9 October 2020

The Woolstore completes a village in Kingston

| Karyn Starmer
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The Woolstore

The Woolstore is the final building in the landmark Kingsborough Village. Photo: Supplied.

Every now and again a development comes along to change the Canberra landscape. Kingsborough Village is one of them. Walking through the laneways and spaces of this village-style precinct nestled behind the Kingston Foreshore, visitors cannot help but stop and think, am I still in Canberra?

Kingsborough Village is breathing new life into the historic Causeway area with buildings inspired by the industrial heritage of the site but designed for modern lifestyles. Five different architecture firms contributed to give the village variety and an authentic, lived-in feeling and consequently, each building has its own unique architectural character and features, from rooftop gardens to adaptable floor plans.

The final building in this landmark development has only just been completed and is so highly prized that 20 apartments have sold already. The Woolstore, inspired by Sydney’s historic Pyrmont building, is possibly the most extraordinary in the precinct and with features like turret tops, recycled brick arches, and metal and glass facades, it looks as though it’s been restored and repurposed.

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DNA Architects Partner AJ Bala says the Woolstore has been purposefully designed to invoke the industrial heritage of the area.

“In a way, this was a breakout project for us and an opportunity to create a building with the design integrity to make a lasting contribution to the city,” AJ said.

“It was exciting to collaborate and bring a vision of a new community into an older area.”

While the traditional red brick harks back to a Canberra of old, the Woolstore’s interior is designed for modern lifestyles. The building offers 60 apartments, each with a thoughtful floorplan. An open central atrium lets light and airflow into the heart of the building, and shared terraces on the rooftop take in the sweeping views and sunsets.

AJ Bala

DNA Architects Partner AJ Bala says the Woolstore was a breakout project. Photo: Supplied.

But it is not just the for the design that people are flocking to Kingsborough Village, a strong sense of community has developed in the two short years since the precinct first opened.

Developer and Construction Control founder John Gasson says the Kingsborough community shone when the pandemic arrived,

“It is like Kingsborough just evolved right in front of us. It has been really pleasing to see a new community grow.”

John says during lockdown a residents group quickly formed and with the help of the local businesses located in the village, community packs were distributed to people in isolation.

“Coffee was delivered to those who couldn’t leave their homes and parcels were distributed to apartments by fellow residents,” John explains.

John says the vision for Kingsborough Village was to have a solid demographic mix.

“We wanted a full community here and designed it so there are a range of entry points from studios for under $300,000 to two-bedroom apartments around $600,000 to $1.8 million for penthouse living. We have it all, from first-home buyers to empty nesters and the terraces are mostly families with plenty of kids under 10.”

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The commercial tenants anchor the village and attract nearby residents and visitors with The Warehouse Roast Tap Brew, Kingston Foreshore Cycles, Kingston Yoga and newest arrival 80/20 creating a buzz among the laneways.

John says: “The Kingston Yoga studio has been like the glue in the community, a group now heads out on the lake ferry every Friday evening for drinks and the Tap Room organises a food truck every week. It is so pleasing to see a new community come together, meeting on the grass and sitting on the tables in the square.”

John says sales are reflecting just how popular Kingsborough Village is proving to be, with residents encouraging other family members to buy their own place. And, with purpose-built permanent Airbnb apartments available, your interstate visitors can come and stay at Kingsborough Village too.

John Gasson

Developer John Gasson in one of the apartments in the Woolstore. Photo: Region Media.

Learn more about Kingsborough Village and DNA Architects.

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Even if you ignore the hyperbole the building is much visually interesting than most of the rubbish that is built in Canberra. As to it forming part of a “village”, well, that’s another matter.

Such a village lol

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