Arcade Street, Melanie Modafferi

University: University of Melbourne

The inner-city suburb of Footscray is currently undergoing gentrification and this project provides a model that mediates the effects of gentrification through the provision of an affordable, mixed-tenure, culturally-responsive housing model. Consideration of the existing communities in Footscray and their distinct sociality and relationship with the built environment was fundamental in the development of this design and forms a response that is both specific to the socio-spatial implications of the site and divergent from typical housing models.

An 11 hour multi-modal site analysis was used to establish an understanding of the community within Footscray. Through this, the hyper-sociality of Nicholson St (project location) became apparent and led to the focus on shifting typically internalised parts of the home into the public realm as an affordability mechanism, as well as a means of drawing upon the social character of Footscray.

This project explores gradations of privacy and experiments with communal/public aspects of the home by allowing ‘spillage’ onto subsidised circulation space i.e. smaller internal private space in return for expansive external semi-public/public space. Additionally, shared spaces exist amongst apartments; these are socially embedded solutions to affordability.

The complex comprises of several buildings each containing a cluster of apartments that form a unique community. Each individual building is rendered in a different colour giving each community its own distinct personality. Spots of colour from adjacent buildings are carried through to smaller architectural components including doors and lighting alcoves, this acts in visually tying the building together.

The Dulux colours Terra Tone, Show Business and Light Rice Quarter were used in response to the current use of colour within the existing community in Footscray. Colour was also used in response to Melbourne’s high-rise social housing models that are arguably bland, homogenous and devoid of any liveliness or fun. In this instance, colour has been used to add vibrancy to an architectural typology that is commonly seen as dull and character-less.

Colour palette

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sleeping body

‘The Sleeping Body’ by Qun Zhang
University: Melbourne School of Design

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