15/08/2016 - 15:04

Maylands infill model pitch

15/08/2016 - 15:04

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Architect Sam Klopper has shrugged off community consternation over an apartment project on Kennedy Street in Maylands, instead pitching the development as a model for future urban infill.

Maylands infill model pitch
SCALE: Sam Klopper’s Kennedy Street project has been designed to fit seamlessly into its local environment. Image: Klopper & Davis Architects

Architect Sam Klopper has shrugged off community consternation over an apartment project on Kennedy Street in Maylands, instead pitching the development as a model for future urban infill.

Mr Klopper’s project is located at 58 Kennedy Street, on a 1,060 square metre block close to Maylands cafe strips of Beaufort Street and Whatley Crescent.

Mr Klopper said he’d been playing with options for the site for years, but recent planning changes gave him the opportunity to develop what he described as a modest apartment project.

However, the project, which comprises just 10 apartments over three storeys once complete, has been one of a handful in Maylands to have recently attracted vocal opposition from resident groups.

Mr Klopper said it appeared some residents did not understand the benefits of infill, and he hoped the project, which is under construction, would help dispel thoughts that developments of that type were not appropriate for suburban streets.

“There has been a little bit of consternation and concern in the community about new developments happening in an established area, and I guess we were trying to use this as an example of how you can do relatively modest, walk-up development in a community setting without changing the existing streetscape,” Mr Klopper told Business News.

“We’ve really tried to use materials and forms that are sensitive to the existing streetscape.

“People walk around Sydney and Melbourne and they’re used to three-storey walk-up apartments, but in Perth it’s confronting to people.

“We’re trying to set the standard and allow people to get used to that scale of development.”

A previous project by Mr Klopper’s architecture practice, Klopper & Davis Architects, is being used as an exemplar development by the Town of Victoria Park; success Mr Klopper said he was keen to replicate in Maylands.

“We’re hoping once we’ve finished this (opponents) will get a sense that it’s not the end of the world if relatively modest buildings are put up,” he said.

Mr Klopper said recent debate over the development assessment panel system was an indication that the state government had not liaised with the community sufficiently to gain acceptance of the system.

Opponents of DAPs say the process is undemocratic, with local councils not having enough representation to properly assess projects.

“People see change and just shut down unfortunately,” Mr Klopper said.

“It’s really just going to be the case that a few of these things have to go through, people get used to the idea that infill is not the enemy, it can be quite productive.

“Unfortunately there are people sitting on 1,000sqm blocks in Inglewood saying ‘we don’t want change’, and unfortunately, that’s what we confront in our designs.”

The development is a collaboration between Klopper & Davis Architects, and Developments by Dale Alcock, the multi-residential arm of the state’s second largest builder, ABN Group.

ABN Group managing director Dale Alcock said Mr Klopper’s project would be a good demonstration of the type of property that could be developed on a block of around 1,000sqm.

He said small apartment projects helped to fully utilise resources and amenity in established locations, and were certainly the way forward for Perth’s urban expansion.

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