Atherton Gardens

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Atherton Gardens

Located on Brunswick Street Fitzroy within the Atherton Gardens Reserve, are 152 Social Housing apartments, many of which have universal access. They are occupied by a mix of low-income city workers and Public Housing tenants. Built over a former carpark, the building fills a gap in the streetscape and bridges between the Commission Tower blocks and their 3-4 storey neighbours. The ground floor includes a childcare centre, community meeting rooms and training facilities. The mix of uses brings the local community into the building.

The building’s design stems from close site analysis and draws on the Victorian pattern of highly formal front facades, that contrast with the adhoc informality of out-buildings (or contemporary extensions) to the rear. The building is solid, formal and closed to the south and west, and open, light and informal to the north and east - addressing the open space of the reserve. The ‘woven’ brick facade integrates the building into the surrounding context where patterned brickwork buildings abound, and metaphorically evokes protection.

With McCabe Architects

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  • Dulux Colour Award, 2013 – Grand Prix Winner
  • Dulux Colour Award, 2013 – Multi Residential Exterior Category Winner
  • Think Brick, 2012 – Horbury Hunt Commercial Highly Commended



Architects: McCabe Architects and Bird de la Coeur 
Client: DHS Property and Assets Group
Structure: Robert Bird Group 
Services consultants: JBA Consulting Engineers 
Photographer: John Gollings / Mark Wilson 
Landscape: Formium

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