Heritage nod for Bon Scott’s house of rock


The Brutalist-style building was designed by legendary architect Iwan Iwanoff. Image Credit: Stoney Webb

An old Fremantle studio, once used by ACDC lead Bon Scott, has been heritage-listed by the local Council, despite strong opposition from the building’s current owners.

The $3m building is no ordinary Fremantle shack.

Built in 1967 and designed by legendary architect Iwan Iwanoff, it was Perth’s first purpose-built recording studio.

The building was last sold in 1989 for $150,000 and its owners say the council’s decision to restrict changing the building, or its original design, will impact their “development aspirations” on a house currently in poor condition.

In council minutes, city officers claim that the house: “has aesthetic and rarity value as a simple but well composed example of the work of Iwan Iwanoff and as an idiosyncratic example of the Late Twentieth Century Brutalist style of architecture.”

It says the building has high-value culturally because of its unique design, “reflecting admirable Post-War Zone construction”.

The details of the building reflect stylistic values of brutalist architecture. Image Credit: Stoney Webb

But in its petition against the listing, the unnamed owners commissioned a report by Griffiths Architects. Griffiths stated that council assessment overstates the significance of the place. They said is should not be included on the Heritage List.

Western Australia’s sole independent record company founder Martin Clarke, who started Clarion Records, started the recording studio.

He said despite the studio only operating commercially for a few years, it remained a significant part of WA’s recording industry.

“There were other studios around, but they were in old buildings with rooms set up so you could record in them,” Clarke said. “This was absolutely the first purpose-built recording studio in Perth.”

A request to extend the heritage listing decision another month was denied by council.