Architecture & High Performance Technology
Today Sydney house prices cost on average 12-times the average annual income – a ratio that is simply unaffordable to many. A 20% deposit on a median-priced house in Sydney is $204,400. If a young city worker saves $100 a week, then this deposit will take him/her 26.8 years in total (or 23.2 years if he/she skips avocado on toast once a week!). The challenge of funding affordable housing is likely to keep many millennials on the rental market for a long time. Also, much of our high density housing stock is spatially quite inefficient; most apartments are empty during the day, most bedrooms are only used for 8-hours sleep, and balconies are rarely ever used! The repetitive stacking of the same one-bedroom apartments over and over, connected only by dark corridors, can be isolating for many residents, with little opportunity for community or interaction. The question is how can we make better use of the spaces in our high-density housing? Can we create a more vibrant and connected lifestyle for young people living in apartments in the future?
This project aims to answer these questions by proposing a high density mixed-use community bound together by ideas of Sharing. The proposal uses sharing as an architectural mechanism to promote better spaces, greater community and greater affordability in high-density housing. Thus, rather than seven young people all having a one-bedroom apartment, with an individual living room and kitchen, they share a large apartment with individual bedrooms, but a dramatic double-level living space. In family apartments, gardens are shared between units. This theme is carried through to the urban scale, with the whole community sharing a raised central courtyard with facilities to share books, music, movies, sports, bicycles and GoGet cars with other 1,200 residents.
The project explores the ideas of the ‘introvert’ and ‘extrovert’ in housing, challenging what we pre-conceive to be private, semi-private and public.