fitzroy north disability Accommodation

Disability Accommodation _ Fitzroy North VIC. Australia _ Documentation Stage

Starting with a dilapidated, two-storey apartment block, we set out to demonstrate that specialised disability accommodation doesn't need to look and feel like a sterile institution. It's possible, with the help of careful planning and innovative, assisted living technology to create comfortable and dignified homes for people with various needs. In fact, this specialised accommodation looks no different than well-appointed, modern apartments.

The existing apartment block in North Fitzroy contained 30 one-bedroom apartments. It's been redesigned to house 22 one and two-bedroom apartments for those with disabilities - both ambulant and non-ambulant. The redesign is compliant with the Liveable Housing Australia Design Guidelines (Fourth Edition), creating 14 Platinum-level and eight Silver-level dwellings and complies with the accommodation requirements of the National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS).

The project will allow many to live independently in a safe and uplifting environment, while having the security of a constant support system in place. An onsite office provides 24-hour health and safety monitoring and support, while operable doors and adjustable or movable joinery helps to make the apartments functional, safe and comfortable for independent living. There's even 'Come and Try' units offered for short stays to families considering these homes for their loved ones.

The apartments are treated as compact homes in a garden setting, with each unit enjoying views to the adjacent park from their living areas, landscaped areas surrounding the building and shared spaces designed to encourage socialising among residents. Each apartment has access to a private garden space or balcony, which is considered an important element that will contribute to residents' long term health and wellbeing. Permeable sections of fencing and balustrading help to visually expand the spaces beyond the site, helping residents engage and connect with the wider community.

This will be a benchmark project for specialised disability accommodation, removing the stigma of accessible housing and demonstrating that it's possible to design dignified homes for people of all needs.


BENT Team:
Merran Porjazoski, Thomas Zahner, Paul Porjazoski, Lana Blazanin, Alison Hui