Stage one - Fitzroy, Atherton Gardens estate renewal
In 2010 planning approval was granted for 152 new homes on the Fitzroy (Atherton Gardens) housing estate. The $43 million project was funded by the Australian Government through the Housing Affordability Fund. An additional $5.5 million contribution from government and community partners has resulted in the Connie Benn Centre, a children’s and family hub on the ground floor.
Located on the corner of Brunswick and King William streets, the 152 unit development meets high standards for design and amenity and contributes to surrounding streetscapes. This new housing helps to address the pressing demand for affordable rental housing in the inner city.
This development provides 76 one-bedroom and 76 two-bedroom energy efficient homes. There is also a carpark, shops and the Connie Benn Centre, a children’s and family hub on the ground floor.
The Brunswick Street facade is a mix of basket-work pattern brick, coloured feature tiles and inset balconies. It has been designed to reflect the surrounding architecture and area. The building is stepped back in height from the street and varies between five and eight levels (ground floor included). The design and the community and commercial spaces better connect the estate to the streetscape.
The Connie Benn Centre is an important meeting point for the local community. The childcare centre and any future commercial enterprises will be used by Atherton Gardens residents and by people from the surrounding area.
Functional, safe and attractive outdoor areas have been created around the buildings, better connecting the estate with the surrounding neighbourhood. Landscaping is designed to complement the look and feel of the structures and improvements have been made to existing plantings. Improved pedestrian networks and lighting has increased amenity and security on the estate and the surrounding streets.
Melbourne architects McCabe and Bird dela Coeur have designed the homes to achieve an overall six-star energy rating. The homes have water efficient fittings, rainwater collection and re-use facilities, thermal glazed windows, hydronic heating, and solar gas boosted hot water units.
Disability support and accessibility
All of the units are able to accommodate visitors in a wheelchair and 20 per cent of the units are suitable for residents with a disability. A total of 18 car spaces specifically for people with a disability are positioned with close access to entrances and lifts.
Supporting tenants on the estate
A dedicated place management team has been introduced at Atherton Gardens estate to support the integration of residents of the estate within the wider community.
Builders Abigroup commenced construction in 2011 and finished in mid-2012.