Walk-up flats of the post-war era have long been overlooked as ‘six-packs’ or ‘shoe-boxes’ - not conforming to the quarter-acreblock Australian dream.
However, confronted by the reality of the last few decades’ built-to-invest apartments, often designed more poorly than their predecessors, we are able to clearly see the true value of the modest walk-up flats of the 1960s-1970s.
Indeed, as a well-established example of medium density housing - they offer a model for other sites across the city.
But as walk-up flats age - and the lifestyles people lead within them change - what are the opportunities to extend the life of these buildings and maintain their relevance?
Due to Strata Title property law these buildings are themselves extremely resilient to clean-slate redevelopment - they require agreement amongst many people.
So this design studio looks at careful strategies for updating this classic building typology - through a process of negotiation.
Quid-pro-quo urban tactics (‘if, then’) will be investigated, eg.:
If – Add another flat to the roof to raise capital
Then – Add new private amenities - every apartment gets a new room added
If – Add another programme/use to the car park to raise capital
Then – Add a new habitable facade that also reduces energy consumption
If – Double the size of one apartment to raise capital
Then – Add new shared amenities - lift, roof terrace, lemon tree orchard, etc.
Can these projects be a catalyst for other community-led carbon positive developments in Melbourne’s missing middle ring?