Projects

Tarakan Street Social Housing

With exemplary sensitive, sustainable design, Tarakan Street sets the standard for affordable housing.
Architect
Bird de la Coeur Architects, NH Architecture, Openwork and Tract
Photography
Dianna Snape
Product
Austral Bricks Indulgence Series in Praline (Carbon Neutral)

Tarakan Street Social and Affordable Housing is a collaboration of creative minds that speaks to the significance of conscious design in generating homes towards a better future. Created by Bird de la Coeur Architects, NH Architecture, Openwork and Tract, and funded under the Victorian Government’s Big Housing Build, the site features 130 tenure-blind homes over three buildings in west Heidelberg. 

Once the 1956 Olympic Village, the government-owned site was redeveloped for the Homes Victoria project to create a convivial residential space that connected to the wider community. Honouring its unique history, the new developments were built around twenty mature canopy trees that were planted during the original site’s conception, offering a lush aspect and shade to the new residents. 

Situated around the existing trees, Tarakan Street comprises two-storey townhouses at the northern end of the block, with three-storey and six-storey apartment buildings to the site’s south. Both the towering trees and a vibrant new garden create additional privacy to each abode, with the biophilic aspect also enhancing resident well-being. Across the landscaping, semi-private community gardens encourage inter-residential connection, while the removal of perimeter fences creates a direct connection between the residential block and its streetscape. Designed to invite the wider public into the space, small public parks offer a playground and barbecue facilities for all to enjoy. 

Each building is designed to sit gently and seamlessly within the surrounding suburban context. Inside, the apartments are both wide and shallow, with ample balconies that extend their generous space. The balconies also expand access to natural light and ventilation for comfortable living. Each apartment is arranged in small clusters to encourage the development of tight-knit communities amongst residents. Additionally, they hold the potential for post-construction adaptability, encouraging residents to add personal touches to their kitchens and bathrooms as the years go on. 

As one of the first projects to come out of the Brickworks Climate Active Offset Program, the material choices of Tarakan Street required a balance of sustainability, high quality design and affordability. The program recognises Brickworks’ status as Australia’s first brick and paver manufacturer to achieve two Climate Active Certifications, with an initiative to help Australia’s architectural landscape become carbon-neutral. Using carbon-neutral products, such as Austral Bricks Indulgence Series in Praline, asserted the sustainability of the build while enhancing the dancing shadows of the mature trees that define the site’s landscape. 

The use of other local materials ensured significant savings on transport-related carbon emissions, while supporting small businesses. Lighting, plumbing and carpets were all sourced near tot he site, with the project achieving a Certified Green Star for its eco-conscious efforts. 

Tarakan Street evidences the innovation of Australia’s social and affordable housing landscape, seeking sustainable futures through inspiring design.

“Using Austral Bricks Indulgence Series in Praline asserted the sustainability of the build while enhancing the dancing shadows of the mature trees that define the site’s landscape.”

DSP_Tarakan_7640BR-web

“Using Austral Bricks Indulgence Series in Praline asserted the sustainability of the build while enhancing the dancing shadows of the mature trees that define the site’s landscape.”

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