Teresa Yie Sheng Peng
Architecture & Social Agency
What would be the best resolution for the voiceless (homeless, unemployed, refugee), the neighbourhood, and the society?
The significant contrast between the wealthy and the poor due to the upgrade of the Kings Cross area may cause refugees and the homeless to lose a sense of belonging and self-identity. A sense of belonging is a multi-dimensional concept that should be viewed as a reciprocal and on-going exchange between social behaviors and experiences. It is the designer’s role to promote the importance of a healthy self-identity and social well-being through the proposed design.
The proposed design aims to deliver a self-sustaining platform involving sustainability on both social and programmatic levels. Social sustainability combines design of the physical environment with a focus on how the people use a space relate to each other and function as a community. With community-based participation at its center, it results in the creation of engaging public spaces that contribute to people’s health, happiness, and well-being. Programmatically, this goal is to be achieved through activation of built forms and open spaces, at the same time, articulation of the existing church with the new architecture. The proposed design consists of accommodation, educational and skill training services, and social infrastructures contributing to the local neighbourhood. Ultimately, it is desired that not only those who are in need of help can benefit from the proposed design; instead, it would also be a fruitful and worthwhile experience for staff and visitors.