Vol. 10 Housing
Housing is the husk of life. The Scandinavian word for house, hus, refers to the protective casing around a nut, its Germanic counterpart, haus, can be used to describe factories, storage facilities and offices. Housing is also a verb, the fitting of an overcoat that protects the life within: us, our objects and our functions. Australia has a proverbial attachment to housing—an ‘Australian dream’ of home ownership and a legacy of bush-born rationalism. Our imaginative literature is often characterised by an expansive spirit of adventure; some may say our interior lives are mapped to the more immediate confines of neighbourhoods and picket fences. Our architectural canon is overwhelmingly private, finding kinship with the landscape and her many climatic aberrations. We cultivate a poetry of domestic dwelling that often struggles to make the jump to the scale of our neighbourhoods or cities.
Fresh memories persist of a global pandemic wherein our lives were restricted to the scale of our home and immediate neighbourhood. As our societal structure continues to shift, the boundary between private life and work is irrevocably blurred. The home is a fluid place today. As architect Peter Märkli writes regarding rental apartment design, “...we can no longer prescribe the lives of others. Space, particularly that designed for the abstract clientele of rental housing and particularly space in the cultural melting-pot of Australia, has a responsibility to be planned with a level of ambiguity. It is here, again, that we find the influence of the architect most potent.
The contributions that follow glide between these many interpretations of the word housing—a word that plants itself in the column headings of ABS statistics and just as readily in the prose of our poets and authors. The role and reach of the architect is a consistent and celebrated motif that, in the view of the editorial team, can serve to inspire and refocus our discipline
Richard Leplastrier is an Australian architect and educator. He was appointed an Officer of the Order of Australia in 2011 for distinguished service to architecture and for his work as an educator and mentor. Lepastrier was awarded the Australian Institute of Architects Gold Medal in 1999. He became an Honorary Fellow of the American Institute of Architects in 2009 and was also the recipient of an Honorary International Fellowship from the Royal Institute of British Architects in 2015.
Lütjens Padmanabhan Architekten
Oliver Lütjens and Thomas Padmanabhan established Lütjens Padmanabhan Architects in 2007 in Zurich. The practice’s recent work focuses on housing in the residential districts surrounding Zurich, Basel and Zug, including the award-winning low rent Waldmeisterweg apartment building in Zurich and the Zwhatt Sufficiency lighthouse project in Regensdorf. Further afield, they are currently working on the new residence of the Swiss ambassador in Algiers, the Unterfeld Energy Center in Zug, and the new residential development Gobli in Baar. They have taught as assistants at ETH Zurich, and as guest professors at TU Munich, EPF Lausanne and Harvard GSD. They are currently guest professors at ETH Zurich.
Aaron Peters is a director of Vokes and Peters, a Brisbane-based architecture studio. He is a contributor to numerous journals and has recently published a collection of essays Migrations from Memory with Canalside Press.
OFFICE is a not-for-profit multidisciplinary design and research practice based in Melbourne. Their projects span the intersection of built form, research, discourse and education. As a registered charity, the studio’s operations, processes and outputs are bound by a constitution to make projects for the public good. This alternative mode of practice interrogates our relationship to the built environment as architects and landscape architects; how might we work within the limits of our profession to develop ethical projects that hold social, cultural and environmental integrity?
Peter Wilson is an Australian-born, German-based architect. He studied at the University of Melbourne, before attending London's Architectural Association. After graduating he subsequently taught at the AA (Diploma Unit Master 1980- 87) and set up in practice (1980) as BOLLES+WILSON with Julia Bolles-Wilson. They relocated to Germany to build the Munster City Library and have recently completed the National Library of Luxembourg. He was visiting professor at the Edinburgh School of Architecture and Landscape Architecture and recipient of the RAIA Gold Medal and an honorary doctorate from the University of Melbourne. He has been an International Fellow of the RIBA since 2014 and is the author of Bedtime Stories for Architects (About Books Zurich/Berlin, 2023) and Some Reasons for Travelling to Italy (MIT Press, 2022).
Liliane Wong is Professor in the Department of Interior Architecture at the Rhode Island School of Design. In 2018-2019 and 2019-2020, she was recognized by Design Intelligence as one of the top 25 most admired design educators in the US. She is the author of Adaptive Reuse in Architecture: A Typological Index, Adaptive Reuse_Extending the Lives of Buildings, co-author of Libraries – A Design Manual, co-editor of Adaptive Reuse: A Decade of Responsible Practice and co-founder of the Int|AR Journal on Design Interventions & Adaptive Reuse.
Lütjens Padmanabhan Architekten
Rosa Rafart Degracia