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    McDonald Jones Architects bring Fremantle Beach back to life

    Nathan Johnson

    An overhaul of a heritage-listed fishermen’s co-op building on of Fremantle’s Bathers Beach promises to transform the site into a prosperous beachfront commercial space.

    McDonald Jones Architects (MJA) were responsible for the design of the $5.25 million bar, restaurant and function space named ‘Bathers Beach House’, which has now commenced construction at its Fishing Boat Harbour location.

    MAJ were charged with the job of reinvigorating the tired beachfront address which has seen a string of failed restaurants and retail outlets over the years.

    A noticeable feature of the project thus far is the second storey veranda slab which protrudes and traces the building’s perimeter in an emulation of a beachside cliff overhang.

    Then and now, The ‘Bathers Beach House’ is taking shape as planned.

    “Bathers Beach House sees MJA strip away the carbuncles of previous additions and trace the perimeter with a unifying colonnade which references the original buildings period,” reads the architect’s project description.

    “The ground floor seeks to provide the same cool relief that one can experience under a beachside cliff overhang whilst the upstairs provides the sensation of being on top of that cliff.”

    Artist renders of the project also predict multi-layered operable façade creating alfresco spaces on the building’s western side and a beachcomber mural by renowned local artist Amok Island adorning another. The art-deco city facing façade will be left untouched but the whole building will be painted white. 

    Recycled teak from Papua New Guinea, turn-of-the-20th-century hand-made brass light fittings and wood from the surrounding boardwalk and jetty will be used throughout in reference to the architecture already there—so says the site’s developer and director of Long Jetty Holdings, Nick Unmack.

     “This is part of adding life and vitality to the Bathers Beach Art Precinct after the City of Fremantle invested in the area during the 2011 ISAF Sailing World Cup,” said Unmack.

    “It’s a sophisticated fitout that makes use of the area and is very Fremantle in its approach.

    Bathers Beach House is expected to open in the first week of December 2014 with Unmack describing it as a long-term project that would appeal to a wide selection of people and offer a range of activities.

    Images: Supplied.

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