Claremont: Colour changes to Blackburne’s $350m The Grove approved

Article by Nadia Budihardjo

Source: Perth Now

A colour change to one of the newest western suburbs high-rise has led to some debate among panel members deciding its fate.

The Metro Inner-North Joint Development Assessment Panel previously approved Blackburne’s The Grove 245-apartment development on Airlie Street, Claremont in 2020.

This week, applicant Planning Solutions proposed to change the building’s facade on Stirling Highway, Airlie Street and fronting Brighton Park, from white to charcoal.

Panel members approved the visual change to the $350 million 16-storey twin-tower project at their meeting on Friday.

MJA Studio director James Thompson said using white would accentuate the building’s “verticality”.

“What we’re proposing is making this central element more charcoal; what we’re trying to do is create a wider shadow between two forms,” Mr Thompson said.

Part of the revision included changing the white facade to charcoal for the top two floors housing the multimillion-dollar penthouses.

“We used that colour contrast to define the other floors,” he said.

“The design team thinks and believes that this is a better design outcome for the project and how the building is read not just up close but at a distance.

“We believe these are minor changes but they are important in terms of getting the best possible outcome for the project.”

However, Town of Claremont planning manager Kym Petani said the amendments failed to address the primary objective of the project.

“It is much darker, it’s much more dominant,” she said.

“It is not the light and airy structure the Design Review Panel was trying to get to reflect in the design.”

Her comments were echoed by Claremont councillor Kate Main, who referenced countries of hotter climate, including Greece, using white predominantly.

“The colour change of the building is more than a minor change,” she said.

“I’m thinking about looking at it from Rottnest, Como or Bicton … those brown elements are going to stand out with the crisp blue sky.”

Despite some initial pushback, the panel members unanimously approved the revisions at the meeting.

“The dark colours … reduce the overall bulk and scale of this building,” specialist member John Syme said.

The Grove is currently under construction and was subject to some parking issues between the neighbouring towns of Claremont and Cottesloe.