Lakeview in Yarralumla is a group of eleven, near-identical three-bedroom townhouses designed by Harry Seidler and Associates in 1984. The complex is one of only three medium-density housing projects in Canberra designed by Seidler, the others being the earlier Campbell Group Housing and the now-demolished Garran Housing. It won the Australian Institute of Architects Enduring Architecture Award in 2017.
This multi–unit development is in an RZ1 zone and although clearly a beautifully resolved and iconic development, it is not possible to produce a similar development under current planning policies and regualtions.
The townhouses incorporate a number of long-established Seidleresque themes: continuous north-facing glazing, subtended between expressed party walls, carefully modulated wall surfaces, inset balconies and a limited palette of robust materials—grey face brickwork, render, concrete floors, tiled roofs, painted fibre-cement panels and timber doors and stair treads.
The housing group sits comfortably within its environment, the shared garden provides opportunities for casual encounters between residents, and the absence of fences or privacy walls to the north promotes easy access to Stirling Park.
Lakeview residents have described how the architecture of the townhouse group has been an ongoing source of delight, and instrumental in engendering a special kind of community: one in which residents respect each other's privacy, but also share common interests and work together on communal projects such as gardening.
There is greater environmental awareness and concern about climate change and protection of Canberra's undeveloped hills and ridges.
Canberra continues to grow outwards with new suburbs in Gungahlin, Molonglo and soon West Belconnen that are more dense than the older suburbs. These newer suburbs are heavily reliant on private cars for transport to work and commercial facilities.
The NCDC engaged interstate architects to develop medium density schemes, like Harry Seidler’s Lakeview development in Yarralumla.