courtyard housing with integrated childcare

Rosebery NSW, 2015

With projects like these we are constantly and incrementally trying to lift the game in NSW medium-density housing.

Porous Wall Apartments comprises a group of eight buildings in Rosebery completed for Meriton. The project was produced under a City of Sydney Design Excellence Competition over the course of four weeks. The project comprises of 464 Apartments with over 70% achieving 2 hours or more sunshine in winter and 69% of apartments that cross-ventilate. The scheme embeds two childcare centres within the landscape corridor and is fully compliant with GFA controls.

By utilising a bridge-slot separation between buildings at the corner we have achieved a higher proportion of cross-ventilating apartments. A typical core serves eleven apartments with only three that do not cross-ventilate. At 73% cross-ventilation the particular example not only surpasses the 60% requirements under SEPP65 but provides greater amenity and more marketable living environments. Similar configurations are deployed throughout the building to maintain a higher-than- minimum ratio.

Foliage from the generous gardens assists in providing visual privacy and provides a leafy outlook for most of the apartments. Importantly the foliage also reduces the localised heat-island effect by shading hard surfaces and cooling breezes as they pass through the porous building. Private balcony spaces are minimal though functional deep- set balcony and are able to accommodate natural laundry drying facilities without unduly compromising the aesthetic of the building.

Above the Court levels, on levels L3 and L5 are the three Communal Gardens. These gardens enjoy the sunnier upper levels of the buildings where there is enough sunlight for the small scaled production of fruit and vegetables. Shared outdoor kitchens make these gardens a ‘sticky’ space for residents to hang on the weekend, grow and share a meal together. Small garden plots will allow allocation to interested residents.

Other uses located on the Communal Garden levels include generous clothes lines, composting and worm farms, and rainwater collection and distribution systems.Not only do theses social exchanges amplify any great place-making effects in the architecture, they engender a sense of collective ownership and civic pride amongst the residents.

Apartment mix
1 bed 37%
2 bed 41%
3 bed 22%
2 Childcare Centres


Client: Meriton Services: Architecture Site area: 47,623 sqm GFA


Project team: RAW Architects, Adam Russell, Prudence Duncan,Tran Dang 

Collaborators: Kann Finch (collaborating architects),  Light Box (visualisation)