High density housing beats living in a tower - INDESIGNLIVE

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How high density housing beats living in a tower

Higher density is the order of the day, but high-density housing is a realistic alternative to the high-rise. DKO Architecture took Paul McGillick on a tour of their new AE2 project in Sydney.



BY Andrew McDonald

December 2nd, 2015


The debate about the need for high density living may be over, but the debate over what kind of density is just beginning. High-rise multi-residential towers are invariably the default position for developers wanting maximum floor space ratio, but they can come with a high personal and social cost. In fact, there are alternatives, from breaking up the mass of towers, to medium-rise perimeter multi-residentials to low-rise high-density housing.

AE2 on the Parramatta River in Sydney was developed by Defence Housing Australia (with a 70:30 ratio of Defence to private occupants) and designed by DKO Architecture. It is an exciting example of how intelligent architecture trades off space without loss of amenity. At the same time this mix of detached, terrace, townhouse and multi-residential is affordable, offers a genuine sense of community and a laneways concept which gets the cars off the street and provides safe play spaces for children. The project also managed to be the first in Sydney to be awarded UDIA EnviroDevelopment certification in all six categories ─ ecosystems, waste, energy, materials, water and community.

Variety of housing typology and scale, landscaping, quality public open space and integration with the existing community have all combined to make AE2 a fascinating example of the new urbanism.

Read the full story in Issue 63 of Indesign, on sale December 23.

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