Text description provided by the architects. Anne Street Garden Villas is a series of 7 social housing dwellings in Southport on the Gold Coast. The design was informed by ideas from our Density and Diversity Done Well Open Idea Competition entry, as well as stakeholder workshops and local social housing design reviews.
Anne Street Garden Villas is one of ten social housing demonstration projects being delivered by a collaborative partnership between the Housing Partnerships Office, Building Asset Services, and the Office of the Queensland Government Architect. The demonstration projects will inform the new design guidelines for future social housing in Queensland.
To create liveable, forward-thinking social housing, we were encouraged to challenge conventions of social housing and employ small design moves that we thought could have a big impact – especially when it came to giving tenants a sense of ownership over their residence.
In high-density social housing developments, tenants do not always feel settled in their own homes. There are so many small signals – like the large carpark fronting the street – that give the development an institutional feel. This not only makes it challenging for tenants to feel ownership and pride about their home, but it also creates a divide between the complex and the rest of the neighborhood.
Our initial feelings about this problem were confirmed via a series of human-centered design workshops. In these workshops, current social housing tenants revealed a clear desire for nesting and being part of a community, while still having the sense of autonomy we get from a traditional freestanding home.
With these findings in mind, we looked for ways to make the experience of entering the Anne Street Garden Villas more akin to the experience of coming home in the traditional sense. To facilitate this, we made 4 key design decisions.