Habitat 21: Adaptable House

Principle street façade, garage door closed. Image by MAS.

Flexible design as home owners’ needs change.


Funded by

  • VicUrban
  • Department of Planning and Community Development
  • Office of the Victorian Government Architect
  • Melbourne Water

An adaptable house caters for a wide range of social arrangements within a single building envelope. So rather than move house as your needs change, your house might adapt to you.

Graham Crist, Antarctica

The award-winning (Victorian Architecture Awards: Small Project Architecture 2011) Habitat 21 Adaptable House is a new typology in suburban fringe housing for a concentrated, diverse and growing population. Occupying a small footprint, this three bedroom home has a seven star energy rating, uses low-impact materials and offers flexibility through spatial adaptation, allowing for adaptable housing for different stages of life. Located in Dandenong South, the five demonstration homes have combined the skills of VicUrban, seven leading architects and volume builder Burbank Homes to produce a new way of living that uses land and infrastructure efficiently without compromising on quality.

View through front gate into covered entryway. Image by MAS.

Series of diagrams demonstrating flexibility of use. Image by MAS.

Floor plan. Image by MAS.

Perspective drawing of semi-detached unit and adjoining outdoor space. Image by MAS.

Perspective drawing of house from the street, demonstrating separate entries. Image by MAS.