Hui Liu



Architecture & Social Agency




St. Canice is located adjacent to Kings Cross which is an important part of Sydney's culture and history, as well as close to the bustling modern CBD area and residential zones. It plays a vital role as a gathering place for diverse groups of people, generating a challenge to urban density and the integration people in this historical, vibrant and culturally rich area. How could make St.Canice to integrate diverse groups of people and solve urban density?

Diverse groups of people include:


- Refugees, homeless people, those on low incomes
- Individuals and diverse groups of families

The intention of this project is to reintegrate and consolidate these diverse groups of people, increasing social engagement, social networks and interaction through being positively wrapped by recycled brick buildings which signify Australia¡¯s daily domestic life, activities and atmosphere. The use of brick as a material and brickwork as construction not only enhances environmental impact, but also generates an ambiguity between indoor and outdoor spaces. It also assists social housing programing to be blended into public programming, thus reducing isolation among different groups of people and breaking the alienation of traditional social housing. 

Edges of brick buildings have been defined by aligning with surrounding buildings and the selection of domestic recycled brick are intended to respect and blend St. Canice into the surrounding building fabric, increasing a sense of engagement and integration. Interactive green spaces (park, garden and courtyard, urban farm) with different functions aim to improve the area's quality of life, promoting knowledge sharing and consolidating integration between the public realm and social housing, while creating a greener footprint, contrasting with chaotic urban life.

The use of Australian brick therefore extends and respects the traditional life and culture, reinforcing security and increasing socialised activity areas between and in brick volumes. The integration of buildings and the integration of programmes integrate people. Simultaneously, it engages urban density.