The Future Homes Project seeks to produce better apartment designs that enable the building of high quality apartments in the ‘middle ring’ suburbs of Melbourne.
The Department of Environment Land Water and Planning (DELWP) in partnership with the Office of the Victorian Government Architect (OVGA) is running the Future Homes project, and wishes to develop a range of exemplar plans that will ultimately be sold to developers for them to adapt to their sites.
The project has 2 phases:
- competition phase: a competition for Victorian architects and building designers to create plans and designs for apartment buildings. A jury will select up to 8 finalists who will then compete in a second stage to further refine proposals to create replicable, better apartment designs that will form the basis of world-leading, liveable and sustainable homes. CityLab is coordinating the competition phase.
- planning implementation phase: implementing the designs, including changes to the planning system, such as possible fast track planning processes. Winners will have the opportunity to undertake further work with the DELWP and the OVGA to inform potential planning reforms. Alongside consultation with local government, stakeholders and industry groups, DELWP will work to facilitate a streamlined planning process for apartment developments which utilise the exemplar designs produced from the competition.
Tim Richardson, Chris Adams and myself are excited to be involved in a project which has the potential to deliver similar objectives that our work seeks to achieve, to build high quality infill homes more affordably.
We whole-heartedly support the overarching goal of this initiative. Introducing more density into existing developed areas of the ‘middle ring’, with established infrastructure and services but a traditionally low-density pattern of development, is the most efficient way to address Melbourne’s population pressures.
So we all need to work hard to find viable solutions to enable density done well. As the Future Homes literature observes “currently multiple obstacles hinder the uptake of well-designed higher density suburban infill. These include challenges in planning and community sentiment around densification, plus a lack of excellent designs and built examples.”