Markham Avenue, Ashburton
Integration and connectivity are integral parts of the Markham Avenue Apartments development in Ashburton, a landscape-led residential community located in the City of Boroondara, just 12 kilometres south-east of Melbourne’s CBD. The master-planned development is designed to be tenure blind, offering both public and affordable housing that is compliant with the Disability Discrimination Act and strives to remove the stigma that is sometimes ascribed to social housing communities, changing the quality of life for current and future residents.
Architectus have worked closely with Homes Victoria to conceptualise this residential precinct that will be both financially viable and socially sustainable and setting a new benchmark within the Homes Victoria Portfolio for desirable and attainable homes within accessible proximity to Melbourne. The precinct provides 178 dwellings – 111 public and 68 affordable. These are arranged and designed to be indistinguishable from each other. The contemporary façade response employs natural brick of varying hues throughout, with clean lines and traditional brick coursing and details to deliver a finer grain, texture and depth. Matched with metal windows, balustrading and details, this natural palette will complement the landscape and provide a durable low maintenance classical architectural statement that will stand the test of time.
The two-storey, finer grain buildings along Markham Avenue provide a sensitive interface to the neighbouring housing typology. The balance of the development comprises 2-to-4 level residential buildings set within a new, accessible landscape with courtyards providing communal open spaces and new trees incorporated into the development to celebrate beautiful outdoor spaces. The residents will have the opportunity to meet within their cohorts or with the wider Ashburton community. The apartment buildings have been planned to allow for retention of many of the existing mature trees on site, and to afford amenity, views and connection to the adjacent reserve and creek
The Markham Avenue development honours its biodiverse surroundings. It borders the Ashburton Community Garden and sits directly adjacent to both Markham Reserve and the Malvern Valley Golf Course, across Gardiners Creek – or Kooyongkoot – both of which are identified as significant spaces of revegetation and regeneration within the City of Boroondara’s Urban Biodiversity Strategy 2013-2023 and the Markham Victory Master Plan. The objectives are to enhance biodiversity on the public land, reduce land use and the development impacts on biodiversity, and increase community support for biodiversity protection and enhancement. The sensitivity of the site, in relation to these regeneration areas, means that the amenities are well-considered to ensure a harmonious response between development and biodiversity protection.