Forest Gardens Estate

Residential Development

––With a land area of 8.3 hectares, this former school site on Canterbury Road, Forest Hill, was converted to a medium density development of around 200 homes. The estate won the UDIA award for the best medium density development in Victoria in 1997.

1996-1998

Forest Hill, Victoria

CLIENT: Brown Property Group


Urban Design

  • Utilises seven different house designs provided by Villaworld
  • Laid out in a grid type arrangement
  • Areas of open space include communal BBQ’s, which promote a community atmosphere
  • Design provides different walking routes within the site and to the adjacent residential areas as well as to the nearby Forest Hills Shopping Centre
  • Town planning including community consultation; input from the surrounding community resulted in some design changes
  • Through this consultation the final design achieved acceptance of both the council and the community and received a planning permit without the need for a tribunal hearing

Landscape Architecture

  • Retention of native trees throughout the site provides an important visual element and gives the development a sense of history
  • Existing trees have been incorporated into the design of open space areas
  • Walkways create spaces that provide a buffer to surrounding houses
  • A large Pin Oak in the centre of the site is used to nestle between school buildings in a paved courtyard
  • A steep embankment has been attractively landscaped to front Canterbury Road and is now a feature of the site

Although this development is higher density than that of the surrounding area the elimination of front fences and landscaping gives an enhanced feeling of openness. This assists in helping this development sit well with the surrounding neighbourhood character. These features together with the Urban Design, Landscaping and particular attention to retention of significant trees were recognised by the UDIA judges who awarded this development the Best Medium Density Development in Victoria in 1997.