Improving small-scale residential infill development in Melbourne's middle suburbs.
Such redevelopment, occurring informally within established suburbs and often lead by 'Mum and Dad' developers employing project homebuilders, accounts for a significant proportion of housing provision and is an important way in which the city is becoming denser. Reflecting upon common industry approaches in this context, the project sought to demonstrate the value that design can contribute in enhancing the quality, diversity and performance of this type of development.
It examined design possibilities for infill redevelopment on a single typical suburban lot as well amalgamations of 2 and 3 lots, investigating the benefits arising from these combinations such as sharing open space, combining parking and integrated planning. The project aimed to triple the number of dwellings that such sites typically accommodate, while preserving key aspects of suburban character and amenity. A series of design models were developed that achieved these aims, and also considered their delivery through collective finance and development models. As well, the design models addressed the need for smaller and more flexible housing types in our suburbs, and illuminated areas where a shift in regulatory and industry norms could enable better outcomes.