Viv's Place | ARM Architecture

Viv's Place | ARM Architecture | Photographer: Tatjana Plitt

2023 National Architecture Awards Program

Viv's Place | ARM Architecture

Traditional Land Owners


Interior Architecture
Residential Architecture – Multiple Housing
Camillo Builders
Tatjana Plitt
Project summary

Viv’s Place is part of an innovative build-to-rent housing program in Melbourne. The first of its kind in Australia, it provides permanent housing for 60 women and 130 children escaping family violence and homelessness.

The project employs trauma-informed design principles, with spaces that promote connection and comfort between occupants, and on-site access to education, healthcare and legal assistance.

It aims to reset expectations of what Australian social housing can be and question assumptions of what is most needed in apartment living. It deliberately moves away from austere and institutional social housing models, seeking to be generous and abundant in every sense.

Viv’s Place is vibrant and colourful, boldly taking on its own identity. The design replicates motifs intended to emphasise home and safety, to help inhabitants grow and prosper, and features materials and patterns traditionally found in the home: terracotta tiles, coloured wallpaper, wrought iron lacework, fencing and garden motifs.

Victorian Architecture Awards Accolades
Commendation for Residential Architecture – Multiple Housing
Shortlist – Residential Architecture – Multiple Housing
Victorian Jury Citation

Viv’s Place shifts away from the traditional institutional social housing models and presents a vibrant, generous, and abundant living space for women and children escaping family violence and homelessness. Communal spaces are designed as an extension of the apartments above with multipurpose spaces, communal kitchen and children’s play areas themed with a richly coloured palette of materials and works of art.

The project balances a bold identity and presence with layers of space and elements that provide a sense of comfort, security, and privacy to the inhabitants within.

Victorian Jury Presentation

From the first day families moved into Viv’s Place, they’ve had a safe and permanent home to recover and rebuild with access to the support they need and the opportunity to put down roots and participate in the local community.

Viv’s Place will help set a new standard. There is nothing else like this in Australia, and we are pleased to be able to work with ARM Architecture to provide a prototype for future social housing establishments.

Project Practice Team

Andrea Wilson, Interior Designer
Andrew Lilleyman, Design Architect
Ben Tole, Graduate of Architecture
Catherine Dupuy, Interior Designer
Eliza Langham, Project Architect
Helen Walter, Project Architect
Jess Heald, Project Architect
Jesse Judd, Design Architect
John Van Gemert, Project Architect
Nigel Reichenbach, Project Architect
Nourin Ahmadpour, Graduate of Architecture
Ryan Robertson, Graduate of Architecture
Sophie Clelland, Graduate of Architecture
Toby Flaye, Graduate of Architecture

Project Consultant and Construction Team

Before Compliance, DDA Consultant
Casper Dekker Specifications, Specifications Consultant
Resonate Consultants, Acoustic Consultant
Rider Levett Bucknall, Cost Consultant
Salus Risk Consulting, Safety in Design Consultant
Spacecraft Studio, Artist Engagement
Steve Watson & Partners, Building Code Consultant
Tract, Landscape Consultant
Urbis, Town Planner
Vivid Wayfinding, Signage and Wayfinding Consultant
WSP, Engineering Consultant
WSP, Services Consultant

Connect with ARM Architecture
Viv's Place | ARM Architecture | Photographer: Tatjana Plitt

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