Rachel Foster Apartments, Sydney

The Rachel Foster public housing project has just been completed. This project comprises the adaptive re-use of the historic former Rachel Foster Hospital. The original hospital consisted of a series of 4 early modernist buildings and outdoor spaces in roughly the same configuration as the new scheme. The main building was retained as well as the colonnade of a second building which was incorporated into the new scheme. The project also retained an original circular garden forecourt. The final design consists of 260 units in 4 buildings in the suburb of Redfern. The buildings range from 4 to 7 storeys. The southern-most building has been retained and re-designed as apartments. We have developed a new façade treatment to better fit into the streetscape and one which is a contemporary design. The 2 central buildings are entirely new and include a 2 storey basement car park. The northern most building has been reconfigured in the manner of the traditional terrace houses which characterise the area.

The site, located in Redfern, a historic inner city area close to the Sydney CBD. The area has a fine grain of traditional buildings. As such the design is a large in-fill scheme which seeks to knit the new housing into the traditional character of the area. The original circular gardens have been reconfigured as a public retail space. This area is activated by neighbourhood convenience retail such as cafes, convenience stores and restaurants. This will activate the central space and create a vibrant community amenity to activate the streetscape and enliven the precinct. This area will be given over to the community.

The spaces between the buildings now create a series of passive outdoor landscaped areas containing seating areas and planting. New off-form concrete walls interface with the original stonework to create pleasant areas for social interaction with the new tree canopy providing shade and cooling. There is also provision for an additional roof terrace on building D.

The existing building has been heavily re-configured such that, like the new buildings provide high quality dwellings that meet Sydney’s high standards of sustainable residential design. The design of the apartments has been influenced by the principles of passive solar design to maximise natural ventilation. The design incorporates deep balcony overhangs and vertical timber louvres to maximise solar protection and minimise energy use. The common lobbies are all naturally ventilated. The proposal contains water collection and recycling initiatives for the garden areas.

The character of facades is influenced by the art deco character of the former hospital buildings. At the same time, we have emphasised the horizontal lines in order to minimise the apparent bulk and height of the scheme. This creates a patterning which introduces a diagonal movement which adds interest and articulation. We sought a design which is progressive and contemporary with a mixture of warm and earthy materials. The overall effect is a sculptural composition which will create a unique contemporary inner city precinct with its own distinct identity.



Mosaic Sussex St – Spec Sheet

Developer Kaymet Pty Ltd
Structural Engineer ACE consulting
Builder Kayment Pty Ltd
Stormwater Engineer ACE consulting
Mechanical Engineer ACE consulting
Electrical Engineer ACE consulting
Fire Engineer James Alexander
Landscape Geoscapes
Traffic Transport and Traffic
BCA Consultant AED

Lighting Atom Lighting
Masonry Boral Bricks
Windows and glass Crown Windows
wall cladding Off Formconcrete
Aluminium Srceens CnT
Kitchen Appliances Miele
Sinks Reece
Tapware Reece
Toilets Caroma
Carpets Victoria Carpets
Paint Dulux
Tiles Ming Tian
Basins Caroma
Water Heaters Rheem

CAD Autocad/Revit
Visualisation 3-D Studio, Maya, Rhino

Team: Tony Owen, Marianna Mioduszewski Murray Fuller, Winnie Tsang,