Sydney eastern suburbs architects – Designing liveable spaces

Remodeling and Home Design

Leafy creekside large family townhouses – Gymea

Multi-unit residential townhouse development
8 x 2 level townhouses: 6 x 3 bedroom and 2 x 4 bedroom (adaptable) townhouses
18 above ground car parks
372-376 President Avenue, Gymea
Sutherland Shire Council jurisdiction
DA approved

Ten design quality principles

This statement responds to the ‘ten design quality principles’ in the Design Quality of Residential Flat Development SEPP 65 Provisions as follows:

01. Context

• The site has a low lying, above ground watercourse running through the lowest part of the property which is subject to flooding. It is predominately located along the northern and eastern boundaries. Accordingly, the townhouses have been located at the highest point of the property whilst piping the northern section of the watercourse and leaving the eastern section to flow naturally. The concept has been accepted by the Department of Water as an acceptable solution to the flooding issue.

• Some existing significant trees, in particular some to the western boundary (Jacaranda’s) and one to the southern boundary (Araucaria species). Shall be retained.

• There are similar and recent developments in terms of size and scale very nearby. They consist of a townhouse development directly next door to the west and three immediately to the north across President Avenue.

• All the above developments are one and two storey with pitched roofs and predominately face brick external walls. Other similarly scaled and designed single dwellings are to the east and south.

• The site has excellent amenities nearby — Gymea railway station, shops within walking distance. Nearby parks (Miranda Park), hospital across the road (President Private Hospital), schools etc. The zoning for the area confirms the site as a suitable development for this type of development.

02. Scale

• The proposed development is within all DCP setback limits with one minor departure to the ground floor adaptable bedrooms to the west where the setback has been reduced under the 3m limit for a relatively small distance. The vast length of the western setback is complying.

• The proposed development is within the overall height limit at all the critical boundary points. The height is only breached to the north east corner where the setback is well and truely complied with. In these areas, non compliance has only occurred due to the particularly low natural ground levels caused by the erosion effect of the watercourse.

• The proposed development is well within the FSR limit of 0.55:1.

• The apparent scale of the facades has been addressed by projecting and recessing certain architectural features across the length of the building whilst providing material and colour changes for effect.

• Where the height is greatest, the main front northern retaining walls sitting below the northern street elevation has been enhanced by timber walkways and decks to lessen its apparent scale.

• The natural fall of the land away to the south east corner of the site has meant that when viewed from the street, the development appears diminished in size and without the underlying structure which delivers safety from the flood waters.

03. Built form

The built form is driven by:

• The watercourse route. It recognises its flow and accommodates its passage across the site whilst taking advantage of it as a natural feature of the site.

• The need to establish a street address. The front townhouses are orientated to street and provide a common access point.

• The need to maximise the northern orientation. There is a very high percentage of living spaces orientated to the north.

• The need to maximise cross ventilation. All townhouses are provided with excellent cross ventilation and building lengths of less than 18m.

• The need to compliment the predominately pitched roof context and material selection in a more contemporary language.

• The need to maintain the leafy street frontage through the landscaped design.

• Considerations of car ingress into the site and managing the balance of hard and soft landscaping as a result.

04. Density

The density is justified given the following:

• The area is dominated by similar sized townhouse developments.

• The area is well supported by existing infrastructure.

• There is a suitable townhouse mix for the site and the greater area as it affords the larger family with the larger sized private open and communal spaces.

• It comfortably complies with the FSR limit of 0.55:1.

• It easily complies with the required min 35% landscaping.

• There is ample area of deep root planting to boundaries and communal open space.

05. Resource, energy and water efficiency:

• There has been a well considered response to the need for passive solar design – High % of northern orientation, cross ventilation, high ceilings (2.7m), townhouse depths under 18m, kitchens easily within 8m of window.

• The BASIX demonstrates compliance with energy and water efficiencies – This has been achieved through the selection of highly efficient plumbing and electrical fittings, selection of highly insulated walls and ceilings, and the provision of water tanks to each and every townhouse.

06. Landscaping

A successful Landscaping has been achieved through:

• Large landscaped areas with deep root planting to all boundaries.

• Large ground floor Private Open Spaces, well over the minimum areas and size, off living spaces and receiving good sun.

• Good sized communal areas well over the size required.

• Recognising watercourse and accommodates its flow and passage across the site.

07. Amenity

All of the above has contributed to a high level of amenity throughout including the surrounding areas:

• High level of northern orientation, ceiling heights and cross ventilation.

• Large townhouses with good sized sunny outdoor areas.

• Maintenance of significant existing trees.

• Privacy needs accommodated in the building form and complying setbacks and the handling of building separation.

• Low geographical position ensures no loss of views to adjoining neighbours.

• Complying setbacks and height at the critical locations minimises sun loss to adjoining neighbours.

• All storage needs are met.

• Accessible bin storage has been met.

08. Safety and security

Safety and security has been met through:

• Good surveillance of the street and shared central courtyards through the building orientation to the street frontage

• A common access point through to both street frontages.

• The future detailing of good outdoor lighting along access routes and within the landscaped areas.

09. Social dimensions

• Generally, good amenity as detailed above will provide for more sociable owners.

• In a development encouraging large family, most likely with children, good sized, well landscaped communal areas will encourage a lot more interaction.

• Interaction is also likely within the central common area where casual interaction amongst owners is likely when they enter or leave their townhouse.

10. Aesthetics

• Driven primarily by all the above and in particular the surrounding context.

• Pitched roofs with the added, scaled rhythm of gabled roof features and balconies. Reflection of the predominately domestic scaled 1 to 2 storey, face brick houses in the area.

• Modulation of facades and townhouse positioning, the change in materials and colour, will provide a well proportioned and scaled building form with visual interest.

• Great opportunity for a leafy, well landscaped context due to the large areas of open space.