A social housing development in north-west Tasmania designed with green spaces and community in mind.
Located in West Ulverstone, the Oak Rise Housing development weaves together 48 courtyard-style homes, communal green spaces, and the region’s striking natural landscape. Focussed on nurturing a sense of community, our design features connected streets that promote a slower pace and allow families to explore and engage with their neighbours. Four different single-storey designs, strategically interspersed throughout the site, offer a sense of individual identity for residents while creating a dialogue with Ulverstone’s established homes.
A Shared Place.
The design centres on making better use of the site’s abundant green space. Instead of the traditional front and back yard, the north-facing courtyards act as a practical ‘outdoor living room’ and offer private outdoor spaces while creating well-ventilated and light-filled interiors.
With a focus on community, we complemented the courtyards with a series of parks dotted throughout the development. Slow pedestrian areas, shared driveways, and houses facing out onto the private roads allow kids to safely play on the street and adults to easily cross paths with their neighbours.
Individuality Within a Natural Setting.
Overlooking Bass Strait, the gradually sloping site is filled with oaks and elms that change colour throughout the year. To capture how the site will feel year-round rather than at just one point in time, we chose a spring and autumnal colour palette for the residence’s roofs, windows, doorways, internal joinery, and kitchen space.
Working with Oak Rise’s natural contours, we subtly shifted both the orientation and elevation of certain houses to create moments of diversity across the project. An alternating exterior colour palette and strategically interspersed pop-up windows — which also echo the traditional chimneys of surrounding towns — adds to these subtle contrasts, playfully breaks up the pace of the development, and allows residents to have a sense of individual ownership of their home.
Working to a modest budget, our choice of robust, locally sourced materials — such as brick and cement cladding — respond both to the region's strong winds while creating a contemporary dialogue between the new development and other surrounding homes. Playful brick patterns and bonding create depth and individuality while coloured sheeting breaks up any uniformity to create more of a rhythm throughout the precinct.
The project aims to fulfil the need for social housing in the region for a wide range of residents, including the elderly, and low-income families.