57-87 McMahon Road; 103-111 and 108-122 Royal Parade; 71-91 and 68-88 Marchant Avenue; 49-69 and 50-70 Whitelaw Street; 38-52 and 64-74 Strathemerton Street; 36-56 and 47-59 Lane Crescent RESERVOIR, DAREBIN CITY
What is significant?
The Housing Commission of Victoria timber pre-fabricated houses estate in East Reservoir. The houses constructed for the HCV by Thermo Insulated Units and erected on site by Tempo Builders Pty Ltd and A.V. Jennings between 1951 and 1953 on the following properties contribute to the significance of the place:
- 36-56 & 47-59 Lane Crescent
- 57-59 & 63-87 McMahon Road,
- 74-80 & 84-88 and 71-81 & 85-91 Marchant Avenue
- 103-111 & 108, 110, 120 & 122 Royal Parade
- 44-52, 64-70 & 74 Strathmerton Street
- 49-69 & 50-70 Whitelaw Street
The original external materials, design, detailing and detached siting of the houses with consistent front and side setbacks, consistent scale and surviving examples of low cyclone wire and steel tubing front fences contribute to the significance of the precinct.
The houses at 61 McMahon Road, 68, 68A, 70, 72, 81 & 82 Marchant Avenue, 112-118 Royal Parade, 72 Strathmerton Street, and later additions to the contributory houses are not significant.
How is it significant?
The HCV East Reservoir estate is of local historic, architecturaland technical significance to Darebin City
Why is it significant?
The HCV East Reservoir estate is of historical significance as tangible evidence of an important program by the Victorian Government to rapidly increase house production and supply during the post war housing shortage. The program included both local and overseas pre-fabricated construction, although much larger numbers of houses were able to be ordered and delivered from overseas. Overseas production was a vital component in easing the housing supply crisis as local companies were unable to meet high demands for houses and this estate is of particular significance as one of the earliest house shipments to arrive in Australia and illustrates the important role of the Architects' Panel of the Housing Commission of Victoria, which was expanded to include advice on suitable overseas companies and the tendering process. Although relatively shortlived, the program of imported pre-fabricated timber housing was an important and innovative initiative and complemented other initiatives by the HCV such as the Concrete House Project which was an alternative form of mass production. (Criteria A & H)
The HCV East Reservoir estate is of architectural and technical significance as an example of a large scale pre-fabricated housing estate, which employed factory based techniques to rapidly speed up construction. Although based largely on traditional timber framing methods, pre-fabrication typically involves a great number of logistical issues of packing, transport and re-erection. That such a large program was able to be undertaken in the immediate post war years and at a considerable distance from the destination of these buildings is a testament to the considerable technical expertise of the Commission and the Architect's Panel. The consistency of the housing and the extent to which development in one key period is apparent is integral to the significance of the estate. (Criteria D & F)