Villawood - Koonoona Avenue
Housing NSW, as part of the Federal Governments Nation Building Economic Stimulus Plan, employed Barry Rush and Associates to design and document this SEPP SL (Seniors living) project for a prominent corner site in Villawood. The objective of a seniors living project is to facilitate older people, people with disabilities and those on low incomes to have access to affordable and well designed housing. The policy emphasises a need to create a balance between the growing demand for accommodation in this sector of the population while maintaining the character and feel of local neighbourhoods.
The project accommodates 4 car spaces, 5 two bedroom dwellings (including one adaptable) and 1 one bedroom adaptable dwelling, over 1 two storey building and 2 one storey semidetached homes. Each of the units within the larger building have both front and rear well sized covered decks and the one storey units have ample private open space accessible off the main living areas. All units are design with adaptable features including ramped access to ground level units and a minimum step at thresholds to accommodate residents with lessened mobility. Ecologically Sustainable Design features include a reticulated rainwater system, solar panels to service common area electricity requirements, ample sun shading devices and dual aspect to each unit to encourage cross ventilation.
Our response to respecting neighbourhood amenity and streetscape include providing setbacks in keeping with the local environs and locating one storey structures on the boundaries with neighbouring residences to minimise overshadowing and overlooking issues. The roof line, although striking, has been used as an architectural feature which tends to reduce the bulk of the buildings themselves. The cladding materials chosen are commonly used in the locality and are highlighted with a colour scheme that is fresh, light and clean. Articulated coloured balconies are used to soften the edges of the building whilst providing an aesthetic statement which also addresses the development’s corner aspect. These balconies are edged with louvered screens that allow control of any visual and acoustic privacy concerns and can be adjusted to filter light or be pulled back to enjoy the sun.
As per requirements of SEPP SL the design successfully addresses the issues of streetscape, local context, site planning and design, impacts on neighbours and internal amenity. The resulting development is as pleasing to live in as it is modern, innovative and sustainable.