Fremantle Prison
Conservation and Adaptation
PERTH Western Australia

Fremantle Prison’s significance is recognised by its inclusion on the list of world heritage places. We have undertaken several projects at the Prison including conservation works to the Main Gatehouse, Main Cell Block, East Workshops, Women’s Division, and, more recently, the Parade Grounds.

Each project was guided by the conservation plans and master plans prepared for the Prison, and informed by site investigations. The works sought to remove inappropriate repairs and additions, particularly where this was damaging significant fabric, to reveal the original finishes and materials. Repairs were made as required to ensure the retention of original fabric and new services such as lighting added to enhance the presentation of the place and help tell its story.

The Gate House is important as the first point of visitor contact with the place and an indication of the quality of the experience that lies beyond the gates. Cement render was concealing and causing damage to the stonework of the facade beneath. All historic renders and limewashes that were intact were left in place. The façade was re-lit and the timber gates conserved.

The main cell block work weas undertake a s a collaborative approach with skilled tradespeople to delicately reveal and conserve the prison’s history. The intent was to enable appreciation of the length of time Fremantle Prison operated. Rather than replace broken and worn elements, original elements that could be repaired were repaired. Many traditional techniques were utilised as part of this process. This approach maintains the worn, well used character conserving the Prison and its story.

The Main Cell Blocks works won the Heritage Category in the 2011 WA Architecture Awards.

Frermantle Prison