Winter Park, Doncaster
A pioneering estate in native landscape
Category Estate Development | Project Winter Park, High Street and Timber Ridge, Doncaster | Designers Graeme Gunn, Architect and Ellis Stones, Landscape Design
The Winter Park cluster housing estate was developed in the early 1970s, when Doncaster, then at the fringe of metropolitan Melbourne was being converted from native vegetation and orchards to a standard pattern of suburban housing subdivision with rectilinear layout and homogenous setbacks.
The developer, Merchant Builders, sought to demonstrate a new approach to suburban housing development that better integrates the dwellings and the landscape.
The siting and design of the houses was driven by an engagement with environmental and amenity issues like access, solar orientation, views, privacy and the relationships between interior and exterior spaces. The low-profile buildings were pioneering in their use of design to achieve energy efficient, environmentally friendly, affordable yet comfortable family homes. Winter Park provides a similar number of dwellings as a conventional subdivision but makes more efficient use of outdoor spaces, creates substantial communal parkland and preserves remnant bush and established trees.
Designing an estate to integrate communal landscaped open space prior to subdivision can result in a more attractive and more efficient use of the land. The result at Winter Park is a very high standard of liveability achieved with very modest dwellings that has stood the test of time.