Gibbons Street sets the benchmark for quality, high-density social and affordable housing in Australia. DKO, SGCH and Lendlease worked collaboratively with the Government Architect through the Design Excellence process to ensure the best design and commercial outcome was achieved, delivering a 160-apartment complex in Redfern.
Built on the site of an old City of Sydney depot, the complex offers 40 social and 120 affordable housing units, tenure-blind and Gibbons Street has an average 8.3-star NatHERs rating for the energy-efficient unit design.
ESD is inherent in the DNA of the building with a fresh air system that supplies apartments from a roof-mounted fan, battery system and 50kW of solar. Double-glazed windows throughout promote the thermal qualities of the building and ensure the units will remain comfortable throughout the year. WELS-rated fixtures help to conserve water usage. It’s predicted a tenant in a two-bedroom unit should be able to save $500 a year on electricity costs or $350 a year in a one-bedroom unit because of the thermal efficiency.
The design takes inspiration from the built and cultural history of Redfern as well as elements from the surrounding streetscapes. The use of brick was important because the material is relatively maintenance-free, durable and appropriate to the locality. Artwork by Indigenous artist, Joe Hurst, from the Boomalli Aboriginal Artists Co-Op has been integrated throughout the building’s fabric.
Gibbons Street is the first project to run through the NSW Government Architects Design Review Panel and demonstrates what can be done when everyone works together.
Photography by Martin Siegner