Architect’s high Barr
Fremantle architect David Barr has been praised for “setting the bar” for medium-density housing in Perth.
David Barr Architects has been awarded first prize in LandCorp’s Step Up competition, which called on West Australians to design innovative, sustainable, mediumdensity housing.
The international firm drew on the “passive haus” construction system to design a modular apartment complex aimed at creating a sense of community.
The winning design will be built at LandCorp’s Shoreline development at North Coogee and will be WA’s first medium-density passive house building project.
Mr Barr welcomed the recognition from LandCorp, which adds to his acclaim after winning the Gen Y housing contest in 2015.
“It’s incredible for us to get this project, especially on the back of Gen Y,” he said.
“It is something we are passionate about — tackling housing affordability while not losing sight of sustainability and beautiful buildings.”
The 17-apartment complex with studio and two and threebedroom apartments was designed with universal access.
“We are promoting community living, so people can share the outdoor area, communal laundry and a library of things.”
He said the “library of things” would contain tools, including drills, and unwanted kids toys everyone could use.
Mr Barr said the Germaninspired passive haus system was designed to keep the temperature inside the apartments at 20-24C all year round, without an air conditioner or heater.
LandCorp chief executive Frank Marra said the winning submission was chosen from a field of more than 40 entries.
He said the design helped address WA’s “missing middle” in medium-density dwellings.
“Most new housing in WA falls into two categories, traditional free-standing homes or stratatitled apartments, what’s missing are the low-rise, medium-sized homes — our missing middle.”
Mr Marra said medium density offered a better use of limited land, compact and energy-efficient design and a variety of housing choice. It was vital WA caught up to the rest of the nation.
Cockburn Coast will be developed in the next 15-20 years to house an estimated 12,000 people in 6000 homes. The project is expected to generate 3000 jobs and deliver a range of retail, commercial and community facilities.
The winning submission, designed by David Barr Architects.
LandCorp chief executive Frank Marra, left, and winning architect David Barr.