Benambra Intentional Community
Benambra is a unique social housing development made possible by the NDIS and is the first “intentional community” to be designed and constructed in Australia. The brainchild of 3 highly committed and loving mothers (the GAL’s (Getting a Life)) this 25 townhouse development incudes three purpose-designed dwellings for three severely disabled young men – their sons. The project is the culmination of dogged determination, significant lobbying and great patience for close to a decade. In effect the three young men and their carers are the first and indeed head tenants of this innovative community. Although the development achieves quite a high density over the 7,212m² site, the masterplan concept incorporates an attractive common / play area near a magnificent remnant Eucalypt and an integrated pedestrian network through carefully considered dwelling siting. All dwellings benefit from excellent northern solar access with attractive private courtyards. Benambra incorporates 4 main dwelling types, each designed for specific resident needs and with quite different layouts. Nevertheless, the development feels cohesive with a warm palette of materials, consistent roof lines and a distinctive entry portico detail common to all dwellings. This important initiative set the benchmark for future communities of this nature across Australia.