Built, Stage 1 October 2018; Stage 2 August 2019
CHROFI + JMD design
Architectus, in collaboration with CHROFI and JMD Design, created the design for the redevelopment of the Harbord Diggers Club at Freshwater.
Situated on one of Sydney’s iconic headlands, the development is surrounded by spectacular coastal sandstone formations and native coastal landscape. Mounties Group’s vision informed the team’s conception of an inter-generational community hub combining an outdoors hospitality precinct with club, health, fitness, childcare and retirement living. Public pathways connect the building to the coast, and open stairs between the levels unite the facility as a ‘hub’ while promoting a socially active lifestyle.
The challenge was to design a vibrant, inter-generational social environment without impacting the beauty of the natural headland and to organise the mixed-use program without affecting the amenity of residents.
The design conceals much of the program within the contour of the land. The retirement village is organised around a courtyard, with the hospitality precinct below. The headland landscape extends across the courtyard to amplify the scenic quality of the precinct. At the same time, a pair of sandstone buildings rise above as sculptural counterpoints, with flowing forms that frame the expansive coastal views. Lower scale buildings address the streets in a stepped manner to maximise views while creating a fine-grained edge to address Freshwater Village to the west.
The apartment interiors, with operable façades and flexi-rooms, accommodate different residents’ requirements and provide flexibility to engage with the headland environment. A dramatic sunken garden at the centre of the project brings light and air to the various layers of mixed programs below. The endemic species mimic the natural occurrence of verdant species thriving within the protected crevices of the headland.
Design competition winner
Australian Urban Design Awards, Commendation for Built Projects – Local and Neighbourhood Scale, 2021
Australian Institute of Architects (NSW) Awards, Residential Architecture – Multiple Housing Award, 2021
Australian Institute of Architects (NSW) Awards, Urban Design Award, 2021
The Urban Developer Awards, Development of the Year, Mixed Use, 2018