Common Ground Gungahlin

“Low-cost supportive housing initiative focused on providing quality tenant outcomes for people who have experienced chronic homelessness.”

Project Details

Location: Gungahlin, Canberra ACT

Country: Ngunnawal

Completion: 2016

Awards: Award for Residential Housing - Multiple Housing, ACT Architecture Awards 2016

This 40 unit building in North Canberra, created by Collins Pennington to provide accommodation for low income residents and those at risk of homelessness, so surpassed expectations that on an open day, random visitors asked whether any were available for purchase?

Board member of the Common Ground initiative – and an architect herself – Fiona Smith du Toit, tells that the stacked, stepped and solid five and six level building is “so generous” in the scale of its single bedroom apartments and the various ground floor communal facilities that it presented as anything but institutional.

By appointing CPA to the task, du Toit says the project, funded by a Government, philanthropic and community partnership, was “in a safe pair of hands with a practice who understood the opportunity it represented and that always argued the case for a quality result”.

The units all enjoy outdoor balconies, opportunities for cross-ventilation, natural light and “are concise but comfortable, well-appointed and well-detailed”.

Beyond representing a benchmarking project for the affordable housing sector, Common Ground was recognised in the annual ACT Chapter Australian Institute of Architects awards for its merits as the best multi-residential development of 2016.