Earlier this week, DBRDS received entitlement approval for ’21 WEST’ – a twenty-one (21) single family dwelling subdivision project in West Nowra, some 2 hours south of Sydney, Australia. Located in a typical southern Sydney residential neighborhood, the site has good solar access & initially began as an opportunity to ‘rethink the norm’ of the adjacent standard planning…creating a unique residential environment of ‘houses in a park’ type development.
Sandwiched between surrounding suburban development with minimal street exposure, the client requested that the development maximized the dwelling unit potential of the site & created space efficient, cost-effective low-income single family homes, which essentially reduced the potential to explore a ‘outside the box’ design solution. The City of Shoalhaven’s Planning Codes also restricted the amount of ‘imagination’ that one could adopt in design on this interesting lot to reduce the creativity of planning further. Requirements for over parking & complete trash truck access meant that the quality of space went from open green spaces, to paved driveways ensuring that the spin of the planning became unusable to kids of the subdivision & predominately vehicular oriented. The best we could do was to at ‘tree line’ the street & maximize the green pockets through the development to provide some relief & to give it some what of a pleasant quality.
All that being said, the fundamentals of good design are embedded in each dwelling unit ensuring that natural light & ventilation is provided to all rooms, living spaces extend out to courtyards & corridor spaces are kept to a minimum ensuring maximum value for each square meter built. The overall planning was also designed eliminate any overshadowing on the adjoining properties with layers of landscaping around the perimeter to provide visual and acoustic privacy.
Following the local Planning Codes & designing the property without requiring any variations ensured that this project was approved in eight (8) months keeping the project on track for the client.