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01 - Nedlands Rivean Antique House.jpg

Nedlands Rivean Antique House


The History

This three bedroom, two bathroom house with 3 car spaces (how??) was built in 1955 (although the REIWA website list it as having two bedrooms, 1 bathroom, 1 garage and first sold on 12 July 2019).

It was first sold on 11 July 2019 for $2.1 million (woah, that's gnarly!!), then perhaps someone had a change of heart and resold it six months later. Or more likely, the sale simply fell through, judging from the close proximity of sale dates as well as no price being listed for the resale. This poor house was being shuffled around like an orphan, despite carrying a heavy financial burden (symbolising a key to unlock investments of profit). It sold for a final time on 22 October 2021 before shit got serious and kaboom... the house was knocked out, left for dead. Or rather... demolished... to make way for a new modern form of civilisation preparing to live stacked on top of each other. A somewhat legal high, one must add.

The Redevelopment

Together, with its neighbouring federation house, ICON Construction would go on to build an impressive looking six storey apartment complex (without any jazzy dazzy 'hey let's impress with some obscure mind-boggling design') at a cost of $13 million. The development application was approved on 27 October 2020, demolition took place shortly after these photos were taken and by March 2022, they were rearing to go.

A superficial look at the Rivean Residences from the street, which are built for 29 residences, brings a strong impression to the fore of my mind in regards to the quality being nothing short of superior.

Rivean Residences Architectural Design.jpg

Many buildings, which could potentially attract the same positive external impression (with single residences appearing to be notorious at times), have attracted strong criticism for cutting costs (particularly when it comes to substandard materials), as well as poor workmanship.

The Builder

Despite not having an affiliation or inside knowledge of ICON Construction, it appears their reputation leaves them as one of the best places to work for, as well as one of the most trusted, quality companies in Perth (or Australia). One just has to look at the reviews left behind by previous employees. It feels quite common for former workers to blow their load and diss their old job place, (notwithstanding the potentially high proportion of those that may deserve it, for whatever reason). Inclusive of international reviews, I've never seen so many five star reviews from staff (and I doubt they were paid for) and good workers in a good team environment, gives a good reason to produce great work.

So in establishing a very strong sense of a great build, 14 apartments are being built with two bedrooms and 15 with three bedrooms.  That alone appears impressive, giving me the sense they haven't tried to pack in a maximum occupancy rate with queasy squeezy space and instead, have opted for luxury, well-deserved living space, despite whatever resulting monetary value they're being sold for, which would already start quite high, judging from the locality of Nedlands. Upon writing this, I viewed the images on the Rivean Residences, designed by Giorgi and certainly confirmed the spacious living environment!

The Design

With concrete planters filled with greenery on many levels, artistic contrasts against the pale limestone walls is designed in the cedar wood columns and adjustable louvres (angled slats/shutters).

Rivean Residences Architectural Design 2.jpg

The Issues

Interestingly, out of 136 submissions during the public consultation period, only three were in support of the development application and 38 of the objections received, were from residents located within a 200 metre radius of the site (p.8). Some of the concerns raised included:

  • Excessive bulk and scale

  • Does not respect the privacy of neighbours

  • Exceeds plot ratio and

  • Does not provide adequate setbacks

Unless I've missed something, no electrical vehicle charging infrastructure has been included in the design. Even though many development applications have included a few of these in their designs already, it only became a national government requirement in new apartment development applications a few days after Rivean Residences was given the green light.

The Saez SLH190 luffing tower crane is expected to be dismantled towards the end of August 2023, with completion of construction towards the end of the year.

November 2020

My lil bro and I were walking the streets one night, (most likely after having been to our beloved old Nedlands REGIS apartment abando) when we noticed this forlorn-looking house, as well as the Federation House next door.


Both appeared ready for demolition, so we made a beeline for them, in order to photograph their last days before history settled with the dust, under foundations of the awaiting redevelopment project.

Naturally, the house looked quite old and it wasn't because of its ailing state. The undercroft garage, quite possibly a unique design at the time, levelled off with the street with the floor of the house raised to the level of an upstairs. Dampness set in with the pre-summer cold night, the garage walls of limestone, thick with a chalky texture in lieu of the rough as guts hardness that feels more common. A smell of mould, perhaps drips with a minimal air-flow, despite broken wood slats on the antiquated-styled garage door being pulled aside. Orange street lights bathed the atmosphere in eeriness and a sense of something lost. Perhaps from past memories, love and a family who once lived here?

A Singer caught my eyes and the shine of my torch! "A what?" the lil bro asked (Insert eye rolls!). I doubted I'd ever seen one in real life, other than in movies and catalogues, or perhaps historical magazines (a collection in which had since gathered dust at home). The Singer sewing machine looked most similar to a 1937 model with its drop-leaf table, (missing) left drawer and cast iron features.

It was certainly nothing new but the reassurance was felt again, that the old lasts longer than the new. A 1950's Sunbeam Mixmaster, followed by the remains of a Metters cast iron oven frame.

The house appearing trashed as well as smashed, the latter perhaps a bit of both human and naturalistic, as a result of weathering tendencies and the lack of maintenance.

A dressing table missing the accompanying stool, likened to a 1940's French Louis design (if it wasn't) and Rococo style drawers, sadly left behind in the bedroom. So many somewhat 'historic' creations, deemed rare no doubt, in the antique buying world. Would anyone save these before it was too late? Surely!

Old curtains with patterns of a train, possibly from a boy's long-ago childhood. What stories and history could they tell, had they been given the capacity to do so? As so, the cheerful 1950's retro single mattress cover.

Torn remains of a ribbon streamer door entrance, reminds me of the childhood days bustling over to the deli in the early morning when supermarkets weren't open. A rarity like hen's teeth as they say, despite hen not possessing teeth of any sort. (Although only because birds lost their teeth some 80 million years ago, just like their life!)

So another one bites the dust but thankfully, we have photos to remember it. Despite it not being our history but someone else's history. Or perhaps, passerbys of the past have wondered thoughts of the ins of the house and not just the outs as they see.

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