Rushall Park Community Housing

Rushall Park Community Housing, MGS Architects for Old Colonists’ Association of Victoria

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.


Project Team:
 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
 Acoustics: Arup
 Construction Team: Manresa Constructions