Terrace and Multiply – Garden houses for the suburbs

Housing Futures Competition by Victoria StateGovernment & Office of the Victorian Government Architect.

While Melbourne’s major activity centres have seen dramatic increases in density over the last two decades, and outer suburban growth remains a part 
of the housing mix, it is increasingly clear that the middle suburbs have an important part to play in housing our growing population. This, however, must be done carefully. We must ensure that any changes to established residential areas result in increased public and residential amenity.

This proposed design take some of the key aspects of an existing suburban typology; the terrace house. This is done by using the shared party wall and horizontally and vertically multiplyingIndividual apartments on a typical suburban plot. The apartments are aligned on an East-West axis to maximise northern orientation to all living spaces. The approach and new typology respects typical suburban streets with the use of brick or block and lightweight materials, medium roof pitches and adequate front, rear and side setbacks reducing the visual impact of the development and allowing significant landscaping. By eliminated minimum side setbacks typical of detached dwellings and allowing for three storeys the site can be utilised to achieve a variety of ground floor one-bed- room, one bedroom studios, two bedroom and three bedroom apartments. This allows for a diversity of choices for different ages, sizes of households and incomes with the opportunity for generational residence.

By terracing and staggering the houses vertically each dwelling has access to either a ground floor backyard or generous outdoor balcony with deep soil planting garden beds on terraces for trees and vegetation. The overall development has 12 apartments for various bedroom sizes.

The circulation and access to the dwelling sallows for chance encounters with neighbours before they
enter into their apartments with private interior and exterior spaces. A series of social outdoor areas have been allocated at the front of the site and rear, with flexibility for a café, short-term rental for occupants, green house for productive gardens, storage and neighbourhood gatherings.