Feature Focus On
The Purpose of this Feature Focus:
We walk you through the behind the scenes of constructing Viv’s Place – at a glance. From the cheers, to the challenges. It’s what didn’t make the press releases, but equally deserves to be shared.
Setting the Scene
Viv’s Place, located in Dandenong, is an Australian-first project developed for the sole purpose of supporting women and children survivors of family violence. A safe place to call home, it serves as an apartment building with permanent housing and wraparound support services for more than 60 at-risk women and 130 children impacted by family violence and homelessness.
Developed by Launch Housing Limited, Viv’s Place is named after Launch Housing’s first social worker – Vivienne McCutcheon.
Inspired by the Sugar Hill Housing model in New York, which has helped thousands of people out of homelessness for more than 30 years, the shared mission behind the development was to build a safe and supportive space for at-risk women and children.
At its core, the project aims to create an environment with a sense of home and community, providing a fresh start, and stability.
The proudest moment of the build was the completion day. We were able to meet some of the at-risk women who would be living at Viv’s Place. Through speaking to them and understanding their perspective, we had the privilege of a well-rounded understanding of what it means to have a safe environment for themselves and their children.
We finished this project with the knowledge that Viv’s Place will allow women to recover, rebuild, and foster a healthy family environment. It’s a place that creates new futures for their children, who will be supported to stay in school and reach their full potential.
Part and parcel of a build during COVID, the main challenges were navigating and working around lockdowns, along with the changing rules for construction during that time.
The feature of Viv’s Place – the façade – was a worthy challenge, and we’re glad we got it right.
We delivered on an Australian-first building which is home to 60 dual key apartments, along with communal kitchen and living spaces, children’s play spaces, offices, medical rooms, a landscaped courtyard, and community garden.
Within the unique perforated façade panels visible from the outside, residents within Viv’s Place can access support services on site, including education, employment, health and wellbeing, parenting, counselling and trauma care.
As one of our most meaningful projects to date, we’re so proud to be a part of Australian-first history and to be a building block towards a positive future for our communities.
Developer: Launch Housing
Structural/Services Engineer: WSP