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