35-37 Wilga Street, FAIRFIELD

This project was designed for Housing NSW as part of the federal governments National Building Economic Stimulus Plan (ESP). As the building is over 3 storeys high it was necessary to adhere to the rules of Sepp 65 (State Environmental Planning Policy No 65 – Design Quality of Residential Flat Buildings) and, as part of the ESP, was required to attain a six star Nationwide House Energy Rating Scheme (NatHERS) rating. These requirements complimented the clients and our own desire to produce dwellings that are sensitive to both the urban and natural environments, easy to maintain and a pleasure to live in.

The development includes 12 two bedroom dwellings, 6 of which are designed for adaptable use. The underground car park accommodates 15 car spaces, including 6 disabled bays and 3 visitor’s bays, and a secure storage compartment for each dwelling. The car park and all units are accessible by a passenger lift to provide easy access, particularly to residents who live with disabilities, and each unit enjoys a large shaded deck and well appointed kitchen and utility rooms. All dwellings are provided with secure access via a naturally lit and well ventilated central entrance core that together with the generous common open space creates a community environment with ample social opportunities for the residents.

The entrance core provides a central axis and anchoring element from which the two wings of the development are arrayed. This plan was somewhat shaped by the projects corner block location and form but also the desire to allow for ample northerly light to each unit. This scheme together with an elegant neutral colour palette with striking but fresh highlight colour creates a building that acknowledges and enhances its prominent position and forms an expression which is both memorable and neighbourly.

The project is an important demonstration of affordable housing with an aesthetic founded in its context, simplicity, repetition of architectural components, sustainability and innovative use of low cost materials. The project, delivered on time and budget, provides an affordable housing outcome, suited to client expectations and user needs and enhances the character of its locality.