Washington Park Masterplan

  • 2020

  • Social Impact

Commissioned By:


Designed In:


Washington Park is a completed Master Planned urban renewal project for new integrated Social, Affordable and Private Housing. The project demonstrates a new paradigm for social housing urban renewal models for integrated development with superior outcomes for Government, residents and the wider community.

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Image: Patrick Bingham Hall
Image: Tom Ferguson
Image: Tom Ferguson
Image: Tom Ferguson
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  • The Washington Park project involves the transformation of part of the Riverwood Housing Estate. The estate is typical of the concentrated housing estates of the 1960’s and 1970’s. Due to the over-concentration of social housing the area became stigmatised in appearance and reputation. The majority of housing stock was not fit for purpose and there was a high number of socially-disadvantaged households leading to poor outcomes in the local community and schools. There was also a lack of distinction between private, communal and public spaces coupled with a street pattern that fragmented the community and concealed parklands.

  • Washington Park now includes a civic square, park and public domain activated by a new library, community centre and shops. New connections link to the parklands to the north and form part of a street-grid transitioning to the larger estate to the south and west. The idea was to create an urban space (Garden Square) which would become a new civic hub to assist the development of the whole estate. The streets and open areas are flanked by street-edge buildings offering 825 residences, including 150 social apartments. Social and private buildings are indistinguishable and are of the same quality.

  • Washington Park integrates public and private housing in a connected, harmonious and socially diverse community where all residents experience a genuine sense of belonging and inclusion, regardless of the nature of their age, culture, ownership or tenure. The project was a marketing success with a wide range of apartment types starting at affordable price points. The first public/private project of its kind, it has become a benchmark for integrated social housing in Australia. The project demonstrates a new paradigm for social housing urban renewal models for integrated development with superior outcomes for Government, residents and the wider community.

  • Five main sustainability elements are implemented: 1. Community – Local community feedback has been sought at every stage of the development. 2. Sustainability by design – Washington Park aims to reduce each resident’s carbon footprint and energy; a typical apartment at Washington Park will save approximately 4,300kgs of C02 per annum which is the equivalent of taking one car of the road per apartment. 3. Green Washington Park – Washington Park has 11 parks within a one km radius. The masterplan provides a carefully selected richness in texture, colour and seasonal variation including magnolias, jacarandas, flame trees, silky oaks and pear trees. Washington Park has been designed to blend harmoniously with the adjoining landscaped wetlands and around 190 trees and 14,000 plants will be planted throughout the extensive public areas. 4. Convenient location – being strategically connected to an extensive road and public transport network, Washington Park is only 600m from Riverwood Station and closer to several major bus lines. 5. Integrated water management - the landscape and civil design was designed to cope with the demands of overland flow and run-off to prevent flooding within the development or the overloading of the existing stormwater facilities. Green streets and rain-gardens also contribute as bio-retention strategies.