Located in a heritage precinct on the edge of Hobart’s city centre, Goulburn Street Housing is a group of 25 social housing apartments built to address the lack of accommodation for the elderly and disabled in the city.
The project is based on the concept of a micro village and formulated around the idea of making social housing a seamlessly integrated part of the built landscape. Rather than a dense urban complex, the project’s cluster of forms are respectful to the history, textures, and rhythm of the neighbourhood.
Our design also considers the personal experience and takes an opportunity to challenge preconceived notions of public housing by focusing on issues of environmental and social sustainability. The location was carefully selected within a zone that provides excellent access to the city, shops, and parks, all within walking distance and connected by public transport.
The apartments are complemented by a balance of indoor and outdoor spaces, prioritising natural light, ventilation, and individuality while the balconies and windows consider the intended demographic and are deliberately designed within the building for greater privacy. Bathrooms with additional reinforcement for future grab rails meet the needs of tenants as they age. Moveable kitchen island benches accommodate different household needs. The shelving and window reveals give the tenants an opportunity to easily personalise their home.
The facades are designed to have nuanced differences, allowing tenants to easily recognise their home from the street. A shared roof terrace space, and generous open corridors with planting allow for continued connection between tenants, but also offer private open space for retreat. These design elements, simple and effective, add to the micro-village concept of the development and place the tenant’s personal and social experience at the centre. The architecture aims to integrate rather than separate residents from the urban language.