"This project consists of a new facade element inserted into an existing 13 storey social housing tower in Footscray"
- BKK Architects
"It celebrates contrast and difference, rather than a seamless integration of old and new"
- BKK Architects
"Ultimately, the time taken to embed the addition into the facade was less than four hours from pick up at a factory in Collingwood to installation"
- BKK Architects
Tower Turnaround

Tower Turnaround

Improving environmental performance, regeneration and social housing

This project deals with the regeneration of an existing social housing tower block in Footscray and has been conceived as a kit of parts which can be easily adapted to other high-rise towers. This was a catalytic project for BKK as it was the beginning of our deep investigation into the value embedded within the process of regeneration and reinvigoration. We have cultivated an interest in the positive environmental impact within the process of upgrade through refurbishment and addition rather than knock down and rebuild.

The brief for this project required that the construction methodology enable residents to remain in occupation during construction. Minimal disruption achieved through minimal on site activity. Thus a pre-fabricated, lightweight, timber framed structure was developed with cad-cam technology, that enabled the structural components to be efficiently cut and assembled offsite. Ultimately the time taken to embed the addition into the facade was less than four hours from pick up at a factory in Collingwood to installation in Footscray.

Improved amenity for the resident is the primary focus of this intervention. Increased living area and vastly improved environmental performance of the facade are quantifiable improvements, but the project aspires to achieve much more than this. A re-engendered sense of human scale within the context of the tower aims to personalising space for the occupant. Small shifts, big gains, characterise the design approach, whereby the height of a window sill or the integration of a shelf are seen as vast improvements upon the liveability of these spaces.

The site design strategy provides better definition between public, semi-public and private spaces, introducing major changes to both the landscape setting and the tower appearance. The result reinvigorates the tower’s presence in the neighbourhood and fosters a greater sense of community.


Department of Human Services


Peter Elliot Architecture + Urban Design








Footscray, Vic, Australia

Selected Awards

2012 Premier’s Design 2012 Awards, Finalist Hi-pod component of Tower Turnaround
2012 AIA Victorian Architecture Awards, Winner Small Project Architecture, Hi-pod component of Tower Turnaround