Friday, November 19, 2010

"There is not a large demand in Perth for exhibition space...."

I'm finally getting around to reading a report about the activation of 'dead' space above various retail outlets in the inner city.

It raises some interesting issues about general access, disability access, loss of retail footprint to reinstall stairs, fire escape issues, etc but the 'bombshell' was a quote under Opportunities/Cultural and Entertainment:
"Additionally, there is not a large demand in Perth for exhibition space, therefore a programme of cultural promotion would likely be necessary in order to improve the viability of cultural and entertainment businesses. Exhibition space also requires the production or procurement of art, and upper floors may provide a good and inexpensive option for artists studios.

Whilst these particular uses tend to add much to the social capital of the city, they also tend to provide a lower return to building owners than other more commercial land uses. This limits the opportunity for one-off galleries to be created; rather, a collection of galleries and studio spaces may be required in order to create a reasonable scale and thus identifiable attraction for returns to be made."

The ideas of a 'hub' rather than singular spaces is obviously appealing but I heavily dispute the lack of demand.

It goes through various case studies later in the report and the general financial aspects wouldn't make such a hub even close to viable other than through massive subsidies.

Full report (34MB) is here:

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