GroupGSA has delivered an affordable housing and retirement living hybrid model that successfully addresses urgent housing needs.
May 12th, 2022
In western Sydney, GroupGSA has pioneered a new experiment by Anglicare to successful combine affordable build-to-sell apartments with social housing.
The developments are on three sites: Mount Druitt, Fairfield and Liverpool, are a groundbreaking Australian-first. The social housing components are designed specifically for women aged over 55, who are expected to be the fastest-growing age group to experience homelessness.
Anglicare has tackled this worrying statistic by integrating social housing developments that blend retirement with affordable and supportive housing.
GroupGSA director Lisa-Maree Carrigan says the firm is proud to be involved in the integrated delivery of social, affordable housing that supports ageing in place in community settings.
“At their core, these residential builds are designed to be good neighbours – positively impacting both occupants and the urban fabric they inhabit,” Carrigan says.
“Anglicare prioritised strong external engagement and GroupGSA has embraced this in terms of spatial design, the look and feel of these buildings, the interactions they cultivate and the micro-communities they engender. Larger developments have public realm interfaces and spaces that can be made available to the broader public, enhancing the community’s experience and maximising the urban fit.”
The global design firm has worked with Anglicare for the past three years, completing seven projects together. These include boutique housing for women at Botany, and mixed social and affordable residences at Corrimal. Each project, while different, has a core mission to offer both hope and stability.
The projects vary in design but all feature stylish and socially conscious living. Vibrant community spaces and attention to the surrounding biodiversity dispel the stigma around social housing.
Anglicare development manager, Daniel Jukic, says designing affordable homes requires consideration of the specific needs of the residents.
“GroupGSA implemented this understanding into their design, with every decision considering ways to foster connections between people, from the design of communal spaces to the movement of people throughout the buildings. In doing so, they helped to create not just a building, but a home.”
The multi-faceted developments require holistic design solutions in terms of urban design, architecture, landscape design, interior design, and graphic design. And as a first-time experiment in these developments, delivering opportunities residents can call home has been the primary prerogative.
Across all projects, integration of best practices in passive design, solar amenity use and cross-ventilation opportunities has been considered critical, to reduce reliance on expensive mechanical heating and cooling.
Regardless of size, all projects feature exceptional external and internal communal space amenities, fostering community amongst residents and facilitating activities such as fitness, gardening and training, which in turn can contribute positively to the wider community at each location.
Anglicare development manager, Andreas Brohl, says the sites set a precedent for what is possible in the future for social and affordable housing.
“Through the design of these developments, Group GSA has assisted Anglicare in its mission to address the urgent need in the western suburbs of Sydney for affordable and social housing for local communities,” Brohl says.
“Anglicare social housing developments seek to address affordability while still delivering high-quality homes, [these] developments are innovative in their approach to providing residents not only a modern and comfortable home, but also a supportive, connected and welcoming community.”
The Guthrie Project
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