I received the following email from Jackson; there is no point me paraphrasing any of this as it is said quite well:
Hi Perth Architecture,
I really enjoy reading your blog, so thanks for all the work you put into it! If you are looking for something to post about, I thought it might be a good idea to have a think about the City of Perth Design Advisory Committee. The DAC is there to refine a design before it is put by the applicant to council. A lot of the issues are relatively small, but would have a positive effect on the final product. However, I can’t help but think the DAC is totally ineffective and unnecessary. I’m not sure if you are familiar with many of their decisons, but the minutes of all their meetings are available here http://cityofperth.wa.gov.au/web/Council/Council-and-Committee-Meetings/
When looking at a lot of their recommendations it is clear that the DAC serves only to water down designs, which not only makes for a more boring city but discourages developers from pursuing alternative designs in the future. If there is one thing we have too much off in this city it is white concrete, yet the DAC seems to encourage it! Any idea of colour is thrown out the window by the DAC. There are a couple of brief examples I can give you here; the first is the DA by the owners/developers of The Melbourne Hotel site, on the corner of Hay and Milligan.
The original design: http://fc02.deviantart.com/fs26/i/2008/116/6/1/5_Star_Office_Tower_by_fzd3d.jpg
The design after the DAC process: http://i12.photobucket.com/albums/a206/crave1980/melbeee.jpg
Here is some info from the DAC: http://www.perth.wa.gov.au/documentdb/1008.pdf
I am quite happy to note that the process did result in the improvement of the Milligan Street frontage.
One more example (this email is getting a bit long!). This one is currently before council for the Wilsons Carpark on Murray St (finally being developed!). The building looks great
There DAC process seems to have resulted in a couple of positive changes to the street frontages as you can read about here:
The language they use just seems unnecessary to me. The development would be a great addition to Murray St, but the DAC just seems to object to the design on the basis that it might actually be bold and get some attention.
Anyway, I don’t want to take up too much of your time. It would be interesting to know your thoughts.
Thanks for your email Jackson. I have been following the rise of the DAP‘s with some interest, but have not yet had a project that has needed their intervention, so don’t have any personal experience of them. Anyone worked with one yet? Good? Bad? I suppose they are like any assessment group, there is always some who are braver than others, and design decisions can so often be subjective, which is more difficult once you have a group pof people with conflicting opinions and priorities. Have they made the process more streamlined? How early can they be consulted? And what is the appeal process?