This project explores ideas of enhanced liveability in the context of increasing density. The challenge was to strike a balance between an efficient use of the site, functionality, affordability and integration with the street. Grounded by a user-centred approach to layout, materiality, form and function, the two townhouses were designed with a clear focus on longevity and liveability in turn.

We believe that smaller space designed and built with consideration can provide for everything required to live well, with less, more simply.

We believe in the power of incidental interaction to break down boundaries and strengthen community. Multiple layers were used to mediate this transition between public and private space. An open posted recycled timber fence prevents all but perpendicular external sight lines. Native tea tree plantings behind the fence create a layer of permeable screening to the setback front yard with passive seating made from recycled railway sleepers. This use of layering enables connection to exist between inhabitants and passers-by.

A focus on connection allowed for natural light, ventilation and energy transfer to be considered, creating comfortable places to seek refuge, build relationships and nurture growth.


1 North Street, Brunswick VIC 3056


2 Townhouses




Tess Kelly


Affordability is not just a consideration during construction. Maintenance over the life of a building was considered in order to decrease costs over time. Highly textured materials such as timbers require more regular maintenance and are located at ground level where they are accessible, with robust low maintenance materials such as Colorbond used in areas out of reach. This focus has the added benefit of maximising texture and warmth at everyday touch points at the human scale.

Detail resolution is an important component of the design. Details that are robust, beautiful and easy to maintain were considered carefully. Designing for tolerance and ease of assembly with simple yet elegant resolution of natural, personable and recycled material where possible were also key focuses of the design.