Working in collaboration with the Tasmanian Government, Cumulus have created Goulburn Street Housing, a group of houses that address the lack of housing for the elderly and disabled in the island state.
Sitting on what was formerly a council car park, the houses have a micro-village, community-led feel thanks to its clustering forms, and are built around the values of quality, community and accessibility.
The houses have two facing fronts. Acknowledging the Georgian-era architecture of Goulburn Street, Cumulus’ design is a contemporary take on the era, with the houses bucking many trends of public housing dwellings. The Goulburn Street Housing buildings prioritise natural light, ventilation and generous amounts of outdoor space.
The red brick base of the buildings are a nod to the heritage of various Federation and Georgian houses featuring amongst the streetscapes of Tasmania. Brick colours and finishes of the upper exterior varies from house to house, ensuring a unique and interesting block of houses to lay eyes on. Complementary brick tones symbolise the sense of community while allowing residents to easily identify which apartment is theirs.
Cumulus Senior Architect and Associate Claire Austin explains this choice further.
“The interplay of colour and texture in the brick selection brings a village like appeal and in doing so responds to the surrounding context. We feel the project completes Goulburn Street Housing in a really established way.”
Interiors are simple yet stylish in form and allow for straightforward, practical living. Spacious and touched with a light coloured palette throughout the kitchen, bathroom and bedrooms, the curation ensures the houses take advantage of natural light.
Apartments at Goulburn Street Housing have an appropriate balance of indoor and outdoor space. Each apartment enjoys between 7sqm and 29 sqm of private open space in the form of a courtyard or balcony. And of course, each one is universally accessible.
Gaining the tick of approval by various community members, the design meets gold and silver standards of Liveable Housing Design Standards. Cumulus says it felt meaningful to contribute to public housing’s improvement and create apartments where people can live contentedly, and plans to contribute to communities around the country with similar projects.
Overall, the design is thoughtful to both tenants of the buildings and the streetscapes they lie upon. Cumulus has done an exceptional job creating homes for the disadvantaged, that doesn’t compromise design excellence.