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Living Places Design Competition for Suburban Housing Revival – Dandenong.

Part 2 Project 2009
Andy Yu
University of Melbourne Melbourne Australia
Living House Design Competition for Suburban Revival - Dandenong.

This project proposes a new housing typology that responds specifically to the Australian Suburbia as a place, and to the subjective and objective perspectives of its identity.

The aim is to evoke contemporary values to re-evaluate our lifestyle in the Suburbs, an attempt to rationalize our abstract perception of culture which defines Suburbia, and sequentially a design strategy to carry it forward to the new era of living.

Propelled by the Melbourne City's 2030 Master plan which anticipates an influx of 1.3 million new residents, this project aims to intensify, enrich and sustain the outer suburbs through gentle and appropriate means suitable for Australian suburbia: a new middle ground that creates a win-win situation for all parties involved - landowners, new comers, public, and private. This project analyzes the spatial, cultural and political components that constructs Suburbia as a typology and propose a new idea of approaching the condensing of Suburbia - What if the residents sold a portion of their unused backyard in return for free green energy, vibrant community spaces and other benefits of a higher density urban environment? A Land- Buy-Out Policy which utilised politics and land ownership to propell a new politics and an objective view for the lifestyle of Suburbia.

The design process implemented parametric design softwares and the generation of a parametric digital model. Such model simulated the shape of the roof scape that could optimizing the ratio of North facing roof for the installation of PHV cells and terraces. This parametric model implies this strategy to be ¡§one size fits all¡¨, no matter the location of the Suburbia, this new housing typology will re-organize itself to maximize its gain. A grand ambition as a typology that can be inserted anywhere, in any suburbs.

Various sustainable technology was investigated and implemented to reinvent the Australia suburbia to be energy and culture provider rather than a consumer. Other key sustainable energy technology features are: PHV panels, rainwater harvesting, greywater/blackwater recycling, biomass collection and Combined Heat and Power technology.

Andy Yu

This ambitious project aims to serve as a prototype for increasing housing density in the outer suburbs of Melbourne. This project deftly maximizes the number of units on a small site without sacrificing amenity or sustainability. The calculations underlying this new density are established by an impressive array of diagrams. However the resulting design is simple and free of rhetoric. The project is presented in a didactic fashion which emphasizes its ambitions. The project proposes radical new solutions to the dilemmas that will be faced in the future by the Australian suburb. Rather than simply employing architectural images from the surrounding context or appealing to notions of home the project directly tackles climate change. This is in response to the designer's perception of the Australian suburb as a place whose future will only be guaranteed if its premises are radically re-thought. In line with this ambition the project deftly reuses existing suburban typologies and incorporates these with communal gardens and sustainable technologies. Rather than being seduced by parametric modeling tools to create novel forms the design employ these to maximise north-facing roofs in order to collect solar energy. This is the primary contribution of the project because it aligns parametric modeling with urban sustainability. For this reason the project points to the way in which the Australian suburb should be developed in the future.


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