Heritage is always an important development consideration in the revitalisation of urban areas. The aim of heritage conservation is to retain a site’s identity, enhance its meaning and build from its sense of place. Our Act and Schemes in place require us to enhance and conserve the heritage significance of our project areas. Heritage sites can include buildings, structures, relics, vegetation, materials, gates and specific landforms.
We work closely with archaeologists and heritage consultants, including the Heritage Council of WA, to assess items within our project areas and assist with their adaptive reuse wherever possible. Under Section 18 of the Aboriginal Heritage Act (1972), we identify items or locations of Aboriginal cultural significance through consultation, and seek permission from the Minister for Indigenous Affairs prior to conducting any redevelopment.
Detailed policies provide guidance on statutory planning, conservation, design and development standards for heritage places and heritage precincts in key Redevelopment Areas.
What is Heritage?
Heritage is what we inherit and pass on to our future generations. It shapes our present identity and provides insight into the past. Enabling this requires research, engagement, education, stewardship and conservation.
Heritage Case Studies
Case Study 1: Union Bakery, Lindsay Street Northbridge
This is an award-winning example of adaptive reuse. The former Union Bakery was in disrepair when the former EPRA took on the building as its office complex. Much of the building's heritage was conserved (including the original timber ceiling, oven arches and parts of the steel floor) to create a modern, comfortable working environment, using environmentally sustainable design.
Case Study 2: Australian Fine China, Subiaco
In its time, the Australian Fine China factory in Subiaco represented a great technical achievement. It was involved in commercial pottery production since the inter-war period and employed mostly migrant workers, with a high proportion of women and girls. Today, we’re working together with the Heritage Council of WA to conserve and interpret the site’s rich history. We’ve developed a Conservation and Interpretation Strategy that guides the site's development and helps tell the story of its past. Key elements include:
- A social history DVD (available from the MRA)
- Conservation and interpretation of kiln No. 1 and associated infrastructure
- Conservation and interpretation of a portion of the walls of the original Calyx Porcelain Works building
- Displays of machinery, products and moulds in an interpretation space
- Paving inlays indicating the product process route through the factory in the public domain and foyer spaces
- Interpretive public art
- Interpretive signage, street and building naming relating to the site history
- Heritage walks/tours
Case Study 3: Indigenous Cultural Centre
As part of the Elizabeth Quay project, the Indigenous Cultural Centre is planned to be a nationally significant centre for Aboriginal culture, art and learning. This national landmark will provide an important community attraction and permanently celebrate the richness of Aboriginal culture and history. Extensive consultation with the Aboriginal community and other stakeholders will shape planning and design of the facility.
The Swan River has significant historical and cultural value for local Aboriginal people and is a registered site under the Aboriginal Heritage Act 1972. An Aboriginal Heritage Survey was conducted in 2008 to investigate the archaeological and ethnographic value of the Elizabeth Quay site.
A number of Aboriginal community members participated in the survey and consultation is continuing with local community groups to ensure the design master plan is sensitive to heritage issues. Ministerial approval will be required before there is any disturbance to the site.The Indigenous Cultural Centre does not form part of the first stage of the Elizabeth Quay project which is currently underway.
Case Study 4: The Workshops, Midland
The Workshops site in Midland represents the most intact example of an early 20th Century railway workshop in Australia. It is celebrated for its sheer scale as an industrial complex with a collection of significant buildings, machinery, tools and site features.
The Workshops gain much of its character from the distinctive architectural heritage of its industrial, administration and ancillary buildings. These are connected by a network of roads, railway tracks, open spaces and landscape elements. It is also a place with deep connections to the local community. The Workers' Wall was erected on the site boundary in a public work of art that uses bricks inscribed with the names of former workers. It pays tribute to the thousands of Western Australians who wove the rich social history of the site.
Many stories abound that add significant cultural and historical detail of the site and they will all be told in The Workshops development in a number of proposed locations, including walk trails, interpretive signage panels and public art. The Workshops also incorporate existing features and places of significance such as the Peace Memorial (commemorating workers who fell during the two World Wars), the Flagpole and the Water Tank. The former shunting yards are being transformed into a major public square, The Yard, and pieces of original machinery are being restored and will remain on site as heritage artworks.
Case Study 5: Aboriginal Interpretive Centre, Armadale
The Champion Lakes Aboriginal Interpretive Centre resulted from consultation with indigenous community members and an ethnographic survey of Wright Lake in Armadale. It enables many facets of Aboriginal culture to be displayed and interpreted for the indigenous and non-indigenous communities alike. Opening in March 2011, the Armadale Aboriginal Interpretive Centre provides a public outdoor amphitheatre with change rooms, an interpretive trail which includes bush tucker and medicine plants and a prominent canopy of Nyoongar artworks.
The involvement of local indigenous people in the construction phase and in creating the artworks associated with the Centre has created an enduring sense of ownership and pride in the community.