Fremantle Prison Tunnels

Fremantle, Western Australia, 2003-2006

Fremantle Prison is one registered on UNESCO’s World Heritage List, as one of the eleven Australian Convict Sites. The prison is of local, State and National cultural heritage significance and a premier tourist destination.

The Fremantle Prison Tunnels project takes cultural heritage tourism to a new level of interaction and interpretation – cleverly designed to conserve the historic tunnels complex as well as creating an exciting adventure experience.

The tunnels were hand dug directly into the limestone by prisoners between 1880 and 1894 to provide a water supply to the prison and the developing town of Fremantle, but were largely forgotten after the water supply became saline early in the twentieth century.

The re-opening of the tunnels reinterprets the important role they played in the early physical and social development of Fremantle, and defines a new role as ‘extreme heritage’ tourism at Fremantle Prison.

Program
  • Conservation works
  • New works
Client

Department of Housing and Works

Status
  • Complete
Roles
  • Preparation of master plan
  • Design, documentation and administration of conservation works
  • Design, documentation and administration of new works
Awards
  • 2006 Australian Institute of Architects (WA Chapter) Western Australian Heritage Awards – Commendation