ISSUE 11 – Closebourne Village Wins UDIA Awards for Excellence 2015
Closebourne Village in Morpeth was recently awarded with the coveted UDIA NSW Award for Excellence 2015 – NSW & ACT for Senior’s Independent Living Category.
This development provides a unique opportunity to create a new residential architectural language evolved from respect for the site’s significant heritage built context as well as the iconic rural curtilage. Our response has been to develop a modern rural vernacular language that takes its cues from the heritage buildings of Morpeth Estate, the village of Morpeth and the broader Australian rural and agricultural architectural context.
An architectural vocabulary has been developed that addresses each of the distinct development precincts comprising of 327 dwellings, which is made up of farmlets, residential lots, terraces, and retirement villas. Each precinct has its own identifiable architectural building types and forms. These individual elements all work within the overall overarching principals.
The architectural language is one of simple agricultural forms with gables, hipped roofs, and verandahs. A consistent colour palette range is applied over the varying forms tying the component parts into a unified whole.
Building forms and materials are typical of the area and local domestic precedents and include weatherboard cladding, painted masonry, steel roof sheeting. Building proportions, roof pitch and size, scale and detailing are influenced by the local precedents. Materials are non-reflective with larger window areas with a strong verticality screened by deep verandah. Colours have been inspired by the local trees and toned to blend into the landscape.
The existing and historical entrance to the site and alignment to Morpeth House is re-established allowing a visual connection from Morpeth Road to Morpeth House. This entrance and access to the village would allow both visitors and residence to experience and have reference to significant and historic landmarks on the site.
Central to the preservation of the site was restoring and then preserving the significant heritage structures. This was achey understood this meant that they would not be museum pieces but living buildings that had purpose to the modern community. This meant adaptation but done in a way to minimize impacts to the historic fabric and restoring (using appropriate methods and meterials) those parts that were preserved. This was a very long and complex process which heritage was deeply involved in.The streets are designed to follow the topography and contours of the site as well as providing opportunities for the individual lots to achieve the best orientation for solar access as well as structured to allow visual connectivity with the rural context surrounding the site. The roads have a hierarchy that reflects the various aspects of the concept plan and allows for both a rural yet intimate streetscape environment as well as considering both safety and service aspects of the site.