Rumoured Plans for The South Fremantle Power Station

With its imposing walls, derelict halls and surrounding overgrowth, you could mistake the South Fremantle Power Station as the expensive backdrop to a dystopian movie.

Since its decommission in 1985, the iconic building has spent over 30 years crumbling on the border between North Coogee and South Fremantle: the last relic of Coogee’s transformation from industrial hive to luxury coastal living.

Musings of what to do with the heritage listed site have divided opinion for years. But one thing’s for sure: everyone has something to say.

Cockburn mayor, Logan Howlett, recently claimed ‘the possibilities are endless’; a sentiment which has been echoed over the years with the variety of rumours and speculation about potential redevelopment.

As we all love a bit of speculation, let’s expand on some of these rumours!

A budding arts centre

With its graffiti-laden walls and spacious interiors, the South Fremantle Power Station would lend itself well as a creative institution.

The building is no stranger to the arts and over the years has played host to a number of music videos and indie movies. It’s also one of the most photographed buildings in Western Australia, clearly a very inspiring place for many!

Residential space

Back in 2014, the building and surrounding area was flagged for residential development by property developer Landcorp.

Landcorp’s ambitious plans were to fully reconstruct and restore the South Fremantle Power Station. The site would then house 900 homes along with galleries, restaurants, bars and retail space.

The proposal has an essence of grandeur that fits a building of such iconic standing.

London’s Battersea Power Station would provide good inspiration for a project like this. Also a listed building, the former coal-fired power station and its surrounding area is being transformed into a brand new neighbourhood right on the Thames River. Complete with new homes, bars, restaurants, offices and shops, the project promises a hive of activity in South London and further investment for the future.

You can really see this model working for both Coogee and Fremantle, whilst embracing the site’s heritage.

A live music venue

Having seen its fair share of illegal raves over the years, there’s no denying that the power station would be the perfect venue for live music events.

For inspiration, let’s again take look at a similar project in the UK. Launched in February 2017, London’s Printworks nightclub has already made a name for itself as a groundbreaking venue for live and electronic music. A converted print factory south of the Thames, the warehouse is a unique experience for its exposed metal, overhanging balconies and long, narrow dancefloor.

Whilst this is an ambitious plan for Coogee – and might not fly with the neighbours – the building’s network of metal beams and cathedral-like hallways would add a wow factor to any gig. Every DJ in the world would want to play in a setting like that!

Outdoor cinema

I’m a big fan of this one. Large areas of land surrounding the power station create the perfect open air space and could hold a huge crowd. Imagine sipping a glass of bubbles in your deckchair, and watching your favourite movie projected against such an impressive structure. You couldn’t ask for a more epic backdrop for a film screening!

If anyone’s a fan of Secret Cinema, they know how effective a large venue can be when it comes to creating immersive experiences. The events thrown by this production company are next level, and if the power station was to be renovated as an events space, this would certainly be an interesting venue for a company like Secret Cinema. 

The future’s unknown…for now

A reimagining of the power station would be a huge pull for both Coogee and Fremantle. While it’s refreshing to see such a variety of creative ideas for the landmark, it seems that – for now – most are just rumours, and nothing concrete has been proposed for a long time.

One huge obstacle is the cleanup and restoration required to make the building safe and fit for purpose once more. Being a heritage listed property limits the scope of restructure and adaptation for potential projects, which is possibly the reason why previous proposals have fallen flat.

The potential for the site is limitless and remains an exciting prospect, but it’ll take a monumental effort for any proposal to really gain traction.

I’ll be sure to let you know if any plans become concrete!

Read up on the Secrets of Coogee, Perth’s Fastest Growing Seaside Community

Have your say

What would you like to see happen to the South Fremantle Power Station? Any of the above? Or something completely different?

Please feel free to share your comments below.

11 Comments

  • Koral Ward says:

    Residential and cultural place, then it can be all of the options.

  • Janet Williamson says:

    A greenhouse with solar panels would be set up for solar driven pumps to drive seawater through evaporation beds the collected vapour condensed into fresh water to irrigate a market garden under glass which provides fresh veg year round for locals to purchase. By product of salt crystals to be sold as well as excess power fed to a community playground and gym for young families to excercise and socialise in the winter months. A community garden for old folks to make a bit of cash to supplement their pension

  • Bec says:

    Why not keep outside walls and turn it into a garden oasis similar to gardens by the bay Singapore fully sustainable with a futuristic element some of the best attractions in the world are man made with eatery’s lining the beach line something that can be used all year round and attract locals and tourists. Could access it by boat from Perth city would be great if the train went that way. My Dad used to work there back in the late 70’s would be awesome to make it a communal space

  • Shelly says:

    A resort style accommodation with restaurants and shopping. Has such an iconic view for everyone to enjoy. Maybe include a restaurant that incorporates sunset dining on the beach.

  • Assimina Simmons says:

    Housing for low income families

  • Sam Fazio says:

    Keep it as a public building for all to enjoy
    Seek finance from superannuation funds

    Create & attract all sorts of commercial lease space from small business,s , open quality markets, food hall, enter tainment areas for local and interstate artists, , art gallery
    Create photographic opportunities for special events, weddings , lease area for functions , sporting events Etc
    Needs council & state Govt support , community support behind the Cleanup , improvements, get the unemployed to help out who are on centre link payments , good cheap labor source already paid for .
    Live in Coogee for over 30 years
    Sam Fazio
    0412440139

  • Daniel says:

    Great Ideas Janet and Bec

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Fleur Kane

Coogee Local

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There is something special about Coogee, every day I feel extremely lucky to live & work here. Welcome to my world - I hope you enjoy it as much as I do.
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