McAuley House for women
McAuley House for Women McAuley House for Women McAuley House for Women McAuley House for Women McAuley House for Women McAuley House for Women McAuley House for Women

Hede Architects



Sisters of Mercy

$8 Million

Footscray, Victoria

November 2016

McAuley House is Victoria’s first purpose built accommodation and support hub for women who are homeless. McAuley House supports women who are homeless or at risk of homelessness on their journey towards recovery and independence by providing medium term accommodation, meals and intensive and individualised case management support.


McAuley House has a specialist focus on those women who have experienced, or are experiencing, family violence and mental illness. In addition to accommodation, it also acts as a hub for community services that will reach over 100 women each year.


The project comprised construction of an eco-sustainable 4 storey homeless centre and rooming house, including office and communal areas on the ground floor, 25 individual ensuite rooms with balconies on levels 1 & 2, and a combination of accommodation and common kitchen / dining / meeting areas on the top floor.


Designed by Hede Architects, the new facility boasts expressive architectural form including a return curved curtain wall façade at the building entrance, ESD oriented solar shading fins which conceal the lightweight structural support elements. The first floor features a cantilevering transfer plate which enables a floating feel to the accommodation above. The spiral staircase also adds to the interest in the façade.


Externally the facility is landscaped with an array of native species and climbing planters which run on stainless cables between balconies. Residents are able to convene in the contemplative garden to the rear of the site designed to inspire & promote positive thinking & a veggie garden on L3 patio/canopy to encourage creativity in the kitchen.
© 2016 SJ Higgins Group