Highett Common is set to become Victoria’s first medium-density net zero community, with a wealth of environmentally conscious elements, and over 42% of the 9.3-hectare site being dedicated to public greenspaces.
To achieve this vision, Tract Consultants has been appointed as the landscape architect to lead Highett Common’s precinct design and the preservation of the site’s native species, respecting its former life as a CSIRO conservation site.
As the landscape architect behind the revitalisation of the Great Ocean Road trail, and with over 50 years of experience across urban design, town planning and landscape architecture, Tract was the perfect candidate for preserving the site’s coastal locale.
“The conservation area, as well as the bayside coastal feel, inspired a cooling and calm landscape character that includes natural materials and soft colour tones and textures.
“The landscape response and materials palette also reflect the organic nature of the existing conservation area vegetation as well as the essence of relaxed bayside living,” says Senior Principal Landscape Architect at Tract, Mariano Lopez
Once completed, Highett Common will be home to a 3hectare conservation zone that will support the conservation of native flora and fauna. The team at Tract undertook a close analysis of the site’s natural ecosystem and took part in consultations with local conservation groups and council to inform the design.
Locally endangered Plains Grassy Woodland trees will be protected on-site, alongside 300-year-old eucalyptus trees and a number of existing River Red Gum and rare Yellow Box trees. The preservation of these trees will provide valuable food resources for local species of wildlife, including the threatened Grey-headed Flying fox and ensure the survival of multiple other types of native species of fauna.
The vast majority of the newly planted fauna and flora on-site will be indigenous to the Bayside area. This unique approach to plant selection will create and restore natural habitats, drawing in local native species.
When designing the precinct, Tract worked closely alongside architecture firm, Clarke Hopkins Clarke to ensure a seamless connection between the natural and built forms.
“Our design approach is to ensure that the landscape architectural treatment responds to the site conditions and context, that is respectful of place and provides a meaningful site response.” Mr Lopez said.
Not only will Highett Common’s future residents have access to an abundance of open green spaces, but the site will also incorporate nature-themed playgrounds for young residents, a new community library and a host of resort-style amenities to meet every need.
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