The Nicholson

High quality affordable housing where the architectural form directly responds to both the site and brief, and the emphasis is on social and environmental sustainability. Stepped forms and fine grain articulation help the development of 199 residential units transition from medium-density housing into a semi suburban streetscape, with apartments clustered and stacked around a shared common green.

A mixed–tenure financial model includes 110 privately owned units with 89 apartments for social housing and affordable rental. The building activates the street edge with retail and commercial tenancies for daytime activity.

Its offset building height promotes access to natural light, ventilation and views, and landscape opportunities without extensive ground plane remediation. It is also used for and variable heights to transition between the neighbourhood and the site, from housing to retail and commercial activity.

  • CLIENT

    Places Victoria

  • LOCATION

    East Coburg, Victoria

  • YEAR

    2011

  • SCALE

    5,400 sqm

  • VALUE

    $80 million

  • PROJECT LEADERSHIP
    Stephen Webb Cameron Smith Heidi Lee
  • COLLABORATORS

    Landscape Architecture – AECOM

    ESD Consultant – Sustainable Development Consultants 

    Structural Engineering – Robert Bird Group

    Builder – Hickory / Unitise Building

    Access Consultant – MGAC

  • PHOTOGRAPHY

    Dianna Snape

The stepped building form achieves the goal of maximising northern sun to individual apartments and shared public space.

Stephen Webb, Design Director 113_stephen-webb.jpg

As part of the project’s innovation, modular apartment units were manufactured and prefinished off site, then delivered and interlocked into position. Sustainability measures include passive design to maximise solar access and cross ventilation, greywater reuse and solar panels.

Residences include seven studio apartments, 125 one-bedroom apartments and 67 two-bedroom apartments. The social dimension is emphasised in the mix of shared open landscaped spaces and a legible hierarchy of private and public and access points.

A very committed team that was focused on design excellence delivered this project, in the face of some complex external factors.

Peter Burke, Places Victoria

A very committed team that was focused on design excellence delivered this project, in the face of some complex external factors.

Peter Burke, Places Victoria