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  • Living Spaces, Dandenong

    Overview

    The Living Places Suburban Revival showcases a range of housing that meets the need of a today’s changing demographics. It also demonstrates that with good design, high density can have a minimal impact on a traditional suburban neighbourhood.

    Project Summary

    ​​​​​​​​​​​​​​The Living Places is the result of  design competition run as a joint initiative between the Office of Housing  in the Department of Human Services, Victoria, and the Office of the Victorian Government Architect. The brief behind the competition was to create a design that explored increased density in a traditional suburban setting, and was repeatable across a variety of sites.

    The project is social housing which is owned by the Department of Human Services, and their brief was to create a range of housing types to accommodate a wide range of demographics including single storey fully accessible accommodation, and 4 bedroom housing with downstairs accessible bedrooms and bathrooms. It also had to demonstrate best practice architecture and sustainability.

    The winning design by Bent Architecture focuses on maximising the use of the communal outdoor space. These areas are a shared space that blends car manoeuvring and accommodation, pedestrian paths and communal outdoor spaces and seating areas. The success depends on careful consideration of detail, as well as a community of residents that are happy to share spaces and co-operate with each other. 

    The single storey houses are designed  in three distinct, staggered forms each with a roof at a different pitch. The ceiling follows the roof profile to give a generous amount of internal space, and the external pitches break up the overall form of the building and provide a response to the suburban setting.

    The buildings are designed to follow best practice energy efficient design principles. The walls have increased thermal mass to heat and cool the buildings, there are rain tanks under the slabs, and solar hot water and energy generating photo-voltaic cells on the roof.

    The project is a place to live for a wide range of people who would otherwise have had no other choice in this neighbourhood. It shows that a relatively dense development can fit into an existing suburban area, respond sensitively to the s​urrounding stand along houses yet be a distinctly modern housing form. 

    The single storey houses are designed  in three distinct, staggered forms each with a roof at a different pitch. The ceiling follows the roof profile to give a generous amount of internal space, and the external pitches break up the overall form of the building and provide a response to the suburban setting.

    The buildings are designed to follow best practice energy efficient design principles. The walls have increased thermal mass to heat and cool the buildings, there are rain tanks under the slabs, and solar hot water and energy generating photo-voltaic cells on the roof.

    The project is a place to live for a wide range of people who would otherwise have had no other choice in this neighbourhood. It shows that a relatively dense development can fit into an existing suburban area, respond sensitively to the surrounding stand along houses yet be a distinctly modern housing form. 

    Information for this case study was largely sourced from ‘Model Housing’ written by Jennifer Clazini in July/August 2012 issue of Architecture Australia Vol 101No 4.

    Information for Getting it Right: The Building was sourced from ‘Living by Design’ written by Kate Robertson in the Domain, April 26-27, 2013

    Other information was taken directly from the website of Bent Architecture

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