Knowing that our built environment can impact ourselves in both a mental and behavioural sense, I strived to provide a polemic response to the commonplace social housing problem within the context of Melbourne, Australia. A stigma is often associated with the high concentration of socially disadvantaged households, with the social isolation of the occupants often being emphasised by being situated in an area which is so urban in it’s location, yet can be considered foreign and disconnected in its immediate context. For these reasons, I have looked to diversify and intensify the previously underused and under-curated urban environment, aiming to better integrate the estate of Horace Petty, located in Prahran, better within its location.
My proposal isn’t an obvious one. It might even seem counter-intuitive. T he site is horse-shoed by a permeable ribbon of built form, that intensifies activity around the edge, whilst engendering curiosity with what may lie beyond. Indeed, beyond the edge, a carefully curated selection of programs, both built and unbuild, have been implemented across the previously baron landscape. These include community “anchors”, the calibration of the landscape, and ephemeral minor programatic interventions. The ribbon is designed to give Horace Petty a face- an active, permeable edge condition; with a series of office and retail spaces at ground level, and much needed housing above, which sees a 50/50 public/private mixed tenure. Each strategy I have explored is aimed to enhance the quality of life of the occupant through social, educational or employment opportunities, whilst presenting the potential of Horace Petty and it’s people to the further community.