Administration building sparkling again
Fremantle Ports is continuing the refurbishment of the exterior of its administration building.

Published: 20/06/2017

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Fremantle Ports' administration building

Over the past 10 years, Fremantle Ports has been systematically refurbishing the exterior of its nine-storey administration building on Victoria Quay.

A special feature of the 54-year-old building is tiling on the exterior walls.

Not only do the walls sparkle but they were designed to reduce maintenance in an atmosphere laden with salt. However, the walls are weathered and require attention.

Another feature of the building is the ground-floor sawtooth roof, the first known one of its type in Australia.

The roof is a folded pattern of pre-stressed concrete units in two spans of 20 metres each.

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Fremantle Ports’ John Malaga (left) and Adrian Kowald (LKS Constructions) on the building’s southern side

At present, the ground-floor southern elevation is being fully restored to as-original-as-possible specification.

The work involves removing degraded and failing concrete, treatment of corroded reinforcing steel, painting, retiling, window sealing and infill panel replacement.

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Work on the western side of the building

Similar works are also being undertaken on the eastern and western ground-floor sides and sawtooth roof underside. The northern side was refurbished in 2014.

Project Manager John Malaga praised the work team’s high-quality work and its attention to detail. 

The building was designed by architects Hobbs, Winning and Leighton in the international style and built by A T Brine and Sons Ltd in 1963.

FIFO supervisor

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Works team with FIFO supervisor

Fremantle Ports is trialling an owl (aka southern boobook or mopoke) to supervise intricate tiling work on the exterior walls of the administration building.

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The owl has superior eyesight

The bird’s superior eyesight enables it to spot any mistakes by the work team.

Although nocturnal, the owl has agreed to stay on duty while the crew is tiling or patching in exchange for a protected roost under the sawtooth roof.

Entrance awning refurbished 

The awning at the entrance to the building has also recently been refurbished.

An original part of the building, the awning has had corroded sections removed and new panels installed.

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Installing new panels

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New LED lights have been installed

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The refurbished entrance awning