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.