Housing Windsor Competition
Department of Human Services
2 Raleigh Street, Windsor
area 14,000sqm
cost $14,900,000
completed 2001 Project

The Winsdsor Housing project was a submission for a Public Housing Competition. The site is in Windsor in Melbourne’s inner south.

Concerns focused, firstly, on establishing a high standard of living and sense of place. Secondly on sustainable, passive design.

This scheme made litereal reference to the plan of a typical workers cottage in the immediate area. The plan was stacked and adapted to suit it’s new context.

We defined efficiency in a number of ways. By stacking units, sharing floors and walls, there is an efficiency in construction, materials and energy concumption. With that in mind, the scheme broached the stigma of slab block public housing. The type was addressed through formal concerns, clear provision of amenity and creating a sense of place. The ha ha wall, was used as a mechanism for concealing visual bulk, only revealing a low rise block from the Raleigh street frontage.

Every unit was to receive passively controlled direct northern light as a right.
The excavated volume was reused to create a public park.

The park offered a range of facilities and activities including composting, market gardening, play equipment, BBQ, sculpture garden, seating, shelter and kiosk. It was intended to draw people to the park as a community self-policing strategy.

Discussions with consultants quickly concluded that Sustainable Energy Authority 5 star rating was easily achievable using basic new technologies such as small sinks, dishwashers drawers, compact fluorescent lighting etc., iginificant breakthroughs when the scheme was conceived.

Energy production was required in the brief as a kind of billboard saying energy efficiency. It was determined that, though a good intention, it would be energy inefficient on this site. The solution was provide off site wind, thermal, hydro or solar farming.

The scheme proposed water collection, both grey and storm both as a resource and as a feature to flood the lower level.

Comparisons were made with the work of Dutch architect de Klerks’ housing schemes. Substantial investment a was made to craft, sculpt and detail brickwork, to invest in a sense of solidity and permanence. This scheme was detailed as an entirely brick corbeled façade with deep reveals.

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