2nd February 2021
Work is about to get underway on the installation of a state-of-the-art fire suppression system in one of Fremantle’s most beloved heritage buildings.
The new fire protection in the Fremantle Town Hall is required to allow the integration of the 134-year-old building with the City of Fremantle’s new Walyalup Civic Centre in Kings Square.
City of Fremantle Director of Infrastructure Graham Tattersall said it was an example of how the construction of the Walyalup Civic Centre would also benefit the Town Hall.
“Unlike the City’s old administration building, which was demolished in 2018, the Walyalup Civic Centre has been specifically designed to integrate with the Town Hall,” Mr Tattersall said.
“To meet construction compliance requirements, we have to ensure appropriate fire management systems in each of the two buildings.
“To achieve that we’ll upgrade the fire detection and alarm system throughout the Town Hall and install a new reticulated fire sprinkler system, upgrade the fire hydrant system and the emergency lighting and modify the doors between the foyer and the auditorium to close during a fire event.
“This will provide a huge improvement in the fire protection for a really important heritage asset for the City.
“It’s an example of how the Walyalup Civic Centre will allow more people to use and enjoy the Town Hall and ensure the Town Hall is preserved for future generations.”
When the Walyalup Civic Centre is completed in a few months Town Hall patrons will have access to the civic centre’s toilets, the centre’s elevators will provide disability access to the Town Hall’s upper floor and the civic centre’s impressive entry foyer will serve as a breakout space for events and functions in the hall’s auditorium.
Subject to future budget allocations the City is also planning more improvements to the interior of the Town Hall, including realigning the seats and widening the aisles to provide wheelchair access in the main auditorium’s dress circle.
In 2017 the City of Fremantle completed the award-winning restoration of the exterior of the Town Hall.
In the largest heritage conservation project ever undertaken by the City, the restoration reinstated the building’s traditional appearance by stripping the paint off the walls to reveal the original stucco exterior, and also included reconstructing the slate roofs and refurbishing the historic clock.
The project took out the ‘National Commercial Historical Restoration/Renovation’ award at the 2018 Master Builders Australia National Excellence in Construction Awards and was also recognised with a WA Heritage Award.