Kensington Assemble Housing
01 / 03
Situated on the site of a former confectionary factory in Melbourne’s inner north, 402 Macaulay Road Kensington, marks developer Assemble Communities’ first Build-to-Rent community development. Hayball are part of the award-winning design team for the project, also consisting of Kerstin Thompson Architects (KTA) and SBLA Landscape Architects and Urban Designers.
Responding to the demand for new housing pathways for Australians in need, the Assemble Kensington community will comprise five partially connected buildings, the three larger buildings designed by Hayball and the smaller two by KTA. The 362 new dwellings are made up of a diversity of typologies including affordable, social, market, and specialist disability housing. The five smaller cohorts assist in creating a community village atmosphere such that the 8,395 sqm site can incorporate a high-quality public realm that emphasises human scale and accessibility. Ground floor retail, a Supermarket, and Co-working spaces will connect with an expansive landscaped ground plane promoting resident amenity. The landscape is also integrated into the design of the buildings in the form of vertical planting, with communal green roofs.
Architecturally, the use of multi-faceted textured pre-cast concrete panels, and brick walls juxtaposed against lightweight upper-level facade elements reflects a contextual response to the industrial scale to the east and the residential, low-rise character to the west. Sustainability is a key focus of the development with integrated ESD features and a design to achieve a 7.5-star average energy rating. A high level of community engagement and a collaborative approach between Assemble, the design team, and the local council resulted in a swift town planning approval process, and the project has recently begun construction. Assemble Communities is working on the project alongside Super Housing Partnerships and Housing Choices Australia, with backing from HESTA.