Chapel Street, St Kilda, Melbourne


Chapel St is an excellent demonstration of how to introduce higher density on a long, skinny site while respecting the neighbours and the neighbourhood. It also shows that high end private sector housing and affordable rental accommodation can successfully be part of the same building.

Project Summary

​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​The affordable housing development at 83-87 Chapel Street, St Kilda consists of 2 four storey apartment buildings totalling 81 units joined by a basement car park for 70 vehicles, providing a well-considered residential development that addresses local and regional needs for housing Victoria, Australia. 

The project is the undertaking of the Port Phillip Housing Association (PPHA) and includes a commercial component to ensure the association's financial sustainability in the long term.

The built envelope for the site was established through earlier approved town planning permits for a development of a similar scale and character which was unrealised. MGS Architects from Australia 'inherited' these constraints and increased the yield and the height of the buildings. PPHA's financial priorities as well as its preference for a mix of owner occupier and rental accommodation on the site directed the split for 20 units to be sold on the private market and 61 to be retained as affordable rental properties.

External finishes are a combination of painted and natural precast concrete and brickwork at the lower levels and a light weight generally timber cladding and metal clad roof above. The units are designed to best practice universal design principles to accommodate the widest range of occupants and allow aging in place.