21 June 2010

Images of Canberra - Crace, a place like no other

| johnboy
Join the conversation
70
crace

A reader who wishes to remain anonymous has sent in the above photos with the following note:

When walking towards the trig on Percival Hill in Gungahlin recently to had to take this shot!

CRACE – a place like no other?

My first thoughts were of one of the scenes in the Jackie Chan movie Police Story.

police story

For mine it made me think more of this.

Got an image of Canberra you want to share with the world? Email it to images@the-riotact.com

Join the conversation

70
All Comments
  • All Comments
  • Website Comments
Latest

Crace, a place like no other.

At least they got the slogan right, if nothing else.

GardeningGirl said :

A further thought, for some people having just enough open space around their home for a street tree at the front and a picnic table out the back is a good thing. Small houses on 800m2 blocks littered with dead grass and dead cars is a waste of land.
And browsing Allhomes (Gungahlin, not specifically Crace), some thoughts about design. I’ve seen one small house with an internal laundry (no, not a so-called European laundry, a full laundry room) and space wasted in lengthening the corridor to allow for a back door, where a simple swap seems to have had the potential to avoid those two undesirable features. Another house has two of the secondary bedrooms off the entry and some distance away from the main bathroom, use to be such a room would have been considered primarily a study rather than a bedroom. I’ve gained the impression that builders are trying to come up with “different” designs and are running into problems when they deal with the constraints of limiting house size and fitting into really tight building envelopes. They might be better served by sticking with a small pool of truly functional floorplans and creating streetscape variety through things like colours, materials and window sizes.

I agree on the designs. I had to buy a little house in the Gungahlin area and am not at all happy with the lay-out. They’ve wasted space on fitting in a “breakfast bench” and now the living area will be tiny. I could only afford buying off the plan though, so no choice there.

I’m also not exactly excited about the small backyard, because I really love my vegetable patch and there won’t be much space for anything else once I’ve established that. But I am happy about the fact that I can easily avoid having lawns (or concrete!) and will fill the available space up with easy care greenery.

I personally could never live in a unit, but I know people who hate gardening so much that they’re happier with just a balcony.

54-11 said :

“Little Boxes”:

Little boxes on the hillside
Little boxes made of ticky tacky

+1

Lovely new slums.

GardeningGirl11:57 pm 05 Oct 11

A further thought, for some people having just enough open space around their home for a street tree at the front and a picnic table out the back is a good thing. Small houses on 800m2 blocks littered with dead grass and dead cars is a waste of land.
And browsing Allhomes (Gungahlin, not specifically Crace), some thoughts about design. I’ve seen one small house with an internal laundry (no, not a so-called European laundry, a full laundry room) and space wasted in lengthening the corridor to allow for a back door, where a simple swap seems to have had the potential to avoid those two undesirable features. Another house has two of the secondary bedrooms off the entry and some distance away from the main bathroom, use to be such a room would have been considered primarily a study rather than a bedroom. I’ve gained the impression that builders are trying to come up with “different” designs and are running into problems when they deal with the constraints of limiting house size and fitting into really tight building envelopes. They might be better served by sticking with a small pool of truly functional floorplans and creating streetscape variety through things like colours, materials and window sizes.

dpm said :

Nevermind these flats, it’s all about Hilltops at Crace now (In case you haven’t heard, they’re highly desirable!!).
Hahahahaha!! Talk about your manufactured hype!!!
And why are there only females in that Hilltops ad (well, one female anyway)? Their research must have worked out females are the ones into ‘highly desiarble’ hilltop locations??
If they’re so highly desirable, why do they plug that ad non-stop? Geeez…..

Of course they are desirable, people are lining up to buy them.

The economist in me says this could be because of constrained supply, but who cares about silly economics anyway.

GardeningGirl10:51 pm 05 Oct 11

Actually, rereading this thread, some of the arguments in favour of this kind of development make sense, and the area will look much better when the landscaping matures just as has happened to other suburbs.
I think factors contributing to the negativity include concerns about the build quality (medium and high density has had bad publicity in recent times), certain flaws in design (eg the aforementioned wc placement), and the advertising (don’t people whose native language is real estate speak realise how it sounds to the rest of us?). Medium density housing is certainly going to suit some people, they deserve to get sensible intelligently designed and solidly built homes and to not have people in other suburbs putting down their choice of residence. But can developers deliver something of substance instead of relying on the over-the-top buzzword-beriddled marketing which only serves to emphasise any shortcomings in the product?

Nevermind these flats, it’s all about Hilltops at Crace now (In case you haven’t heard, they’re highly desirable!!).
Hahahahaha!! Talk about your manufactured hype!!!
And why are there only females in that Hilltops ad (well, one female anyway)? Their research must have worked out females are the ones into ‘highly desiarble’ hilltop locations??
If they’re so highly desirable, why do they plug that ad non-stop? Geeez…..

http://howstuffworks.files.wordpress.com/2010/12/blog-favela-painting-4.jpg

They paint slums in bright colours…. I think that is all that needs to be said.

colourful sydney racing identity1:26 pm 27 Jul 10

bit quiet MP123 – out showing houses at the moment are you?

MP123 said :

I’m sure the people of Balmain and places like that with thousands of terraces complained about the same thing when it was being developed in the 1920-30s

I’ve lived in Balmain and – unlike Crace – I don’t remember having to take a sh*t in the kitchen.

Oh, and living on Sydney Harbour was also a minor plus.

Die Lefty Scum said :

It’s sad to see some people actually swallow the crap fed to them by real estate agents.

The more fools that move out that way the better.

Developments like Crace will attract the stupid and naive to the outer edges of the city, leaving the established suburbs a paradise populated by a ‘better sort of people’.

Die Lefty Scum3:45 pm 26 Jul 10

MP123 said :

I’m sure the people of Balmain and places like that with thousands of terraces complained about the same thing when it was being developed in the 1920-30s… now you can’t find one for under 600-700K – and that’s a dirty run down one.

I predict these will be worth a fortune in years to come given Crace’s relatively central location in the north.

It’s sad to see some people actually swallow the crap fed to them by real estate agents.

colourful sydney racing identity3:27 pm 26 Jul 10

MP123 said :

I’m sure the people of Balmain and places like that with thousands of terraces complained about the same thing when it was being developed in the 1920-30s… now you can’t find one for under 600-700K – and that’s a dirty run down one.

I predict these will be worth a fortune in years to come given Crace’s relatively central location in the north.

Oh, that takes the cake. Crace: the new Balmain. Wouldn’t happen to have an interest in Crace would you?

As the snow flies
On a cold and gray Gungahlin mornin’
A poor little baby child is born
In the ghetto
And his mama cries
’cause if there’s one thing that she don’t need
it’s another hungry mouth to feed
In the ghetto

MP123 said :

I predict these will be worth a fortune in years to come given Crace’s relatively central location in the north.

Lol. Looking at the low standard of construction used in Crace, I don’t think any of these houses will stil be standing in 70 years. That I find the comparison itself between Balmain and Crace laughable.

But go right ahead and buy out there MP123. The more people that move out to the (future)slums of Gungahlin, the less competition for land in the established suburbs.

I’m sure the people of Balmain and places like that with thousands of terraces complained about the same thing when it was being developed in the 1920-30s… now you can’t find one for under 600-700K – and that’s a dirty run down one.

I predict these will be worth a fortune in years to come given Crace’s relatively central location in the north.

Why are Crace allowed to have huge billboards? I thought the ACT had a no billboards law.

sdcno1 said :

This looks like fun.

Who’s turn is it to post on unflattering photo of their house so canberran pubes/plebs can critique it!

… and all the people who live in the crappy suburb can get all pissy about it.

Good times.

Ugly houses, ugly suburb. Low density housing FTW! Long gone are the days when you can come home and unwind in the backyard with some music. And don’t even get me started on the fact that Canberra is turning into a rental nightmare, with people only buying reasonable houses (not McMansions) for the purpose of renting at huge prices…While there might be a market for these types of houses, the more Canberra is turning into Sydney, the more I am wanting to leave here after 25 years

I should add that the place I rented in London was a terrace house (built in 1860 or 61), three storeys high and had three seperate flats, each with at least two bedrooms in them.

Maybe this is what is needed in Canberra to solve our housing problem, which one can safely say is only going to get worse in the future.

Reminds me of Marrakech, but with colour as everything in Marrakech is a dusty pink.

colourful sydney racing identity1:07 pm 07 Jul 10

sdcno1 said :

This looks like fun.

Who’s turn is it to post on unflattering photo of their house so canberran pubes/plebs can critique it!

Just remember sunshine, if there were no public servants in canberra you wouldn’t have a job.

This looks like fun.

Who’s turn is it to post on unflattering photo of their house so canberran pubes/plebs can critique it!

Bromford, well said 🙂

I agree that the photo of Crace above does not look all that flash, but for all of those who are bagging it, when was the last time you saw a development of this size actually try to do something a bit different?

Having apartments in the middle of nowhere wouldn’t feel so strange if there was actually the infrastructure around to support it. I’m buggered as to why ALL of Wright (Molonglo) is not medium to higher-density, surely Canberra has enough crappy 3-4 bedroom houses already.

And if we could over our NIMBY-like attitudes and start realising that in other cities around the world, 3 stories high is considered LOW density, maybe – just maybe – we could:

a) bring property prices doown to a level where everyone can find a place to live, whether bought or rented

b) get enough population to run a more frequent bus service, or support light rail

c) actually have a city with some life, with enough customers around to support small retailers at a local level, instead of having to get in the car to buy milk and the like.

d) have a few more places where it’s pleasant to actually walk, without having to contend with busy roads.

I understand apartments don’t suit everyone, but I believe they would suit the majority of young graduates, students, and military people who join this city every year. In my view, this is the majoirty of our rental pool, but they are not being well catered to.

At present we have yuppie apartments in the best locations, new housing on the edge of the ciity, and a varied assortment of public housing and 3 and 4 bedroom housing everywhere else.

So, while I’m not impressed at the service Crace gives, I think their concept is a step in the right direction.

Now, if only our local developers actually read the Riot Act 🙂

This development reminds me of Belconnon flats. Except Belconnon flats are close to a town centre, that and they don’t cost half a million dollars.

Why can’t they build more developments like Swinger Hill. It’s a bit faded nowadays, but so much more livable that shit like Crace.

…stats were derived from allhomes.com.au… not necessarily reliable but reliable enough.

ChrisinTurner said :

DeadlySchnauzer said :

Reminds me of a development i saw recently in Page. It packed 7 or 8 houses on to what used to be 2 standard residential blocks with ex govies. The adverts proudly proclaimed “City living in Page!”.

I guess to be fair planning laws stop them building this stuff in existing close in areas… (reid and deakin i’m looking at you). So apartments in the burbs it is.

Dear DeadlySchnauzer

There are more apartments in Reid than almost any other suburb in Canberra, except possibly Braddon.

ummm, Reid has 55.4% and Kingston has 86.1%, Braddon has 65.6%. And besides, the only way we can get half million peeps here will be to go up not out.

Jim Jones said :

bromford said :

Oh noes! They’re building a small area of terrace houses! How will those people cope without instantly mature trees! Families can’t live in houses with stairs!

Maybe Crace should be redesigned with looping roads and small brown brick houses with four-car garages. And cul-de-sacs! Those are swell!

Heh … poor people are funny when they get all bitter and sarcastic.

Actually Jim, I’m funny all the time. People hate me at funerals.

I suspect that bicycle riders may be living there.

bromford said :

Oh noes! They’re building a small area of terrace houses! How will those people cope without instantly mature trees! Families can’t live in houses with stairs!

Maybe Crace should be redesigned with looping roads and small brown brick houses with four-car garages. And cul-de-sacs! Those are swell!

Heh … poor people are funny when they get all bitter and sarcastic.

Oh noes! They’re building a small area of terrace houses! How will those people cope without instantly mature trees! Families can’t live in houses with stairs!

Maybe Crace should be redesigned with looping roads and small brown brick houses with four-car garages. And cul-de-sacs! Those are swell!

Never Odd Or Even said :

There aren’t many trees along the streets, but they’ve designed it to be “greensmart”. One feature is that all the storm water is diverted into underground tanks, and then it’s used to water the grass and trees along the streets….

I hope that the system is just slightly more complex then that, or contaminants of one sort or another will build up pretty quickly.

Not a great shot, but having seen them up close and walked the streets in the display village, they are actually not bad for terraces. As others have mentioned, nothing looks great when its in the middle of the development cycle.

Crace itself appears to be a good concept if they can put their ‘masterplan‘ in place and don’t do it half-heartedly. They do have a streetscape plan to bring some greenery back into the area, including the dam/pond and the playing fields, though it would be great if they started with more mature trees so it does not take years to get it looking like a more ‘established’ suburb. They are forcing people to spend at least 5k on landscaping, but the landscaping is also meant to have water preservation principles so it may not be as green as it could/should be.

I’m sure the suburban areas on the outskirts of this medium density core will soften the overall aspect once the houses are developed – could be a few years though. But this is Canberra’s future, so get used to this sight as Molonglo will no doubt be forced to follow similar principles!!

TVStar said :

Reminds me of the Walled City of Kowloon.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kowloon_Walled_City

Reminds me of something by Andreas Gursky.

Never Odd Or Even10:44 pm 21 Jun 10

I have actually bought one of those places and I agree they look awful from this angle, but up close they aren’t too bad. They’re not really apartments though – each section is a two storey “terrace house”. Some of them are tiny but some of them are quite spacious.

There aren’t many trees along the streets, but they’ve designed it to be “greensmart”. One feature is that all the storm water is diverted into underground tanks, and then it’s used to water the grass and trees along the streets. Eventually there will be shops and cafes etc. as part of this “urban” section and there will be a more spacious “suburban” section surrounding it, with houses like the ones in the front of this picture (if you can call that spacious).

They were pricey enough, but when I was looking I think they were one of the best options for first home buyers. I wouldn’t rave about the way they sold these houses, or the way they’ve treated us since we bought, but I’m certainly looking forward to moving in – I’m just glad mine hasn’t been painted bright orange!

amarooresident3 said :

Rawhide Kid No 2 said :

Shades of the Melba Flats ?

I’d bet those places go for more than $400,000 so I doubt it.

Of course it looks crappy, it’s in the middle of a building site. Put in a few trees and it’ll be fine.

Nope. Try $500K plus. And even if you want to have a 3br home on come blocks you not allowed and have to build 4brs. Planning Agency? The ACT has a planning agency? I thought it had been all outsourced to the developers in the name of profits just like building inspections were.

That photo aside, I’m going to be spending at least six months at Crace. I’ve seen photos of my parents’ house at Urambi before, while and shortly after it was built — it looked exactly the same as Crace does now. 35 years later I think Urambi is the best medium density housing development in Canberra, by far. I hope Crace comes close to it!

(otoh a ball court, a pool and a community centre would make me feel right at home)

Oh my! What an eyesore! So do architects just have piss ups in school instead of learning anything practical, then just make it up as they go along?

Jim Jones said :

arescarti42 said :

Say what you want but I think what they’re doing at Crace is a hundred times better than conventional suburban development.

Oh, and for those posters who clearly don’t know what an apartment is: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Apartment

It looks like legoland prison.

I couldn’t have described it better myself.

harley said :

Thanks, 54-11.

That tune popped into my head as soon as I saw the picture.

Similar, but not being a Gen Y I thought of the original rather than the theme music to Weeds: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AN3rN59GlWw

They made us sing it in primary school in the 70’s

gold mate, gold. Send this in to Stanhope via a letter and see what his office replies with…

here I was thinking we had a planning agency that was there to ensure we dont have conrete jungles like that. Silly me.

ChrisinTurner5:56 pm 21 Jun 10

DeadlySchnauzer said :

Reminds me of a development i saw recently in Page. It packed 7 or 8 houses on to what used to be 2 standard residential blocks with ex govies. The adverts proudly proclaimed “City living in Page!”.

I guess to be fair planning laws stop them building this stuff in existing close in areas… (reid and deakin i’m looking at you). So apartments in the burbs it is.

Dear DeadlySchnauzer

There are more apartments in Reid than almost any other suburb in Canberra, except possibly Braddon.

CanberraCreative5:36 pm 21 Jun 10

For a government that is so high and mighty about human rights, surely this has to breech some convention. Gosh darn postage stamps.

If you think this is bad, have a look at the monstrosity they have planned for “The Fair” at Watson. I have seen the plans and wonder how developers can get away with this.

All the houses are the same as are the apartments. All are cramped in together to allow maximum profit from the smallest amount of space.

amarooresident3 said :

Rawhide Kid No 2 said :

Shades of the Melba Flats ?

I’d bet those places go for more than $400,000 so I doubt it.

Of course it looks crappy, it’s in the middle of a building site. Put in a few trees and it’ll be fine.

Trees?! I think that’s the point people are making, with all these houses/units crammed onto tiny blocks, the concrete jungle look is going to dominate the landscape, there’s really not the space for trees.

I expect Molonglo is going to end up much the same now that it’s gone from an estimated 45,000 houses to 60,000 houses… not to mention the rare Yellow Box bushland being bulldozed for the shopping centre.

And don’t even get me started on the failure of government to adequately address tree management in Canberra (postponing budget allocations for another 4 years) while more and more trees around Canberra are marked for removal.

Seems to me our bush capital is in danger of becoming not so bushy. You will, however, be able to find plenty of trees in the arboretum. Sad really.

Favela…

another reason why gunghalin sucks….

Architects have a lot to answer for.

Where do they get their inspiration?

Outer Kabul with a hint of Oz?

Holden Caulfield4:13 pm 21 Jun 10

Funky1 said :

I bet those people who built those nice big houses in front of this complex are glad they built where they did!

Their land values must have sky-rocketed in the last year or so.
😮

They’re display villages.

The photo in the OP is a bad look, sure. But to be honest, I don’t see it being a worse look than Sky Plaza or any other number of medium-high density developments in Canberra?

Those apartments in Crace wouldn’t be for me, but if I was a new home buyer now – on location alone – they’d more than likely get a tick from me before anything Belconnen has to offer past Evatt/Florey/Scullin/Hawker or south of Curtin/Chifley/Phillip.

All the smug folks that live beyond those extremes forget that they’re perfect suburb was once considered the arsehole of Canberra at one point too. And they also don’t realise how conveniently (relatively) located Crace actually is.

It’s a new suburb, and just like all other suburbs in Canberra it looks crap when its part way through development.

that place is a ghetto.

My father told me 10 years ago that the Gunghalin area would one day be the slums of Canberra, I guess he was right.

la mente torbida3:32 pm 21 Jun 10

@amarooresident

where do the trees go…can’t see much except buildings and footpaths…no dirt here

amarooresident32:46 pm 21 Jun 10

Rawhide Kid No 2 said :

Shades of the Melba Flats ?

I’d bet those places go for more than $400,000 so I doubt it.

Of course it looks crappy, it’s in the middle of a building site. Put in a few trees and it’ll be fine.

arescarti42 said :

Say what you want but I think what they’re doing at Crace is a hundred times better than conventional suburban development.

Oh, and for those posters who clearly don’t know what an apartment is: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Apartment

It looks like legoland prison.

Reminds me of the Walled City of Kowloon.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kowloon_Walled_City

Say what you want but I think what they’re doing at Crace is a hundred times better than conventional suburban development.

Oh, and for those posters who clearly don’t know what an apartment is: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Apartment

Crace had so much potential. It’s so sad to see what has happened there. Back when Gungahlin was originally being planned, it was supposed to be a low density suburb.

BTW, those houses at the front are part of the display village, as are the first row of “apartments” behind the houses.

I bet those people who built those nice big houses in front of this complex are glad they built where they did!

Their land values must have sky-rocketed in the last year or so.
😮

grunge_hippy1:23 pm 21 Jun 10

another reason why gunghalin sucks….

Thanks, 54-11.

That tune popped into my head as soon as I saw the picture.

DeadlySchnauzer12:40 pm 21 Jun 10

Reminds me of a development i saw recently in Page. It packed 7 or 8 houses on to what used to be 2 standard residential blocks with ex govies. The adverts proudly proclaimed “City living in Page!”.

I guess to be fair planning laws stop them building this stuff in existing close in areas… (reid and deakin i’m looking at you). So apartments in the burbs it is.

And the kangaroos of Crace are being culled to make way for this? Disgusting.

screaming banshee12:21 pm 21 Jun 10

looks ummm…….affordable!

georgesgenitals12:15 pm 21 Jun 10

Jim Jones said :

Apartment living in the middle of nowhere.

It’s a case of artificially limiting supply that has caused this. You’re right – it’s apartments where no apartments should be.

la mente torbida12:01 pm 21 Jun 10

@54-11

I’m colour blind but lol

Apartment living in the middle of nowhere.

Rawhide Kid No 211:50 am 21 Jun 10

Shades of the Melba Flats ?

Whoah, I didn’t realise they had these in Crace. It’s looks pretty cramped.

“Little Boxes”:

Little boxes on the hillside
Little boxes made of ticky tacky
Little boxes
Little boxes
Little boxes all the same
There’s a green one and a pink one
And a blue one and a yellow one
And they’re all made out of ticky tacky
And they all look just the same

And the people in the houses all go to the university
And they all get put in boxes, little boxes all the same
And there’s doctors and there’s lawyers
And business executives
And they’re all made out of ticky tacky and they all look just the same
And they all play on the golf course and drink their martini dry
And they all have pretty children and the children go to school
And the children go to summer camp
And then to the university
And they all get put in boxes, and they all come out the same
And the boys go into business and marry and raise a family
And they all get put in boxes, little boxes all the same

There’s a green one, and a pink one
And a blue one and a yellow one
And they’re all made out of ticky tacky
And they all look just the same

Daily Digest

Want the best Canberra news delivered daily? Every day we package the most popular Riotact stories and send them straight to your inbox. Sign-up now for trusted local news that will never be behind a paywall.

By submitting your email address you are agreeing to Region Group's terms and conditions and privacy policy.