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Strathdon House viewed from the rear including beautiful gardens

About the project

Built in 1893, Strathdon is a 2.5 hectare site that included a homestead and orchard from Whitehorse’s early settlement. It is located at 449-465 Springvale Road, Forest Hill (adjacent to Forest Hill Police Station). It operated as an Orchard until the 1930s and was acquired by Council during Bicentennial celebrations as an asset of historical and cultural significance. 

Through consultation with the community, Council developed a precinct plan for Strathdon’s development. The plan celebrated the rich history of the site while transforming Strathdon into a community precinct that would host educational programs in sustainable living as well as opportunities for the community to rest and relax, play in nature and attend community events.

Construction workers cutting wood in front of a brick cottage

What was included in the development

House restoration and packing shed:

  • Sensitive restoration of the heritage homestead to include visitor reception and two new public meeting rooms
  • Construction of new ‘packing shed’ to become an outdoor education hub

Front and rear garden landscaping:

  • Restoration of the original layout of the Strathdon garden
  • Restoration of planting beds and prepared for better access and drainage
  • Recreation of front garden fence
  • Creation of a Kitchen Garden to promote sustainable living and community participation

Orchard re-establishment:

  • Regrow the orchard from grafted stock collected in July 2019

Heritage interpretative signage, nature play and BBQ:

  • Interpretative panels outlining the history and significance of the Strathdon site
  • Installation of a Disability Discrimination Act 1992 (DDA) compliant car park at Springvale Road
  • Upgrades to the Davey Lane car park
  • Installation of bicycle parking hoops
  • BBQ and additional seating


Strathdon House and Orchard Precinct has a strong focus on sustainability and community engagement. The site was designed to maintain its historical and cultural significance while adapting to modern environmental standards.

The redevelopment team made many efforts to incorporate sustainable building standards, actions and materials where possible.

We are proud to share the following actions taken to make this an environmentally sustainable project:

  • Aggregate used in concrete mix was sourced from recycling old concrete and/or crushed rock 
  • Recycled materials used where possible including the re-use of old floor boards 
  • LED light fittings throughout 
  • Low Volatile Organic Components (VOC) paint used 
  • FSC Certified Timber used where possible 
  • Higher rating roof insulation to better control internal temperatures 
  • Local trades used where possible. An example is Kelvinway, a commercial applied finishes contractor based in Nunawading who completed the hard plastering of interior walls. 

Other sustainable measures taken that will assist with the effective operation of the site:  

  • 5kw solar system to offset electricity consumption 
  • 13,000 litre rainwater storage tank used for toilet flushing and garden watering.