Warders' Cottages Block W2 | Matthew Crawford Architects

Warders' Cottages Block W2 | Matthew Crawford Architects | Photographer: Dion Robeson

2024 National Architecture Awards Program

Warders' Cottages Block W2 | Matthew Crawford Architects

Traditional Land Owners
Whadjuk people of the Nyoongar nation
Year
2024
Chapter

Western Australia

Category
Heritage
Mondoluce Lighting Award (WA)
Builder
Buckingham Redevelopment Co
Photographer
Dion Robeson
Project summary

The Warders’ Block W2 was built in 1853 in the Victorian Georgian style as the second of three rows of terrace houses designed to house the Warders serving at the Fremantle Prison. The Warders’ Cottages represent places of significant cultural heritage and are registered on the National Heritage List. They are associated with the development of the Convict Establishment, a precinct that links the Fremantle Prison World Heritage site.

The challenge facing any adaptive re-use of such sensitive heritage is to ensure that not only does the fabric get retained but that the essence of the building is not lost. We therefore aimed to create an immersive heritage experience where patrons are well aware that they have just entered into a building from 1853 but added luxury elements to make it suitable for today’s demands and a rear elevated walkway for universal access.

2024
Western Australia Architecture Awards Accolades
Award for Heritage
Western Australia Jury Citation

The challenge facing any adaptive re-use of sensitive heritage buildings is to ensure that not only does the significant fabric get retained and conserved but that the character of the building is not lost. Warders’ Block W2 achieves this balance through the adaptive reuse of the existing structure erected in 1853, while inserting modern elements required for its current use in a manner that does not swamp or hide the historic fabric.

The project’s primary goal was to extend the Warders Hotel by adding 12 rooms to the boutique establishment while preserving the heritage fabric of the cottages. The incorporation of an external elevated walkway and a new service structure in the north/east corner exemplifies the delicate balance between modern functionality and historical preservation.

Central to the adaptation was the concept of maintaining a connection between the warders’ cottages and the Fremantle Prison. Mindful of the heritage value, all new structures have been meticulously placed to minimise impact, ensuring an uninterrupted view corridor between the prison and the cottages. The selection of materials and construction methods sourced from the local Fremantle area has

further integrated the new elements into the urban fabric, harmonising the old and the new resulting in an adaption that is both architecturally and commercially successful.

Project Consultant and Construction Team

Archae-aus, Archaeology Consultant
Design In Green, Landscape Consultant
Emergen, ESD Consultant
Geoff Hesford Engineering, Engineer
Griffiths Architects, Heritage Consultant
Herring Storer Acoustics, Acoustic Consultant
MKA Electrical, Electrical Consultant
Peritas Consulting PTY LTD, Structural Engineer
Taycon Group, Building Surveyor
TJ Peach & Associates, Hydraulic Consultant
True Civil Consulting PTY LTD, Civil Consultant

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Warders' Cottages Block W2 | Matthew Crawford Architects | Photographer: Dion Robeson

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