Redfern East, Sydney


Redfern East showcases different housing typologies to provide accommodation to a wide range of people; and leads the way for redevelopment of an existing social area.

Project Summary

​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​The Redfern East Social Housing Project for Housing New South Wales is part of the revitalisation of the inner city neighbourhood of Redfern, Sydney and provides new housing for young families, and elderly and disabled persons.

A masterplan comprising a mix of public and private housing was prepared for two blocks of land between Elizabeth Street to the west and Moorehead Street to the east. Redfern East represents the social housing component and is located on the eastern block.

The 0.97ha site contained ten, 2-4 storey public housing flats which were considered by Housing NSW to be substandard. In 2008 the blocks were demolished to make way for 106 dwellings comprising 66 seniors living apartments and 40 townhouses, 18 of which are adaptable; two residents’ community rooms and common recreation areas.

The design concept consists of three and four storey apartment buildings which anchor the four corners of the site while in between low rise terraces address the longer street frontages to the east and west. The design addresses the scale of the surrounding development which includes the 18 storey Poets Corner Towers, nine storey McKell Tower, three storey Grovenor Hotel and a row of single storey historic terraces. 

The one and two bedroom apartments were designed to maximise solar exposure and natural ventilation. Vertical circulation is via an open gallery providing opportunities for social interaction. Eight townhouse types were developed offering two to four bedrooms and adaptable floor plans. The terraces vary in height and setback in response to the cross site fall to the west and the retention of existing mature trees within front courtyards. Most parking is accommodated on street with some accessible parks allocated to the apartments.

Implementing sustainable design, including gas boosted solar hot water heating, grey water irrigation, rainwater re-use and photovoltaic cells for common area lighting, led to the project receiving a 5 Star Green Star rating, one of only two social housing projects nationally to receive this rating from the Green Building Council of Australia.

The Green Star rating also took into account the project-specific requirement for a minimum of 20 Aboriginal construction workers to be employed which encouraged community involvement during construction.

Redfern East, completed in December 2010 with a budget of $28 million, has provided Housing NSW with renewed public housing stock and allowed local residents to stay within their community.

Source: LFA (Pacific)