Tarakan Street Social and Affordable Housing

Tarakan 3col 3 2320x1290px-scaled Tarakan 3col 2 2320x1290px-scaled Tarakan 3col 1 2320x1290px-scaled 210903 tarakan street view

Tarakan Street Social and Affordable Housing

Bird de la Coeur Architects, NH Architects and Openwork have worked collaboratively to understand the complex requirements for 130 zero-gas dwellings on a large, government owned site in West Heidelberg.

The Tarakan Street Social and Affordable Housing project is part of the Big Housing Build, a Victorian Government program investing $5.3 billion to deliver over 12,000 new homes for people who need them.

The development combines social and affordable housing, spread across three buildings: a cluster of townhouses at the northern end of the block, a three-storey apartment building and a six-storey apartment building to the south.

The buildings are carefully arranged in a landscape setting of established trees, orienting them to allow views and access to green open spaces for all the residents. These landscaped areas provide varying degrees of privacy, with semi-private community gardens that are only available to residents, and small public parks with playground and barbeque facilities which invite the local neighbours into the site.

Maintaining as many of the existing Spotted Gum trees as possible was prioritised in the landscape strategy and planning of the site. These established trees will shade the open areas and frame the semi-private and publicly accessible landscape spaces.

The buildings are designed to be both attractive and robust, with resident experience at the centre of all decision making. Each floor is arrangements so that there is a low number of keys per entry with the intention of enabling small communities to flourish within the precinct. It was important to ensure that the social and affordable apartments could be ‘tenure blind’ to minimise social stratification.

The apartments themselves are wide and shallow making them as comfortable and efficient as possible, and affording increased access to natural light, ventilation and balcony space. The apartments are innovatively designed for post-construction flexibility to accommodate and adapt to the changing needs of residents without the need to modify kitchens and bathrooms.

All the dwellings achieve a minimum average NatHERS rating of 7 stars and the development as a whole meets requirements for a Certified Green Star rating of at least 5 stars. All dwellings are accessible to  Silver Standard (LHA) while 5% of social housing is fully Disability Discrimination Act (DDA) compliant.

Due for Completion: Mid 2023

Country: Wurundjeri

Balcony living sketch


NH Architects - lead Architect


WRAP Engineering

Taylor Thomas Whitting - TTW Engineering

BESIX Watpac