VincentCare's Flemington Road project a boost for homeless housing

St Vincent de Paul Society's VincentCare has proposed a major inner city development that will go some way to meeting the needs of inner city Melbourne's most disadvantaged individuals.

The care provider has proposed a large-scale redevelopment of 179-191 Flemington Road, located opposite Melbourne's hospitals precinct. Under the plan, VincentCare's rebuilt facility would lead to expanded crisis accommodation capacity and a relocation of its Community Centre to the Flemington Road portion of the development.

According to Tract Consultants, the co-located accommodation and service platform will be a Victorian first.

179-191 Flemington Road North Melbourne application summary

Chapman Street perspective of the new development. Planning image: MGS Architects
  • Application lodged June 2016
  • Existing use: Ozanam House & Bailly House over 2-3 levels
  • Proposed: 11 level Homeless Resource Centre and Accommodation at 38.53 metres
  • 134 dwellings: 60 x 1BR short stay, 48 x 1BR medium stay and 26 x 1BR long stay apartments
  • 45 staff to service the Homeless Resource Centre and Accommodation building
  • 22 car parking spaces within a basement level
  • Proposed: 20 townhouses to Chapman Street
  • 14 x 2BR and 6 x 3BR townhouses with 40 car spaces
  • Expected project cost: $49.5 million

Tract Consultants and MGS Architects form the spearhead of the development team, and have sought feedback from a number of parties including the City of Melbourne and the Department of Health and Human Services.

The feedback has influenced the design of the intended development which has been labelled a project of State significance. According to the town planning report, City of Melbourne are "highly supportive of the development concept and the sophisticated proposition for an exciting typology / programme."

In light of the recent kerfuffle surrounding approved built form and flight paths being hindered, Air Ambulance expect no impact on the helicopter flight paths into or out of the Royal Children's Hospital.

Design basis

MGS Architects' previous award-winning projects

Whilst the associated Urban Design Report goes into great detail about the various national and international projects which informed the design, certain MGS Architects traits are apparent within 179-191 Flemington Road's design.

Seen above are existing award-winning MGS Architects designs for Chapel Street Community Housing and the CBD's Drill Hall Community Hub and Housing projects. The use of varied colours (particularly green) and brick is apparent across all three designs, with the possible intent of breaking up the built form of each project.

Regardless, 179-191 Flemington Road's expected finishes include red and grey brick, precast panels, glazing, green and grey metal screens and timber cladding.

Covering the needs of the vulnerable

660 Elizabeth Street, Melbourne. Image: Montlaur

The history of Melbourne's evolving public housing needs took a leap forward during 2010 with the completion of Common Ground at 660 Elizabeth Street. Victoria’s first supportive housing development included 131 affordable apartments in addition to " coordinated support for people who had experienced long-term homelessness or who were at risk of homelessness."

Purposely built for Melbourne's homeless, Common Ground was a partnership project between Yarra Community Housing, Home Ground and the Department of Human Services.

Whilst 179-191 Flemington Road is expected to be delivered under the guidance of VincentCare, it represents the next step in the process of catering toward the needs of Melbourne's most vulnerable.

179-191 Flemington Road North Melbourne development team

  • Developer: VincentCare 
  • Architect: MGS Architects
  • Town Planner: Tract Consultants
  • Heritage Consultant: Lovell Chen
  • Traffic Engineer: Cardno  
  • Waste Consultant: SALT
  • Sustainability Consultant: Irwin
  • Landscape Architect: Outlines 

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