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Public housing with a strong community heart

Category  Large Residential Development  |  Project  High Street, Northcote  |  Architect  FMSA

Context

This five-storey apartment building is an initiative of the State Government of Victoria (Department of Human Services) for the redevelopment of a public housing estate catering to older residents. The site is bounded to the west by High Street and to the east by a public park.

Challenge

This substantial redevelopment project provides quality public housing in the context of a low scale neighbourhood. The tenant profile required one bedroom apartments that could be adaptable for people with a disability. The project also had to deal with a level difference of up to 3 storeys across  the site.

Response

The building has been designed around a central, covered open space which provides access, cross ventilation and natural light to apartments, and offers a semi-private, all-weather outdoor area for tenants. More importantly, it creates a central hub for the development that links the project vertically  and connects it both to High Street and the park. The development takes advantage of the site's raised High Street frontage to provide main pedestrian access half way up the block. Colour, fa├žade variation and deep balconies give individuality to the apartments.

Lessons

The design strategies of creating a strong heart to the development and playfully breaking up the bulk of the building enhance resident amenity and provide a strong and positive relationship with the wider context.

More information

Fact Sheet - High Street, Northcote (PDF, 826.1 KB)
Fact Sheet - High Street, Northcote accessible version (DOC, 24.0 KB)

B04 High Street