PHILIP STEJSKAL ARCHITECTURE
STUDIO: 391 CANNING HIGHWAY, PALMYRA WA 6157
CONTACT: +61 (0) 401 727 405
PRINCIPAL STREET, WANNEROO
Project Team: Philip Stejskal, Claire, Holmes, Louise Allen, Yang Yang Lee;
Client: Urban Footprint
A multi-residential project developed n conjunction with a local developer with a keen interest in delivering quality affordable housing product. Unfortunately we were not the preferred proponent ultimately, however, we received very positive feedback.
The project brief called for a maximum of 12 townhouses on a site in Wanneroo with a rear access lane. Our design sought to break the typical long and narrow townhouse plan quite literally in two. This move would secure northern light to a greater proportion of each dwelling, whilst also providing two distinct parts to the house - each self sufficient. The two parts could be used together as one home, or separately as two. This flexibility would enable a family to reside in the home for longer, adapting to their changing circumstances. Alternatively it could support a live-work arrangement, or secure a source of income as a rental.
Aside from the above direct benefits, the proposed configuration addresses another deficiency of the traditional townhouse model, namely its physical inability to promote community. The long and narrow lots, with minimal frontage, have never been conducive to much social interaction. Our proposal hoped to challenge this by connecting all 12 dwellings by a green spine at ground level. This zone would be landscaped to provide a mix of privacy and connectivity, promote cross-ventilation, and incorporate some communal facilities, trees, communal vegetable patches, etc.
Our hope was for a development that challenged the status quo of townhouse product, giving owners more flexibility in how they occupied the dwelling in the short and long term, and fostering a sense of community by providing opportunities for incidental encounter.