Part Fab: Quicksmart uses a construction system combining prefabricated and panelised components to improve the flexibility, affordability, environmental performance and amenity of the detached home. Quicksmart Homes, a New South Wales based housing provider, approached Workshop Architecture and Zilka Studio to develop an innovative detached house using the environmental and cost benefits of part prefabrication and panellised construction. Central to this system is the ‘Wetbox’, a pre-fitted shipping container that includes the kitchen, bathroom and laundry facilities.
Our research investigated, through prototype designs, how the fixed unit of the container could provide flexibility in the use of the house, as well as respond to different site orientations. In developing these new housing models, their designs needed to respond to the current and future demographics of their location in South Coast New South Wales.
The centrally located ‘Wetbox’, works as a service core to house, the bedrooms and living spaces carefully arranged around it to maximise the flexibility of use.
Manufactured off-site, the ‘Wetbox’ provides a speed of construction and a high level of finish. Used in combination with highly efficient, environmentally sustainable SIPS (Structural Insulated Panels), the construction offers high levels of insulation, and the benefit of the structural ‘Wetbox’ allows for minimal piling.
Rather than conceal this spatial and functional composition, it is expressed on the front elevation of the building, the ‘Wetbox’ core an axis of entry and circulation, as well as a structural support to the adjacent rooms’ floor and roof.
Following extensive demographic and market analysis, we developed a housing model that responds to household combinations consistent with the demographic trends in the area. This flexible plan equally supports work from home, inter-generational accommodation and young families.
This project was undertaken as a collaboration with Workshop Architecture and ZILKA Studio.
Project Team: Simon Whibley, Leanne Zilka, Ian Nazareth Aaron Robinson, Jessica Heald, William Heath, Nick Searle