NEW EXPERIMENTAL ARCHITECTURAL TYPOLOGIES (NEAT) COMPETITION
The proposal seeks to accomplish modest yet crucial innovations whilst working within the constraints of delivering affordable housing, including; providing clearly articulated address for each dwelling; private North-facing external space; a connection to the ground for each dwelling by way of external, grounded garden spaces and creating a generous and friendly streetscape by firstly removing cars from the street edge and by modulating the front setback of dwellings. An innovation on a terrace model, this scheme capitalises on the economy of attached dwellings, whilst addressing the shortcomings of this traditional typology. Where historically terrace houses present a long edge to their neighbour, and a short edge to the front and rear, our proposal inverts this to provide generous northern exposure and therefore access to light and ventilation. Attached walls are limited to the ground storey - so as to not only break up the bulk of form, but also to further improve access to light and ventilation for the upper levels, and limit the extent of costly fire rated, masonry party walls. As a result, load-bearing structure for the first and second floors above ground may utilise lightweight load bearing structure - a financially and environmentally sustainable alternative. Informal carport spaces are provided that have the capacity to be transformed to alternative uses in future stages such as additional living space or home office accommodation. The permeability of the carport serves to connect the private green strip at the core of the terraces with the public shared green space at the centre of the development. Types A, B and C meet the affordable housing threshold established by the ACT government, whilst type D is offered as market housing. Type A is a shop-house studio with an attached (fire separated) space that may serve as a home office, extended living space, or a commercial use such as a professional office. The proposal for the inclusion of spaces that may transform into commercial uses is a challenge to the current planning controls in the ACT that typically dictate the separation of domestic and commercial uses. We view a mix of functions as being a marker for vibrant and active communities and the provision of a shop-house studio dwelling also pitches to the increasing movement toward the acceptance of work from home arrangements within the workforce. The generally accepted notion of generous street front setbacks is also challenged in the scheme - with a view towards making a well-defined, active yet sympathetic street front. On the current site this proposal achieves a density of 50 dwellings per hectare.