Rushall Park expands upon the built legacy of the Old Colonists’ Association, Victoria’s oldest retirement village provider, who commissioned MGS Architects to design 35 independent living units on the last remaining development site within the historic village boundaries in North Fitzroy, an inner suburb of Melbourne, five kilometres from the city centre.
The development is situated on the north eastern boundary of the site along a narrow tract of land flanking a railway station and addressing a number of varied interfaces, the railway line and associated platforms, the historically significant cottages, other recent developments and the nature reserve which forms a protective buffer to the residential neighbourhood beyond.
The heritage character of the existing fabric required careful consideration hence MGS sought to provide a complementary and respectful counterpoint to the existing context by adopting similar scale, form, rhythm and materiality while delivering a design without mimicry. Most importantly the new had to respect the picturesque quality of the village as a whole which had been planned in the 1870’s to be a self-sustaining community of retired actors.
While there is no sign of the Dutch gables in the new buildings, the three two-storeyed terraced elements share a similarity with the original forms through gabled roof forms, materials and colours from the Australian vernacular and colonial past. Balconies are sheltered by pergolas, brick work is indented or protruded, and façade are carved into using motifs that speak of the decorative themes previously established by the 19th century architecture on site.
Practice: MGS Architects
Project Management: Atkins Consulting
Town Planning: SJB Planning
Building Services/ESD: JBA Consulting Engineers
Structural Engineering: Bonacci
Civil Engineering: Bonacci
Landscape Architects: John Patrick Landscape Architects
Building Surveyor/accessibility: du Chateau Chun
Quantity Surveyors: WT Partnership
Traffic: Traffix Group
Waste Management: Leigh Design
Arborist: Trees and Associates
Construction Team: Manresa Constructions