Fremantle’s old Artillery Drill Hall is having a face-lift. Soon to be called Freo.Social, the heritage site is being transformed into a multi-purpose cultural and community space. Considering Triple-1-Three – the group behind Otherside Brewing Co – is backing the operation, we’re forecasting good times.
“The site itself has a long history of activation as a social space,” says Triple-1-Three director David Chitty. “We took that gathering-space, social-hub concept and added other elements that we thought would complement the legacy.”
So while artist workshops, comedy shows, festivals and live music reference the site’s past – for 28 years the space was home to Freo’s famous Fly By Night music club – new elements such as an Otherside microbrewery point to a fun future. An outdoor front yard will feature a musically inspired playground, while a fleet of food trucks and carts will serve laid-back “world street-food” in the back courtyard.
“It’s not a table-service kind of concept,” says Chitty. “Just grab some tasty food, a nice beer and sit down and have a casual, relaxing experience.”
Although the team at Benson Studio architects has added some contemporary accents to the space, for the most part, its old bones have been thoughtfully enhanced and preserved. A series of rooms in the adjoining office building will serve as temporary, rotating studios for emerging creatives. Other rooms are reserved for hot-desking. The main hall has been fitted, according to Chitty, with state-of-the art production facilities with world-class sound quality. Artists, schools and community groups will be invited to use the space for rehearsals outside of trading hours.
More will be announced in the lead-up to the Freo.Social’s opening next year.
“We’ve worked for two or three years on this now, so there’s been a lot of effort put into it,” says Chitty. “It’s nice to see it finally coming to life and the opening isn’t far away now. We’re excited.”
Freo.Social is at 1 Holdsworth Street, Fremantle and opens in March.