2018 Sydney Design Awards

spaces, objects, visual, graphic, digital & experience design, design champion, best studio & best start-up, plus over 40 specialist categories

accelerate transformation, celebrate courage, growing demand for design

Harts Landing [DRAFT]




Project Overview

Specialising in urban renewal projects, developers PAYCE in collaboration with Evolve Housing, a not-for-profit community housing group, created Harts Landing, an integrated residential development in Penrith.
Harts Landing is another contribution to the new architecture of modern living for which PAYCE has been internationally recognised.

The development consists of three buildings, two of which are u-shaped, rising 9-storeys above a podium level of common areas and two levels of car parking with 270 spaces. Residents enjoy private recreational facilities including landscaped gardens and BBQ areas.

Construction commenced on Harts Landing in April 2016 and completed in February 2018, four months ahead of schedule. Of the 268 apartments, 134 sold on the open market, with the other 134 apartments retained and managed by Evolve Housing, through Echo Realty. The 134 apartments retained by Evolve Housing are for affordable and social housing. The private one and two bedroom apartments, all with access to one parking space each, sold within three months of launch.

Only 100m from Penrith station, Harts Landing is positioned to take advantage of Penrith’s new government infrastructure projects that include the upgrading of public transport systems, green space improvements and new roads such as the West Connex Motorway connecting Penrith to Sydney CBD by a 50-minute drive.





Evolve Housing - Land Owner
PAYCE - Developer
Robertson + Marks - Architect
Turf Design - Landscape Architect
JAPM - Project Managers
Dasco Australia - Builder
LINK - Sales & Marketing
Stimson and Baker - Planning

Project Brief

Harts Landing was designed as a nine-storey flat-roofed building when viewed from all elevations of the building. Elements of the building have been recessed to read slimmer buildings with each building separated. The buildings have adopted a staggered set back along the southern boundary of the site, which forms the rear boundary of the neighbouring commuter car park associated with Penrith Rail Station.

Designed by Architecture and Interior Design firm Robertson + Marks, Harts Landing offers sophisticated, open plan and light-filled spaces in a number of modern interior schemes and every apartment is designed to bring about tranquil, air-filled spaces with modern simplicity in design whilst set above a vibrant streetscape.

The building has been carefully sculpted to directly respond to its location with its main axis running east-west. Consequently, units are oriented north-south and adopt a single aspect orientation. Harts Landing has been designed in a contemporary feel yet grounded in cost-effective materials including precast panels with limited lightweight steel framing and applied finished panel. It consists of three buildings with contemporary exterior features including horizontal louvres, aluminium balcony balustrades with opaque glass and stunning landscaped gardens. Both external and internal finishes are simple, elegant and sophisticated. The use of the punctuating framed window and balcony elements along both the northern and southern facade is used to create a sophisticated, rhythmic aesthetic, yet creating strong visual interest.

Project Innovation/Need

Harts Landing is entirely aimed at providing affordable housing accommodation consistent with the future community of Penrith.

Harts Landing, Penrith is a landmark development that brings together the private and not-for-profit sectors in a large-scale development to address housing need. Owned by Evolve Housing a community housing provider and developed by PAYCE, Harts Landing will house a street frontage commercial tenancy including a social enterprise café and a private market realty office to manage the affordable (and other) rental properties. Harts Landing was only possible because Evolve Housing was able to purchase the site from the government for about 30 percent below market value. It is a true mixed tenure model that is integrated and socially inclusive, with 124 of these apartments being affordable housing, 10 social housing dwellings, and 134 private market housing dwellings. Each building has its own entrance and all the finishes throughout the development are identical, there is no difference between the affordable and private units.

Harts Landing will be home to over 500 people in the heart of Western Sydney where the need for affordable housing is crucial. It is located within a 5 minute walk of Penrith train station, buses, shopping centres, education and employment facilities as we know that it is important to connect people not only with affordable housing but also with the amenities to help them thrive in their community.

Design Challenge

Harts Landing was planned, designed and delivered successfully. The partnership between Evolve Housing and PAYCE to deliver a development consisting of private and affordable housing within one development was a positive experience for all parties.

The project’s name ‘Harts Landing’ highlighted and recognised the efforts and achievements of William ‘Billy’ Hart who was the first ever Australian to be awarded a pilot’ certificate. Known as Australia’s first aviator, in 1911 Billy Hart flew 76kms from the site in Penrith to Sydney, via St Marys, completing the first cross-country flight in NSW.

The development contains a distinct and colourful strip in the fire stair on the northern vertical face of each building to provide its own character. The building contains a NatHERs star rating of 6.8 contributing to its efficient use of heating and cooling energy use.

Harts Landing contributes to the new urban environment in Penrith, with each apartment having off-street parking, air-conditioning, district views and very close if not immediate access to amenities in the Penrith CBD.

The several apartment types contained within the development provide several design options for purchasers and tenants to choose from offering varied living conditions and aspects.

This is a landmark development for the community housing sector. This sustainable housing model is a breakthrough for the sector and demonstrates how a community housing provider and property development company with the support of government, can partner to grow the supply of appropriate and affordable housing.


Innovative solutions were needed to make the most use of the space available. Industrial size garbage bins were used to eliminate the need for storage of different household bins and a turntable was installed for easy manoeuvring of garbage collection vehicles.

Early in the design process, the hydraulic consultant highlighted a potential issue (experienced on other projects) with the draining layout of the laundry tub in the context of the surrounding drainage pipework. As a result, the main contractor and the hydraulic consultant relocated the connection of the drainage pipe so the risk of backflow was prevented. A simple fix with enormous potential benefits.

To save on project costs and due to the design of the buildings, the crane was programmed to be dismantled at an earlier stage than normal to allow more cost-efficient materials handling equipment to complete the external works (i.e. landscaping and the façade).

Solar energy panels on the roof were installed for the common area energy usage and the building also contains a particularly high Nationwide House Energy Rating Scheme (NatHERs) star rating of 6.8, contributing to its efficient use of heating and cooling energy use. An embedded energy network was also installed to reduce energy costs.

This award celebrates the design process and product of planning, designing and constructing form, space and ambience that reflect functional, technical, social, and aesthetic considerations. Consideration given for material selection, technology, light and shadow.
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