Density Done Better, Housing Study


Year 2021 – 22
Team Peter McGregor, Damian Madell, Tom Droz, Carme Serrano, Chantelle Noorizadeh
Client Government Architects Office NSW

This project is about researching and identifying opportunities to increase density and housing diversity, within the typical streets of established middle ring suburbs. Ashfield was chosen as the site area as it is representational of many of these suburbs in terms of its relationship to heavy rail, parks and street types.


The project clearly demonstrates that with an approach of incremental fine grain infill, based on a Street, Block and Lot Approach, housing can be provided with improved amenity, and greater flexibility for dwelling types, whilst maintaining a minimal impact to the typical suburban fabric. In fact 15/30 year housing targets can be reached with a fine grain and incremental amalgamation of only 5% of private lots, thereby leaving the general suburban character of detached houses relatively intact.


Instead of business as usual, whereby housing is typically located in higher density residential flat buildings, centred on noisy roads and railway stations, housing of mainly 3+4 levels, both terraces and smaller apartment types, can be provided in quieter more typical suburban streets in walking distance to parks and shopping centres.


Importantly this increase in density with amenity can also make tangible contributions to an improved public domain, upgrading parks, streets and walkability, with an overall strategy to increasing tree cover.


The single most successful diagram that shows this new approach is the Block End Project. Here in either 2 lot amalgamations, forming a corner, or 4 lot amalgamations making a Block- End, a fundamental change is bought about from the typical mid-block development. Both the corner and the Block- End provide the most flexible and efficient potential for the layout and organisation of the site plan including carparking, pedestrian address and dwelling layouts.




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