The project considers locations within the inner-urban ring suburbs of Melbourne. Here the typical block is the fundamental unit of experiment and therefore in a perpetual state of evolution – subdivided, agglomerated, multiplied and reordered. Through the continual irritation of its fabric, the granular attributes are continually being remade and reimagined. Despite the latent opportunity for the city at large, these sites are frequently overlooked for their capacity as collectives to engage with a wider transformation of the suburb.
As urban density increases, we are looking for ways (practices, tropes etc) to accommodate more people on less land, while engaging with the immediate urban realm of laneways and easements that typical housing blocks back on to.
We are interested in the structure of the discrete lot and the behaviour of the suburban block, seeking a plurality of approaches and tactics toward the multiplication and diversification of both density of use and intensification of program, with an aim to address these underutilised corridors and unused fragments of land. The ambition is to offer solutions and provocations to pressing issues of housing affordability and land regeneration, as well as catalysing urban communities.
Working through a range of scales the project embraces the challenges and opportunities of the public, civic, private and shared domains marshalled through these approaches. The project contends with specific issues and new possibilities of an agile built environment in support of an ageing demographic, migrant communities, social sustainability, sustainable mobility and the impact of peer-to-peer economies of the patterns of domestic and social occupation.
Project Team: Ian Nazareth, Floyd Billows, Wen Bin Liau, Belinda Smole, Jialing Zheng, Lisa Gargano, Christian Lionis, Benjamin Strong, Sol Dieguez Garcia, Tsz Ki Lam, Cody McConnell, Jacob Lam, William Alexander, Jie Shuang Yeoh, Wu Hao, Qianbin Xu, Zhejun Wang and Yi Wang.