Philip Gresley speaking on ABC about Design WA
Following the launch of Design WA yesterday, Managing Director Philip Gresley was invited to speak on ABC Radio’s Focus program today with Jessica Strutt and Fred Chaney about how this new policy will improve density and infill apartment housing in Perth.
You can listen to the full episode here: https://www.abc.net.au/radio/perth/programs/focus/focus/10805522
For me, there were a few key takeouts from our discussion, including how Design will actually help to improve apartment buildings. Some people think good design is just about making something look nice, but that’s not the case at all. It’s all about providing a good living environment, cross ventilation, access to daylight and light, landscape spaces and the like. It’s not about just making something look good.
Another key component of this new policy is the introduction of Design Review for new multi-residential projects. The planning system is changing to look at proposed developments on a site-by site basis. Apartments will be carefully considered based on their orientation, existing trees, the local streetscape, and what people in that community want.
I currently sit on design review panels in several council areas, and I’ve observed that developer applicants sometimes fail to adequately address context. What’s happening in a particular street, both now and into the future? It’s worth noting that Context and Character is the first key principle in Design WA, so it’s vitally important to get this right. The other principles include Landscape quality, Functionality, Build quality, Sustainability, Legibility, Amenity, Safety, Community, and Aesthetics. A good architect can balance all of these concerns to come up with the best outcome for each particular location.
For me, the main message today is the fact that Design WA is not purely about buildings, it’s about people and their quality of life.
At Gresley Abas we are keen to work with landowners, clients and developers to produce better infill and higher density apartment so we can collectively improve housing quality in Perth. Having played a significant role in writing Design WA’s Draft Apartment Guidelines, we are completely across these new regulations, so please get in touch to talk about your next multi-res project – we are excited about putting this policy into action!