We have collaborated with Defence Housing Australia (DHA) and the Department of Defence on multiple projects across New South Wales to deliver a range of affordable and high-quality residences for Defence members. The Paddington Terraces, situated in the heritage-rich Victoria Barracks, is one such example. The design was guided by the DHA Design Guidelines, a document prepared by Tzannes for DHA in 2017.
To meet DHA’s requirement for six on-base terraces and to derive a heritage-sensitive proposal, we worked closely with consultants and DHA and applied a first principles analysis of the site. The orientation of two significant archaeological sites and that of the existing buildings opposite the site suggested a former urban grid which we respectfully re-established. The front alignment was positioned to reveal and celebrate the archaeological sites. These sites were then integrated materially and spatially with the public domain design to stitch together the old and the new. Sympathetic materials and native landscaping were proposed to embed the additions into the texturally-rich and vegetated precinct.
Constraints such as utility easements and clearances from heritage items were factored in and creatively addressed, giving rise to unique and considered homes that maximised the yield of the site, optimised the amenity of future occupants and uncovered and conserved with sensitivity the layers of history beginning from precolonial times.
This development is as much about the past as it is about the future. Sustainability and resilience are achieved by using durable materials, using reclaimed materials in the public domain, collecting and reusing rainwater, maximising cross ventilation and adopting screens to minimise solar heat gain.