Ar­chi­tect’s high Barr

The West Australian - - PROPERTY - Claire Tyrrell

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.

Picture: LandCorp

The win­ning sub­mis­sion, de­signed by David Barr Ar­chi­tects.

LandCorp chief ex­ec­u­tive Frank Marra, left, and win­ning ar­chi­tect David Barr.

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