Studio leader: Joel Benichou
Urban consolidation is well underway throughout the city of Melbourne and its surrounds. Infill development around activity centres is being promoted in an aim to protect the rural fringes of our city, to limit ballooning infrastructure costs and as a desperate effort to provide affordable options for first homebuyers. However, in most cases, the density and design solutions for these semi urban and suburban sites are unattractive, unsustainable and these residential buildings are populating Victoria’s housing stock with undesirable living conditions.
Housing affordability in Australia also sparks strong public debate and regularly appears in the policy agenda of Australian governments. Housing prices in the major cities have risen to a level that exclude many young and low-income households from entering the homeowner’s market within desirable suburbs. Reinvigoration in Australian housing design is required to provide the opportunity for new home buyers to enter these markets. Accepted practices and historic precedents need to be readdressed and disregarded to allow for more flexible, innovative and resourceful housing options to become available to entry level buyers.
How can housing typologies change to accommodate these new buyers and counteract the current high levels of unaffordability within the inner suburbs? How can we as architects, use our design skills to generate new, smaller scale ways of living comfortably? How can we use our skills of custom design to extract the maximum efficiency out of the space we have?
This semester, Studio 16 – Future House investigated ideas of housing and density in the middle ring suburbs of Melbourne. Under the framework of the Future Homes Student Competition presented by IBA Melbourne, DELWP and the OVGA, students were asked to prepare exemplar designs for mid-scale housing buildings that would be scalable and replicable. The challenge was to create innovative apartment buildings that are great homes and to design small dwellings that are world leading in their quality, sustainability and liveability.
View studio on Miro: https://miro.com/app/board/o9J_kmA-EUs=/