Art & Architecture
Architecture Australia

Architecture Australia May 2018

Ask architects which Australian magazine they choose to read or to publish their work and the answer is most likely Architecture Australia. If you want to be up to date with the best built works and the issues that matter, then Architecture Australia is for you. Its commissioned contributors are independent, highly respected practitioners, architectural thinkers and design commentators and each article is supported by images from leading architectural photographers. Provocative, informative and engaging – it is the national magazine of the Australian Institute of Architects.

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6 Issues

In this issue

3 min.
bringing to bear the potency of design

Our cities and communities are facing a great transformation through projected population increases, which will directly result in greater densities. This critical issue of increased population and density is now being overlaid by the effects of climate change. As the climate has changed dramatically over the last three years, there is an urgency to this challenge, particularly if the rate of change continues as predicted. A consistent message in my previous Foreword columns has been a call for the profession to respond by bringing to bear the potency of design. Cities are inherently complex and somewhat unmanageable. However, this is why the individual project is such an agent for change, both in the physical fabric of our cities and in the sensibilities and vision of those charged with their development. We…

2 min.
emerging directions in australian housing

This future-focused issue of Architecture Australia is guest-edited by a team from Monash University, led by Shane Murray and Alysia Bennett. Shane and Alysia have worked with their Monash University colleagues Naomi Stead, Nicole Kalms and Catherine Murphy (as advisers) to consider emerging directions in Australian housing. With the overarching theme of “Housing Diversity” the team has considered the significant challenges facing Australia’s housing sector. The renovation of the Australian suburbs is a topic that the Department of Architecture at Monash University has been addressing in teaching, research and advocacy over many years. Past issues of Architecture Australia that have focused on housing include the May/June 2011 “Housing Futures” issue, which included an essay by Shane Murray and Lee-Anne Khor exploring infill redevelopment, and the May/June 2007 issue, which presented research…

3 min.
housing diversity: opportunities for transformation

For the past decade Monash University’s Department of Architecture has been researching new models of dwelling provision to better meet the increasingly complex needs of the Australian housing market. The underlying intention of much of this research is to develop design contributions toward a range of needs that our housing system has failed to address, such as a diversification of household makeup, a longer life expectancy, an increasing desire to age in place and pressures caused by population growth. In Australia there are approximately 200,000 new dwellings required for social housing tenants and, as with the UK, Europe and the US, housing unaffordability and rates of housing stress are reaching critical levels. Local commentators note “the collective angst the country is experiencing over the future of home ownership and long-term housing…

10 min.
housing diversity: adapting 1.0 infrastructure for 3.0 lives

Housing should be seen as a process and not as a product. — Balkrishna Doshi In a recent Volume essay, Charles Landry argued that many of today’s key urban failings are due to citizens living 3.0 lifestyles while the city around them is designed and operating for a 1.0 world. In other words, culture, technology and society have advanced, yet many of our architectural and urban models, including building management and approaches to finance, have not. One sector where the misalignment is acutely felt is housing. Current best-practice housing approaches epitomize the modernist ideals of efficiency, democracy and control. However, these grand ambitions are undermined by the self-serving interests of individuals in market housing, facilitated through body corporates and the planning application appeal processes, and by a focus on minimizing expenditure in government…

7 min.
the shrinking dream: household diversity and changing house designs

The great Australian dream has long had two components – home ownership and the freestanding dwelling in the suburbs. Despite the hype surrounding the densification of Australian cities, the suburban home is still the predominant house form. In addition, Australian houses have been distinguished for much of this century by being the largest in the world. Interestingly, though, this mantle has now shifted elsewhere. The size of the Australian home peaked in 2009 at 247 square metres. The United States now has the biggest houses in the world – at 249 square metres – with Canada coming a fair way behind at 181 square metres and Denmark with 137 square metres. There has been no systematic analysis as to why this change is occurring. It would be reassuring to see…

6 min.
coburg townhouses schored projects

Community housing such as Coburg Townhouses by Schored Projects is an often contested variant of traditional, government-led social housing models. Some argue that the divestment of public housing accountability into the community sector is the thin edge of the wedge and yet one has to wonder why this approach has thrived in countries like Denmark, Sweden and the Netherlands. Australian examples of community housing have certainly struggled in a less supported system but longer-term visions must be debated and refined. There is no question that among the many diverse people who require social housing, women are becoming the most visible group. Women’s homelessness is growing at a faster rate than men’s. Women and their children may find themselves living precariously in supported homeless accommodation, with a friend, in a boarding house…