Three Terrace Houses

NSW Planning Department
Competition Entry

Brief: To respond to the Government Architect’s Office of NSW open design competition for architects to design within the guidelines of a draft State Environmental Planning Policy (SEPP) that encourages medium density housing typologies in Sydney’s middle ring (between 10 and 30km from the CBD) suburbs. 

Challenges: Road testing new planning legislation and from a designer’s perspective.

Solutions: Three terrace houses with flexible internal spaces that can accommodate different sized families thanks to internal courtyards that either connect or separate front and rear of the home. The courtyards also provide natural light, air and private open space. Rear lane access has been created to create opportunities for home office/industry, income generation in the form of a self contained studio over the garage, or provision for a granny flat for intergenerational living.

Highlights: Exploring how architects and planners can develop housing policy collaboratively.

Test application/suitability of a low-rise and small-scale medium density housing development model as a way to gently integrate into garden suburbs.

Select typical suburban lot with irregular shape to test application of terrace housing as a higher autonomy model alternative to strata units and town houses.

Break down mass across sites for maximum light, air, private open space, flexible space to suit diverse occupation types; rentable flat (income generation), home office/workshop (increase daytime activity in suburbs and less reliance on commuting to work), granny flat.

Separate vehicle and people movement by adding a common rear lane to provide superior public domain interface, improve passive surveillance of street, and provide opportunities for secondary dwellings.
Provision of Detached Studio to support inter-generational living or extended families living on one plot of land.
Diversify the suburbs.

Provide operability in the facade and screening systems for solar and privacy control as well as activating the street through dynamic architectural aesthetic.

Projected and sculpted openings to provide shading to glazing, scoop in sunlight and provide articulation of facades.
Bottom garage level as extension of outdoor covered outdoor living space.
Front room as flexible space; bedroom for Universal Access, lounge for large families, as study/guest room for smaller families or home office.

Green walls and planted pergolas to soften the building into the landscape and provide visual and solar screening.