she was excited to have the artwork ready for the new store’s opening.
“We’re really proud to have such incredible artwork from the local Minang artists as part of the new Bunnings Warehouse in Albany,” she said.
“The new store is on track to open by the end of 2020 and we can’t wait to welcome customers through the doors.”
Developers Building on HistoryRead more
There was a period in Perth where development and redevelopment were so fast paced that many valuable heritage properties were left so decrepit that they would ultimately be sanctioned for demolition.
Developers were hesitant to touch historic fabric due to the risks and unforeseen costs compared to the low cost, high profit ‘cookie-cutter’ buildings that were materialising across the City.
Match was born in the thick of this era. We were young and passionate about saving Perth streetscapes from bland, investor-driven apartment buildings. We wanted to build a legacy of design-centric projects that would bring interest and diversity to the landscape.
Adopting heritage rejuvenations into our portfolio was a natural fit and relatively easy to acquire based on the lack of industry interest.
Match became a trailblazer for heritage renewal projects in Perth and our work in this area today extends to property designs that pay homage to the site’s former use or the significance of the location, such as M/24 by Match in Leederville, Metropolitan in Mount Lawley, Sublime in North Fremantle and Johnson & James in Guildford.
A brief overview of Match’s heritage projects:
Corner of Milligan & Murray Streets, Perth
HOME still stands as one of Perth’s most impressive heritage renewals and a turning point that triggered many more heritage restoration projects throughout WA.
The 1927 warehouse building was introduced by the tobacco giant, W.D. & H.O. Wills and originally designed by local architects Oldham, Boas & Ednie-Brown; a firm reputed for over specifying to achieve design quality. It was constructed with reinforced concrete behind a beautiful facade, it is an excellent example of ‘Interwar Chicago-esque’ architecture featuring decorative mushroom columns unique to the era.
Match transformed this landmark site into 30 warehouse apartments, 37 adjoining terrace apartments and boutique commercial space, retaining some 95% of original heritage fabric, including a unique structural system that introduced the first mushroom headed slab on large diameter concrete columns constructed in Perth.
919 Beaufort Street, Inglewood
The Clocktower was originally built in 1936 in an architectural style known as ‘Inter-War Art Deco’. It was later used as the Civic Theatre Restaurant before being left largely unoccupied for many years.
The highly sensitive heritage rejuvenation project effectively transformed a local landmark into a boutique complex incorporating 28 apartments and four retail shops.
Specialist work was also required to locate a clock expert with the correct credentials to resurrect the signature clock, which was restarted in February 2008
Corner of Whatley Crescent and Eighth Avenue, Maylands
Maymont represents a major milestone for Maylands on a site that had been left decrepit for some time. The vision was to create a heart for the area and drive the inner-city culture to the area’s main strip, with architecture reminiscent of its hey-day in the 1920s. While much of the building’s structure could not be preserved due to many years of neglect, Match restored the heritage façades and introduced 42 apartments and 16 commercial spaces. The restoration program would be the start of the beautification process for Maylands, creating what is a today a hub of cafes, restaurants and bars.
36 Queen Victoria Street, Fremantle
Unquestionably one of Perth’s most significant heritage renewal projects in modern times, Heirloom is the award-winning heritage restoration of Fremantle’s iconic old Dalgety Woolstores, which sat largely unused for some 20 years.
The prominent structure located on Fremantle Harbour created a high-profile gateway to the City along Queen Victoria Street. It holds an important place in the City’s history and is most famous for its saw-tooth roof, classic red brickwork and 100-year old Jarrah beams.
The $130 million redevelopment leveraged the existing structure to create 183 spacious one and two-bedroom warehouse apartments, retaining over 85% of the original heritage fabric.
What were the key factors that drew you to these properties?
As a boutique apartment developer, Match works on the premise that the long-term investment value of a property is determined by its uniqueness and limited supply.
The simple fact is that you cannot manufacture heritage fabric and people will pay a premium for being able to acquire something distinctive and irreplaceable.
Location is, of course, always a factor, and when combined with a depth of character and history, we strongly believe these projects are worth the investment.
There was some time that developers wouldn’t go near heritage buildings because of all of the conditions surrounding it – what changed and did this influence your appetite for heritage?
In a development era that could be easily defined by its lack of sensitivity to good design and the legacy this would have on Perth’s streetscapes, there was certainly a case for ‘testing the water’.
It was new territory for most developers and, as a young company on a mission to disrupt the status quo, we took on highly ambitious heritage projects and were able to demonstrate both demand and return on investment.
Our success was supported by global shifts towards apartment living and a number of high-profile warehouse renewals around the world. Buyers were starting to view apartments as a lifestyle choice and developers needed to meet this market with unique and appealing propositions.
As a developer, what are the benefits and what are the challenges of developing heritage properties?
It is truly humbling and often breathtaking to see heritage fabric restored and repurposed for 21st century use.
The architectural values and depth of character inherent in these properties are timeless and, quite frankly, magnificent. Many discoveries can be made throughout the construction process that can add to the building’s story, such as an original wool-bale hoist and a railway track uncovered in the basement of Heirloom.
However, any adaptation of a retained building needs to satisfy current codes, modern facilities and environmental standards. This sometimes presents challenges for our architects to accommodate such requirements without compromising the usability, functionality, originality or attractiveness of the property.
At the Home building, our architects needed to work around enormous mushroom headed columns, and Heirloom, where services were ultimately hidden in a false flooring structure so that the Jarrah roofing and original beams could be exposed.
Are heritage projects more attractive for buyers?
Our experience is that the market is attracted to high quality, unique and boutique product which is much more enduring than that of high density, standardised developments.
Well executed heritage renewals elicit an emotional response and sense of connection that is so important in property sales. We find that people are really excited about owning an apartment that has heritage features that cannot be duplicated.
This was evidenced in the early release of Heirloom ‘off-the-plan’ apartments, which exceeded rigorous sales targets with over 70% of apartments selling prior to the commencement of construction.
There will always be a market that values heritage product over anything else.
Building on Como’s StyleRead more
The affluent riverside suburb of Como is most prominently known for its large stately homes and treelined suburban streets. However, as its population has matured and families grow up, the range of residential product suitable for people wanting to downsize yet stay in the area has been limited.
The M/26 by Match apartment complex was specifically developed for this market.
Located in an idyllic treelined street just minutes’ walk to the popular café strip and theatre, the site offers easy access to the Kwinana Freeway and close proximity to CBD. It is also a short stroll to the banks of the Swan River.
The design requirements needed to both reflect the luxuries that are befitting to the suburb, as well as accommodate the floorplan and space demands of the downsizer market.
The property was designed by reputable architects CCN Architects on behalf of Match, and the 40- apartment boutique complex was deliberately designed to be understated and airy, with interior scheme choices that reflect the popular Hamptons and Manhattan styles.
From a building perspective, the site’s exact location in relation to the Swan River had some challenges. It fell into Coastal Conditions, which meant that all external materials would be required to be ‘fit for purpose’, and additional building considerations would be needed for building on top of the high-water table with a basement carpark.
M/Construction Director, Michael Read, said being an integral part of the development process meant that the company had the flexibility to address all building and material requirements with innovation and value-add where possible.
“M/26 by Match was not merely completed on time and to specification, it has showcased how attention-to-detail and innovation can deliver a broad range of ongoing benefits,” he said.
“An extraordinary amount of focus was given to areas that are not overtly evident to those visiting the property but will ensure the longevity and quality of the investment for many years to come.
M/Construction reinforced the entire basement wall structure with some 380 concrete continuous pilings at 450mm diameter running from ground level, down to the basement and beneath. Once the piles were in place and the site was excavated, a large amount of de-watering and waterproofing took place, including all concrete footings, lift shaft, tower crane base and fire tanks.
Extensive future proofing provisions for the underground water table level were made within the basement area. In the event that the water table was ever to rise above the recorded maximum level, a water pump could be installed at that time to allow water to be pumped into council’s stormwater system. Given that a water pump may never be a requirement for the property, the forethought to circumvent its installation has effectively removed the need for regular servicing and maintenance and all associated strata costs. Further, All storerooms in the basement are raised on concrete plinths for added precautions.
Two x 72kl concrete fire tanks with the capacity to hold the water reserve were installed, which were backed by two x 42kw diesel water pumps to be used for pushing the water to a booster cabinet located at street level for the Fire Brigade trucks to connect to. An additional fire safety measure included the installation of auto-closing sliding fire doors in the basement car park to compartmentalise the area to avoid spread of fire.
Above ground, all external items were graded to some of the highest specifications to deal with and last through conditions of a property located nearby a large body of water. The majority of products provided a lengthy warranty for coatings and finishes.
“We were able to re-engineer several aspects of the project, including a concealed air conditioning system in lieu of an unsightly wall mounted split-system, as well as the introduction of a polished plaster feature wall to the lobby. Such detail can add immeasurable value to the property and create a consistent and uninterrupted experience for the end-users.
“The project was subject to some of the toughest environmental requirements by the City of South Perth, which not only met, but also exceeded Greenstar accreditation in some cases.”
M/Construction sourced and applied sustainable materials throughout the project. This included Greenstar Concrete to slabs and AFS walls, Greenstar reinforcement in concrete slabs and AFS walls, low VOC paints, adhesives and linings. The directive was to achieve a minimum of 51 points. However, M/Construction delivered a project that exceeded this by 13 points to 64.
M/Construction Senior Contract Manager, Mark Gannaway, said the construction team were meticulous in the delivery of the building and effortlessly adapted to unforeseen Covid-19 conditions.
“M/Construction is one of the few companies that use advanced technology to manage the development process. This enables the highest level of site-tracking and safety processes across all our projects, he said.
“In terms of M/26 by Match, I can tell you that our workforce recorded a total of 63,633hrs, 288,742min and 5,132sec based on the output of our site tracking software. This technology enormously simplified the increased requirements brought on by Covid-19, where we had to manage rigorous cleaning procedures and stringently monitor who and how many workers were on site at any given time.
“Time delays and an inadequate workforce can have an adverse impact on a project like this, so we take our systems and processes, methodologies and materials extremely seriously. Being part of the larger development framework makes us accountable for this and gives us the flexibility to manage a building process that will benefit the end user, project investor and company reputation. That’s not always the case with third party builders.”
M/Construction’s parent company, M/Group, is an integrated property group that offers services in investment, development, construction and real estate.
“The days of the traditional builder is well and truly over. Today, construction is a significantly more regulated and controlled industry and the successful players are highly professional with knowledge that must span across a whole range of disciplines,” Michael continued.
“While we will always look to research and test new innovations, all our fixtures and fitting are from well-known brands and sourced from credible suppliers. We place the quality of brands such as Bosch and Reece, ahead of the potential for higher margins, and we transfer all the after-service value onto the new owner.
“We are extremely proud of the standard of projects M/Construction consistently delivers and the benchmark we continue to increase in the construction game. M/26 by Match is another testament to the standard of work we deliver in Perth.”
M/26 by Match comprises of one and two-bedroom layouts across three stories. Each apartment is designed to maximise the city skyline and river views, with most floorplans running vertical to the exterior to capture the outlook across the living space and multiple bedrooms.
The project is located in Mary Street, Como, and the property has been made further distinctive by an artwork sculpture by Ayad Alqaragholli.
“(The sculpture) showcases two human figures, a man and woman, who pay homage to the multicultural tapestry of the South Perth community and how this blend of people live, love and interact,” she said.
“I hope that my sculpture will embody the positive values of life and that the wider audience who view my sculpture will feel uplifted and blessed as did I with my first experiences of this area.
M/Construction has won several coveted building awards for its work within the M/Group project network, however, the company is also highly regarded for its work for independent clients.
As seen in Master Builder’s Magazine – Spring 2020 Edition
Quest Apartment Hotel Ascot | Construction Completed August 2020Read more
Construction completion has been achieved at our second Quest Apartment-Hotel located on Great Eastern Highway in Ascot.
The Apartment Hotel consists of 112 rooms across 8 levels including a pool, conference room and business lounge.
M/26 Apartments by Match | Construction Completed July 2020Read more
Construction completion has been achieved at M/26 by Match located in the heart of Como on the doorstep of Preston Street café strip and right by the river.
M/26 Apartments by Match consists of 40 residential apartments over 3 floors. The building also includes a basement level carpark with central lift to all levels and a stunning entry lobby with artwork filling the entire hallway and a sculpture at the entrance.
S.E.C. building meets its MatchRead more
The City of Fremantle’s plan to boost the number of people living and working in the city centre has reached another important milestone, with construction starting on the M/27 by Match apartment development on Parry Street.
The development, to be undertaken by M/Group’s building division M/Construction, will include 40 apartments adjacent to the heritage-listed former S.E.C. substation.
The S.E.C. building was restored by M/Construction in 2018 to accommodate a food and beverage venue or be used as boutique office space.
M/Group was previously involved in the award-winning heritage conversion of Fremantle’s historic Dalgety Woolstores into the Heirloom apartments, as well as numerous other projects in the Fremantle area.
Mr Lloyd Clark, Managing Director of Match parent company M/Group, said he was thrilled the company was playing an important role in Fremantle’s revival.
“We’re very excited to have construction commencing on our latest project in Fremantle,” Mr Clark said.
“After the great success of the Heirloom project, which really ignited the apartment boom in Fremantle’s East End, we’re delighted to be involved in bringing life back to another of Fremantle’s heritage treasures.
“Match has had significant involvement in Fremantle and its stretch of coastline for almost a decade with many varying projects catering to people from all walks of life.
“There really is no other place in the world like Fremantle, and with the revitalisation that is currently underway we’re very confident it has a bright future.”
Mayor Brad Pettitt said it was great to see another major development getting underway in Fremantle.
“Many years ago the council recognised that Fremantle’s economy had stagnated and we needed to get more people living and working in the city centre,” Mayor Pettitt said.
“In response we put in action a long-term plan to make Fremantle a more attractive place to invest and restore our seven-day-a-week economy.
“Changes to planning regulations to allow greater building height and density in return for improved design and sustainability measures, a common sense approach to the adaptive re-use of heritage buildings and investments in major transformational projects like the Kings Square Renewal project were all central to that plan.
“It’s taken a while, but it’s really exciting to now see that work paying off with construction starting on the M/27 apartments and all of the other new developments that are happening in Freo.”
The S.E.C. building was originally constructed in 1933 for the Fremantle Municipal Tramways and Electric Lighting Board before being taken over as a substation by the State Energy Commission in 1952.
The substation ceased operation in 1980 and was converted into the Western Power Energy Museum, which operated until 2010.
The heritage works on the building included the restoration of existing brickwork, refurbishment of metal window frames and the restoration of existing large timber sliding doors.
Government incentives to buy land and build new homes has sent demand for land skyrocketing, according to Perth land developers.
“We are only weeks in from the state and federal governments’ stimulus announcement and the response has been significant,” Monument parent company M/Group Director John Wroth said. “So much so, that we expect to sell our current stock across all projects within a month.
“This is absolutely monumental. People are quickly responding to the prospect of up to almost $70,000 in incentives. Those who previously could only budget for outer-fringe areas might now be able to afford the more desirable land close to the city such as Beeliar, Piara Waters and Treeby.”
“However, this is a finite window of opportunity and I would strongly encourage anyone looking to get a foothold in the more sought-after areas to act quickly before prices adjust to demand.”
Cuttone Property Group Managing Director Phil Cuttone has also witnessed a significant growth in interest.
“We are seeing a significant spike in sales with most developers having to now consider constructing more lots to bring on new stock as quickly as possible before the December 31 grants deadline,” he said.
“The next three to four months should see titled stock being depleted across all urban areas around Perth, especially in affordable first homebuyer areas.”
“Lifestyle areas such as North Dandalup and West Pinjarra are also benefiting from land uptake where a significant increase of sales is evident.”
While this current period may be welcomed by developers, the future of the land market is dependent on a number of factors, from employment and migration growth to affordability, according to Mr Cuttone.
“Once we can look beyond the COVID-19 implications, the outlook may be positive in Western Australia compared to the eastern states, where the land prices have been at artificial highs compared to Perth which has experienced the opposite,” he said.
“I have an optimistic view of the recovery in the Perth land market for the future, anticipating that land prices will be steady for the next few years after the end of the grants, given that there is an oversupply of affordable land coming onto the market in the future.”
Mr Wroth said while land stock was being quickly bought up, buyers were spoilt for choice.
“Land buyers are certainly not starved for choice with four corridors of development and some very attractive infill land sites on the table,” he said.
“The market shake-up could have some impact on zoning, with some high-density zoned sites possibly changing to direct land subdivision.”
“However, this will all be dependent on the state and federal governments’ ability to maintain demand and stimulate the economy through the job creation, migration and improved relations with our South East Asian neighbours.”
“It is important to recognise that the property market is strong aligned to a good economy.”
The land market has been performing well recently, according to REIWA data witnessing 5049 sales for the year to March 2020, with a median price of $248,000 and 5.1 per cent change in prices for the year.
Piara Waters and Baldivis we two hotspots for land sales, witnessing 201 and 192 sales, respectively.
While the average days on the market for the land was 60, some areas like Bedford and Kinglsey witness an average of 299 and 329 days on the market, respectively.
Most areas of Perth have seen price increases, with Perth south eat witnessing a 7.1 per cent increase for the year, while the inner suburbs or Perth suffered and 10.1 per cent decrease.