Some of the best examples were built over 40 years ago! Hughes Townhouses were among the first dwellings in the new region of Woden, with Hughes being the first suburb.
Block 3-16 Section 9 Hughes
Block sizes: 495-775sqm
Double brick, lightweight vertical timber cladding, exposed eave rafters, low pitch metal roof
Duplex Style-Zero side boundary setback
8 Single storey + 6 Double storey
Deep front setback
Northern aspect P.P.O.S
Zero side boundary setback
1200mm eave to western facade
Carport car accommodation
Built in the early-mid 1960’s, these row of duplex style dwelling that stretch from Hughes pre-school to Kitchener street are a great example, not only of modern Victorian architecture but also of forward thinking planning principles that are rare in more recent times because of planning constraints.
Commissioned by the NCDC, the row of duplexes include 8 single storey designs and 6 double storey designs, which within their group are the same floorplan that have been arranged in a mirrored format.
The planning and design intent between the single and dual storey designs are quite similar in that they span boundary to boundary with zero side setbacks across their blocks, which range from 495m² for the dual storey designs all the way up to 775m² for the largest of the single storey homes.
All dwellings were designed as 3 bedroom, 1 bathroom homes with single carport car accommodation. Given they face a main thoroughfare, the homes were setback close to 13m from the front boundary, which provided a landscape buffer for noise and privacy. The development is also orientated well with the long edge of the boundary, facing in a northerly direction, which provides a sun-soaked, large rear yard, but also provides an option for future additions that can take advantage of the solar orientation.
A key planning consideration in the design of these dwellings was the use of the partiwall arrangement and provision of a carport. The social impact of a carport was a very considered decision, as it encourages neighbours to communicate on a daily basis. This grew the community and strengthened relationships, creating almost a passive neighbourhood watch system. It allowed the use of the deep front yards for play where there was always surveillance. It is the social planning that is evident in these designs that we now lack in our planning strategies to create communities.
It is the combination of good urban planning principles and social awareness that led to this row of modern sophisticated homes, each with their own individuality, but strong and united as a whole.