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Manor House : Old or New?

The Low rise Medium Density Housing Code introduced a housing type called a Manor House.


So what is it, and is this an old or new idea?


The Low rise Medium Density Housing Code defines a Manor House as “a two-storey residential flat building which is a maximum of two storeys in height and contains 3 or 4 dwellings. One dwelling must be located above another, and dwellings are attached by a common wall or floor”.


So, is this a new type or are there historical precedents for such arrangements?


There are actually plenty of historical examples scattered throughout the suburbs of Sydney. More typically 2 up / 2 down apartment buildings with a common stair (as pictured below) were commonly built in the 1940s, but what is envisioned by the code is something that may look more like a big house but contains three of four dwellings.

1940's 4-pack apartment building typical to Sydney's middle and inner ring suburbs.

Some of the more interesting examples are those built in Sydney’s suburb of Daceyville (near Randwick) named after JR Dacey who initiated the proposal in 1912. The suburb was developed to create a low-cost housing community for the working class. The vision was in Dacey’s words “an effort to create an Australian model in providing homes for the people in the shape of a garden city”.


The Daceyville examples look like big cottages containing 2, 3 or 4 dwellings (the one pictured below has 4 dwellings all presenting to the street). The interesting thing about the Daceyville examples (unlike the 1940s ‘4-pack’ examples) is that many of the dwellings have their own front door, porch and direct access to the rear yard.


A typical 'Big Cottage' in Daceyville containing 4 dwellings each with a front door to the street.

The directors of Polyhouse have studied these (and other similar) local historical precedents to understand the possibilities (and limitations) of such housing types. Polyhouse draws from these important and relevant local precedents seeking the opportunity to provide more affordable small footprint houses within the convenience of the middle and outer ring suburbs of Sydney; offering a genuine alternative between large scale apartment blocks and individual suburban homes. They offer what neither are capable of; affordability with a back yard.


Partnering with a prefabrication builder, Polyhouse have designed a number of housing types offering affordable solutions with contemporary layouts, construction technology and the added benefits of prefabrication.


Existing home owners, developers and housing providers can all take advantage of the opportunity to accommodate more homes on a single site in a pre-designed ‘Project Home’ solution, mitigating the risks and costs commonly associated with one off Council approved development.


If you wish to further discuss what Polyhouse has to offer, you can reach us through our Contact page.

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