The Missing Middle
This project was developed by Rachel Moody as a student from University of New South Wales and was submited to the WAS awards 2017 under the Residential category.
Rising house prices and urban sprawl are key concerns within the Sydney, Australia’s housing market. This Design aims to successfully solve the need to develop inner-Sydney suburbs to medium density, reducing house prices and the need for vast infrastructure to accommodate the sprawl. Design for the ‘missing middle’.
The site is only 26m long by 12m wide, situated in an inner city residential suburb, with high restrictions only allowing for 2 storey developments. The site houses private residential dwellings for: a family of four, an elderly couple, and a one bedroom rental unit. Key design concepts such as privacy, social interactions and thermal comfort are all considered in this brief, as well as elements that make the design a unique architectural experience, including: use of natural light, external spaces, connectiveness and blurring the transitional lines from inside to outside.
Bathing in light – there is always something calming about indirect light. The shifting ceiling lines allows indirect natural light to highlight the ceiling, adding architectural merit and increased thermal comfort. All shared living spaces within the three dwellings also have at least two orientations to maximise natural light throughout the day and seasons. The light is also filtered using deciduous trees and timber louvers to maximise winter sun and dabbled summer sun.
Creating smooth transitions between indoor and outdoor spaces are created through the us of garden walls creating external rooms, and exterior ‘green walls’ used in combination with interior glass curtain walls provide for a blurred line between inside and outside. These design decisions also successfully and innovatively address issues of privacy and thermal comfort. Further, minimal internal doors are used to create a flowing design that is not rudely interrupted with doorways.
All spaces and building forms have been carefully considered to interlock within one another, to best make use of the space and form creating a beautiful complexity within the design. This interlocking is most evident within the shared courtyard space and the use of atrium in the front building. Materials are also interlocked with one another using timber, white brick and glass. These natural materials help to blur the interior with the dwellings exterior gardens.