What is significant?
The HCV Strathmerton Street estate, comprising the walk-up flats constructed c.1955 to a standard design by the Architect's Panel of the Housing Commission of Victoria, in Strathmerton Street, Reservoir between Fordham Road and Royal Parade, including the blocks facing Fordham Street, Lane Street, Marchant Street, Royal Parade and Whitelaw Street. The following elements contribute to the significance of the place:
- The form, original external materials and detailing, and siting of the flats and associated infrastructure including outbuildings.
- The mature trees including a Silky Oak (Grevillea robusta), Oaks (Quercus sp.), Ash (Fraxinus sp.), and Cypresses (Cupressus sp.)
Later additions and alterations to the original buildings, the rear playground, and the boundary fencing are not significant.
How is it significant?
The HCV Strathmerton Street estate is of local historic, architectural and aesthetic significance to the City of Darebin.
Why is it significant?
The HCV Strathmerton Street estate is historically significant as evidence of the response by the Housing Commission of Victoria to the housing shortage experienced in Victoria after the Second World War. Flats were seen to provide an economical alternative to the single family house at the time when the housing shortage and labour for construction was critical and this estate, one of the largest groups of walk-up flats constructed by the Commission to that time, demonstrates how they increasingly played a central role in the type of housing provided by the Commission in the post-war era. Earlier Commission estates in Darebin were of the garden suburb style such as at Newlands and Merrilands and although walk up flats were often interspersed with single houses on the estates in order to provide a variety of accommodation choices, it is less common to have them arranged along in a large separate group along a street. (Criteria A & B)
The HCV Strathmerton Street estate is architecturally and aesthetically significant as a good representative example of a post-Second World War public housing estate that illustrates the development of the layout and design principles applied by the Commission in early medium density housing estates. The consistent front setbacks from Strathmerton Street, face brick walls in red and cream brick and terra cotta tile roofing and landscapingis a clear expression of the design aesthetic of the period and philosophy as promoted by the Architects' Panel. The now mature trees contribute to the garden setting for the estate, which enhances the streetscape along Strathmerton Street. (Criteria D & E)