The transformation of the old Kew Children’s Cottages, into a master planned community, required an appreciation of heritage design, an ambition to think big, and a sensitivity to both sustainability and design strategy.
Master Planning Architecture Interior Design
While commissioned early in the life of DKO, this project remains of foundational importance to the design ethos and DNA of the practice. The transformation of the old Kew Children’s Cottages, into a master planned community of up to 400 residencies, required an appreciation of heritage design, an ambition to think big, a sensitivity to both sustainability and design strategy, and finally, a capacity to finely balance the needs of both landscape and architecture. This resulting landmark development preserved remnant cottages and retained majestic stands of indigenous trees, carefully choreographing the floor plan of new homes to preserve the root systems of mature trees and maximise views to this garden-esque site. This sustainable design optimises orientation for solar penetration, privacy and security. Extensive use of rainwater gardens and multiple bio-retention basins provide additional landscape experiences, while reducing the impact of stormwater on the site’s drainage system. This is classic modernist Melbourne architecture, with its orthogonal forms and recessive detailing. Street corners are articulated as bold cantilevered forms, while a high degree of plan diversity across the site enables a vibrant streetscape, promoting an integrated community. The predominant use of brilliant white and zinc cladding provides a dramatic counter-point to the verdant ground plane. Together this early project cemented DKO’s reputation as high-quality master plan architects.