Steve Thorne was appointed as Town Architect by developers Miltonbrook P/L for the greenfield development known as Tullimbar in the Illawarra district of NSW. He worked with volume home builders to arrive at efficient, yet architect-designed project homes for this new development which will ultimately deliver some 2,200 new homes, a primary school and a village centre. The design included the planting of more than 400,000 plants and trees.

In addition to co-ordinating the work of other architects Steve designed and documented approximately one third of the houses delivered. At the time of development, the lowest cost per square metre for housing was $750 per square metre, while architect designed homes were being delivered at more than $1,500 per square metre. At Tullimbar all houses are architect-designed and were delivered at an average of $902 per square metre owing to the close working relationship established with home builders. The quality of the houses translated into success in the local market, with sales breaking local records.

Housing diversity was maximised in this development with a wide range of dwelling typologies “invented” and delivered into identified market segments. These numbered some 29 market segments, many more than usually identified in equivalent developments. Architecture was intentionally traditional and aimed to connect to local vernacular traditions.