News & Events


July 19, 2021

Two of OCAV’s major housing projects have been recognised at this year’s Victorian Architecture Awards in the Residential Architecture Multiple Housing category.

Rushall Park received a Commendation and Leith Park, an Architecture Award with the Jury citing:

“At a time when aged care is in the spotlight, this project presents an uplifting example of the typology. The most successful move is in the form of oversized, connecting, covered walkways which expand to form seating opportunities. These comfortable, open air spaces encourage unplanned interactions and are just one example of the client and architects’ great sensitivity in considering the residents’ needs.”

Both developments were designed by MGS Architects.

Leith Park was awarded for the design which, according to the jury, shows great sensitivity in considering the needs of the residents.

Rushall Park was commended for its design which “has enabled a thriving community of older citizens housed in dignified yet low-cost contemporary row housing, imbued with respect and joy.”

MGS Architects spokesman Rob McGauran welcomed the awards as a win for affordable housing. He congratulated OCAV for its vision to continue investing in safe, affordable and secure housing for older Victorians.

The multi-million dollar developments provide 81 new homes. The apartments – a mix of one and two bedroom units – are already setting standards for affordable housing. Each apartment is built to dementia and age friendly guidelines – a commitment made by OCAV which is a Victorian Government Age Friendly Community. They also follow the Liveable Housing Design Guidelines’ gold standard design principles, and enjoy a six-star energy rating.

Jury Chair Vanessa Bird said the most successful design move was the oversized, connecting covered walkways which expand to form seating and viewing opportunities across the village.

“Where isolation of residents is a concern, these informal and comfortable, open-air spaces encourage unplanned interactions and allow residents to meet and socialise on neutral territory,” she said.

Another design standout was the way in which the multi-level cluster of units sat comfortably in the surrounding village and its natural environment.

“Units at the low-level benefit from ease of access and connection to the garden, and those higher up the building enjoy the existing trees canopies and expansive views,” she said.

Rushall Park’s development, occupying an extremely long and narrow sliver of remnant land adjacent to the rail line, was commended for the way in which it visually connected to the picturesque heritage-listed village.

“Our home has always been a place where family and friends are welcome.  Our cottage at Rushall Park is no different and the community of friends here is important to us and that’s why their work is part of my art box,” Jennifer Barden said.

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