The Atherton Gardens Estate extension project came after the Australian Federal Government gave funding to the Victorian State Government as part of the Housing Affordability Fund.
In 2010 planning approval was granted for 152 new homes to be developed as part of the existing Atherton Gardens Estate. The project received $43million (AUD) in government funding plus an additional $5.5million (AUD) from other government and community partners, allowing for a children's and family hub on the ground floor.
The brief was to design modern social housing that did not look like typical social housing projects. Two Melbourne-based architects, McCabe Architects and Bird de la Coeur Architects designed it in collaboration. The two practices partnered to ensure the project could be completed as streamlined as possible.
The project includes 76 one bedroom and 76 two bedroom homes, as well as a carpark, shops and the ground floor community centre.
Taking the surrounding architecture as a point of reference, the facade facing to Brunswick Street (a busy main road), incorporates a patterned, brick facade and colourful inset balconies. The building steps back from the street and has varying heights, creating a more cohesive connection to the streetscape around it.
The project also includes a communal rooftop space.
The building received an overall six-star energy rating. The homes have water efficient fittings, rainwater collection and re-use facilities, thermal glazed windows, hydronic heating, and solar gas boosted hot water units.