Construction is expected to start in 2019. Image: Klopper & Davis Architect

MRA backs $14m timber hotel

Monday, 9 July, 2018 - 12:32

A proposal for the state’s first timber high-rise building, to be located on the corner of Beaufort and Newcastle streets, has been given the green light by the Metropolitan Redevelopment Authority.    

The $14 million, 11-storey Leadlight Hotel was granted approval by the MRA on Friday, with the mixed-use development to feature 126 hotel rooms, as well as a ground floor courtyard, including bar and restaurant space and a barber shop.

The rooftop will comprise a terrace bar and pool, along with a cinema and function rooms.

The proponent, Australian Development Capital, has previously lodged two other plans for the site, which were both approved in March and October 2017, before deciding to revise its designs for a third time in order to use sustainably farmed timber.

In addition to the integration of the timber, the latest plans also proposed a decrease in height from 13 levels plus a rooftop terrace to 10 levels plus a rooftop as well as a larger courtyard with a barber shop.

The partly vacant plot of land is also home to a series of Federation-style heritage-listed buildings, which will undergo restoration works as part of the development and be transformed into a dining and leisure destination.

Designed by Klopper & Davis Architects, the building will be made from a mix of cross-laminated timber and laminated veneer lumber, sourced from sustainably farmed timber and fabricated locally, targeting a five-star green star rating.

Hera Engineering managing director Matteo Tirapelle, a 2018 40under40 winner, worked with ADC during the development application process, and said one of the reasons timber was chosen was due to its lightweight properties.  

The site is located above the Graham Farmer Freeway tunnel so has strict load limits, usually allowing a maximum height of three storeys when considering traditional materials like concrete.

As well as reducing the total weight of building, timber framed construction represents a lower ‘life cycle’ cost than concrete or steel and reduces the carbon footprint of construction. 

MRA acting chief executive Mark Reutens said the development represented a significant innovation in construction methodology and would be the first timber high rise in WA and one of the largest in Australia.

“This building material is at the forefront of construction innovation in Australia and this development sets an exciting new benchmark in our state,” he said.

“This development will facilitate the sensitive, adaptive reuse of the well-known historic shopfronts built in 1903.

“The introduction of the Newcastle Street courtyard, the activation of the heritage rooftop and the reactivation of the ground floor tenancies will substantially boost local vibrancy.”

Construction is expected to start in early 2019.