16/10/2007 - 22:00

Old meets the new at 33 Broadway

16/10/2007 - 22:00

Bookmark

Save articles for future reference.

Arguably the centre of Perth’s emerging arts scene in the 1960s and synonymous with bohemian parties, the striking 33 Broadway building in Nedlands is undergoing its latest evolution as a creative space.

Old meets the new at 33 Broadway

Arguably the centre of Perth’s emerging arts scene in the 1960s and synonymous with bohemian parties, the striking 33 Broadway building in Nedlands is undergoing its latest evolution as a creative space.

The property has become the new home of the Royal Australian Institute of Architects WA chapter, the Architects Board of WA and Archicentre, following significant refurbishment and conservation works this year by Fremantle-based architect Bernard Seeber and interior architect Renae Tapley.

Constructed in 1965 as a showroom for furniture designer and importer David Foulkes Taylor, 33 Broadway reflects the modernist approach of its architect, Julius Elischer, whose design work is evident in its white, cubic built form, sculptured windows, steel stairways and changing scales of space.

In addition to the showroom, Mr Elischer also designed several prominent buildings around Perth, including the Wollaston Anglican Chapel and Lisle and Leaweena Lodges in Mt Claremont, and Branchi House in City Beach.

Following the death of Mr Foulkes Taylor in 1966, 33 Broadway became the showroom of furniture and textile importers Jim Brant and his brother, Michael. They filled it with contemporary European furniture, paintings, lamps and drops of brightly coloured fabrics from such names as Marimekko, Artek, and Italian furniture maker Cassina.

The space was popular with architects, design lecturers and students up until the Brants left the building in 1985.

Several commercial offices occupied the building until 2006, during which time the brick paved floor was replaced with concrete and the interior partitioned into rooms.

Enter RAIA, which bought the building in 2005 for about $850,000 and set about adapting the original open showroom architecture into offices and meeting spaces.

Ahead of its official opening next week, Mr Seeber told WA Business News he had retained the old craft approach to the interior using exposed timber window frames, distressed white wash walls, hand-made steel balustrades and recycled doors.

Concrete beams support the mezzanine floor, while diffused natural light still permeates the building.

“Elischer wanted to create a tactile experience by not taking it to a high finish. Using an old craft approach, it felt homely, a real community space,” Mr Seeber said.

“It’s clear the showroom achieved this and we’ve tried to retain and embrace these qualities.”

RAIA WA president Road Mollet said the association planned to continue refurbishment and conservation works of the building over the next five years including the overhaul of the rear courtyard…in between parties.

STANDING BY BUSINESS. TRUSTED BY BUSINESS.

Subscription Options