Heritage theme for redevelopment

THE rich history of the Westralia Square site will become a feature of the $300 million campus-style office development.

James Fielding, developer of the twin tower project, has selected two heritage themes for the site that will link a series of landscaped gardens, courtyards and plazas.

Devised by landscape architects Arbor Vitae, the first theme draws on the history of the site and surrounding area, while the second traces the progress of communication technology from the 1930s to the present day.

The Westralia Square site was originally on the foreshore of the Swan River and the home of many jetties, until river reclamation works began in 1905. Site landscaping and paving has been designed to reflect the original alignment of some of these jetties.

A lookout, similar in form to a jetty, will be built at the Mounts Bay Road front of the site and remnant pieces of an ornate colonnade that was once part of Newspaper House have been recovered and will be used throughout the project’s gardens and courtyards.

The transition of communication technology is represented through displays that include artefacts from the 1930s through to modern light towers of today. They present information such as time, date, temperature and news. Machinery preserved from Newspaper House, including printing presses, will be placed in the Artefacts Courtyard and paving stones, imprinted with past and recent stories from The West Australian, will wind through the development.

Westralia Square Development leasing executive John Byrne said the heritage elements of the site, which include five heritage buildings fronting St Georges Terrace, would be features of the finished product.

“The historical elements will add to the attraction of those open spaces,” Mr Byrne said.

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