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Creating community spaces with a focus on health and nature

The Tullamore project by Mirvac is centred around nature and connecting communities. Image is indicative only.

HouseLab recently collaborated with Philip Stejskal Architecture (PSA), a Fremantle-based practice, to look at designing a micro-community that can be engaged with on the individual’s own terms. A private living space with the infrastructure necessary to allow this community to flourish.

What PSA created was a unique medium density development that promotes communal spaces and is based on the City of Fremantle’s new policy called ‘Freo Alternative’, which accommodates the ‘Missing Middle’. 

Access to instant hot and cold water outdoors means meeting provides a space to gather and also allows for the an additional meeting spot instead of the typical in-home option

The Missing Middle refers to low-rise medium density developments in walkable neighbourhoods. ‘Missing’ because they have not been allowed under existing planning regulations and ‘Middle’ because they sit between detached single-family homes in the outer ring and mid-to-high-rise apartment buildings in the inner city.

The potential is for opening up suburbs to more than just duplexes, subdivisions and battle-axes. The idea is to create liveable communities for a diverse demographic, catering to the increasing demand for multi-generational solutions as well as flexible workforces, both of which look towards community connections for successful living spaces.

The heart of this community is supported with the right appliances


Whether designing a new home for a family or a building for the wider community, the core considerations remain consistently centred around the human occupant.


The ambition is for a greener and inherently more community focussed framework for the densification of our suburbs, as compared with the ‘battle-axe’ subdivisions infamous for their extensive paved driveways, poor connection to the street and neighbours, and often compromised open space.

One of the key elements was pooling the available open space into a single, collective area where the community can connect. It gathers certain physical components that are commonly effective in bringing people together – a fireplace, a barbeque, a central meeting hub where instant chilled and boiling water was available. 

Access to instant hot and cold water outdoors means meeting provides a space to gather and also allows for the an additional meeting spot instead of the typical in-home option. The specification of this appliance was a key consideration not just for the immediate residents but also to provide amenities for the surrounding communities. PSA also discussed how this central location could also act as community café. Being located in the heart of the communal area it's intended to bring people together.

Moving from concept to reality, a new modern community has emerged just outside of Melbourne’s CBD and is sophisticated yet luxuriously connected to nature.

Formerly the Eastern Golf Course, this site at Doncaster in Victoria is being transformed into the Tullamore masterplanned community by Mirvac. The 8 Edition Homes are located just 15 kilometres from Melbourne’s CBD yet are tranquilly set within a precinct that enjoys beautiful reserve outlooks.

The Zip HydroTap Classic with boiling, chilled and sparkling in chrome was chosen as an upgrade as it offered the widest range of water options, which aligned with the sense of luxury and convenience offered in the exclusive residences. 'The classic and streamlined shape of the Zip matched seamlessly with the other chosen tapware, and the stylish chrome tied in perfectly with the cool tones of the contemporary colour palette,' Harrison Hall, Assistant Development Manager Mirvac, commented. 'All the appliances and fixtures were chosen to create a sense of luxury and maximum durability and the Zip product is no exception.'

The Zip HydroTaps were installed adjacent to the main undermount sink, situated in the middle of the kitchen — 'to offer a new level of ease and convenience to our residents. We expect [they] will find themselves drinking more water due to the ease of use and high capacity output, and will love being able to offer guests a fresh cup of tea or a cool glass of sparking water in seconds.'

With both of these communities the design has not simply been about form, but also firmly grounded in functionality. 


To find out more about Concept Spaces, click here


To find out more about Tullamore, click here