The Future of Living goes to Campsie

The Extension of the Suburban Block

Campsie comprises hundreds of red-brick apartment buildings. Developed in the 1960s and 1970s, they are close to reaching the end of their functional lives. Intervening in this awkward, yet quintessential housing typology could offer a possible alternative to medium-density living in Sydney’s suburbs.

The researchers examine four existing blocks in a reasonable state as the proposed site. The intervention takes place in five steps: first, adding a common infrastructure in the centre of the four blocks; second, adding two new circulation cores; third, refurbishing the apartments while modifying the thermal envelope to offer richer spatial and climatic situations; four, adding a layer of external spaces and winter gardens on the main façades; and finally, four new domestic structures on the rooftops.

The project challenges the idea that densifying a suburban neighbourhood requires a new masterplan and instead proposes to work with a catalogue of existing typologies and their possible interventions, including notable built extensions, concepts of repair and maintenance, and changes in legal frameworks and financial models.


Image by Charles Choi

The Alastair Swayn Foundation respectfully acknowledges the Traditional Custodians on the land of which we work, the Ngunnawal people of the ACT. We recognise their continuing connection to land, waters and culture and pay respect to Elders past, present, and emerging.

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