Often when people think of Canberra, they think of wide streets, single-storey detached housing, large blocks and suburban sprawl. Not any more. Crace is a new suburb in Gungahlin in Canberra’s north, developed through a joint venture between the ACT Government’s Land Development Agency and Crace Developments, a consortium that includes CIC Australia (lead partner and project manager), Defence Housing Australia, CHC Affordable Housing and Tatebrook.
“Crace is different to other housing developments in the ACT as it offers choice and diversity in the dwelling types and a product mix to suit different demographics,” says Hoa Luu, urban design manager at CIC Australia. “There is higher-density smart terrace living, compact courtyard houses, duplexes and apartments in the urban precinct, and traditional detached homes in the surrounding suburban setting.”
A demonstration village has been constructed at Crace to showcase the full range of housing products being offered within the urban core, as well as the house types in the suburban precinct. Key to the overall character of the Crace development is the high standard of design quality and the carefully chosen palette of finishes, selected to ensure a cohesive aesthetic and sense of place.
A panel of seven architects has provided a suite of designs and all materials have been chosen for their outstanding construction features, excellence and innovation, and their contribution to the modern styling that epitomises Crace.
ScyonTM Cladding, an advanced lightweight cement composite material, was chosen for the terraces’ external walls, and has been used throughout the village. Designed for a modern look and heavy-duty performance, a range of ScyonTM profiles – including the MatrixTM, AxonTM, LineaTM and StriaTM – add personality within the holistic approach.
“Scyon was chosen for a number of reasons,” says Luu. “Buildability and ease of installation during construction, durability over the life cycle of the building and the range of cladding profiles provide a contemporary modern urbanity. The many profiles offer a lot of cladding choice for individuals to express their own style while keeping with the character of Crace.”
While terraces form an integral part of Australia’s national urban history, the truth is that they have not always performed well, and in the past they have been cold and dark. With the help of ScyonTM, Crace has brought terraces into the twenty-first century. “A combination of clever planning and design of the interiors, along with correct orientation and the use of lightweight cladding with the appropriate insulation, has provided a modern, well-ventilated, light-filled terrace home that provides better thermal performance throughout the year,” says Luu.