The architecture of housing: Obligations and opportunities

Australia has long been categorised as one of the most urbanised nations, with a high percentage of the population living in suburbs and conurbations. In recent decades, a substantially greater proportion of people are now living in higher density housing. This is certainly the case in major cities like Sydney and Melbourne, where over 50% of all new dwellings have been in the form of apartment buildings. As denser forms of housing are now prevalent across Australia, the profession must rise to the challenge and must better demonstrate the role and character of such housing in city making.

Brisbane ferry terminal redevelopment: Cox Architecture with Aurecon

Architecture plays a critical role in responding to the needs of those affected by natural disasters. Through design, architects can help to mitigate the impacts of climate events by offering adaptive and resilient strategies, often developed as part of disaster recovery solutions. One such approach is evident in the Brisbane ferry terminal redevelopment project by Cox Architecture in collaboration with Aurecon.

A home to be nude in

My own experiences of living in apartments have all been under very different circumstances – firstly with two housemates in a three-bed and then on my own in a studio apartment. Next in a two-bed with a partner and a dog, and then we added a baby into the mix.

Learning and teaching the value of housing

When students can engage with real communities and projects, especially those that focus on designing with empathy, they can begin to appreciate how architects can operate as advocates promoting a better and more equitable world.

Social housing: In brief

Social housing project briefs include many requirements, including apartment mix to suit the anticipated residents, accessibility standards to accommodate a wide demographic, and operational consideration to ensure a manageable and long-last building. While these are necessary and important, an overarching design principle that is sometimes omitted from the brief is blind tenure. Blind tenure is the notion that social housing is indistinguishable from private housing projects. This is not that social housing is identical to private housing, as social housing has particular requirements such as those listed above. Successful blind tenure demonstrates that social projects can achieve the same amenity and contribution to the city as private apartments.

The impact of housing on street character and urban liveability

Our cities have been witnessing a gradual shift, a transformation embracing more diverse typologies and design solutions with a welcome focus on residents’ quality of life, community engagement and social inclusion. This wave of change is making our inner-city suburbs more interesting, infusing them with a vibrancy.

Strickland Buildings: City of Sydney Architect RH Broderick

Imagine for a moment that a local council could directly design and construct housing for the economically disadvantaged among us, using in-house architects. Then imagine that the resultant dwellings consist entirely of social housing and that this ‘development’ is not even remotely connected to or funded by adjacent new dwellings for the better off.

Practice Profile: Muci

Starting a business and a family at the same time might sound like a nightmare, and we are not here to tell you that it’s been easy, but lately, we’ve realised the juggle brings with it substantial long-term benefits for our practice.

(Don’t) do It yourself

We have undertaken collaborative housing projects in architectural, legal and financial partnerships to house ourselves and our business. Collaborative projects rely on goodwill, common goals and a harmonious group dynamic over a long timeframe.

No time to demolish

The refurbishment and infill of existing social housing, as an alternative to its demolition and reconstruction, presents a fast and scalable way of providing housing while achieving better social, economic, and environmental outcomes.

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