Repairing the urban fabric plus social gain
Category Small Residential Development | Project Woodstock Street, Balaclava | Architects MGS Architects, Melbourne
This community housing project is located over a council car park, near an inner suburban shopping strip. The City of Port Phillip championed the redevelopment of this land for social purposes in the form of a new rooming house managed by the Port Phillip Housing Association. The surrounding streets are a mix of brick warehouses and timber cottages.
It was crucial to redevelop the site while conserving public parking. At the same time, the design needed to reinstate the urban streetscape which had been impacted by the open parking lot without overpowering the neighbouring cottages.
The new building is built over the reconfigured parking with ground level entry facilities at the southern end to link into the adjoining residential street. The higher building is located over the parking towards the shopping strip and adopts the brick warehouse character of Woodstock Street. At the Marlborough Street end the lower part of the building adopts pitched roofs, smaller forms and weatherboard-like cladding, echoing its residential neighbours without copying them.
This project shows how a former eyesore (the open car park) can be turned into a social asset with a project that at the same time knits together a varied streetscape.