Chester Hill Apartments is one of the three projects that were initiated by NSW Land and Housing Corporation (LAHC). LAHC is a self-funded public trading enterprise and is part of the state government’s planning deprtment. Its mission is to address an emerging need for social and affordable housing that responds to the existing and future needs of residents.
LAHC’s key policy is to provide new social housing that is designed to be modern, fit-for-purpose and located close to amenities, vital community services and public transport links. The challenge for this site is the rail corridor that runs along the rear northern boundary. For this reason, the proposed apartment block is required not only to have a generous setback from the rear boundary, but it also needs to mitigate the noise generated by the daily commuter trains. Thus the northern facade of the apartment blocks is articulated like giant finned panels, reminiscent of sound baffles that can reduce the transmission of noise from source to the building occupants. The north-facing central courtyard serves as an open communal space with decking for outdoor activities, inviting landscapes and pathways which link the different parts of the building to increase social interaction between inhabitants of the multi-residential dwelling. On the lower levels, the apartments are contained in a built form that consists of double storey units which are reminiscent of terraced houses. This is more sympathetic to the scale of existing housing in the area and of more human scale on the street level.