It’s fairly well understood that Australian cities need more housing. However, we also need a greater choice in housing so as to better meet our changing demographics. This includes housing appropriate to those trying to get into the real estate market as purchasers or renters and those looking for a house that better fits them as they get older.
Damian Madigan is committed to investigating these needs and broadening our density discussion beyond apartments and transit corridors; these existing policies make sense and certainly have their place, but they can be supplemented by more subtle and localised forms of suburban infill.
Damian’s PhD thesis, Alternative Infill: a design study of housing intensification, adaptation and choice in the established suburbs of Adelaide, was undertaken as a major design project. It explored ways in which Adelaidean villas and cottages (which form so much of the city’s housing stock) can be adapted in order to accommodate multi-generational housing, shared living arrangements, or divisible housing. Utilising our existing building stock, these new housing forms can enable owners to age-in-place without leaving the suburbs they love and/or provide new smaller housing options for family members, friends or like-minded others.
This design research work demonstrates that our established suburbs have the capacity to help achieve both increased housing numbers and greater housing choice and that when it comes to the retention of suburban character and the introduction of new suburban infill, it doesn’t have to be an either/or situation. The work shows that density increases don’t always have to be realised through knock-down-rebuild subdivisions or battleaxe backyard infill and that new housing forms can be achieved without the loss of the established landscape that helps gives our suburbs the amenity we enjoy.
An example of this type of work can be seen in Damian’s award-winning Missing Middle Design Competition entry for the New South Wales Office of the Government Architect.
These suburban and housing issues affect an increasing proportion of the population and we welcome contact from potential clients wishing to discuss their own housing needs and ideas.