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Between 2019-2021 the Queensland government undertook 20 special projects in partnership with private sector architects, to demonstrate best practice outcomes that challenge the typical approach to the design of social & affordable housing projects.  Wakefield Social Housing is one of these ‘demonstration’ projects.  It features in the Social Housing Design Guidelines 2021, A Q Companion Document

Wakefield Social housing is located on a steep site in the northern suburbs of Brisbane, with an eight metre fall from corner to corner.  It sits between a railway line, a road reserve and a cluster of recently developed apartment buildings.  The project consists of 20 apartments.

Our design positioned most of the apartments in a 3 storey building along the quiet street fronting the site, allowing the majority of tenants to benefit from a northern orientation, and be sheltered from the adjoining railway noise.  The apartments in the 2 storey building at the rear of the site also turn their back to the railway line, and open onto private gardens and a central courtyard (also to the north).

Knowing that residents may have a different levels of mobility, it was important to develop a practical circulation strategy that would allow residents to navigate this steep site as easily and independently as possible.  The provision of a semi-basement carpark allowed us to provide a safe, meandering walkway which starts at the street, linking all communal areas as it makes its way to the highest ground at the rear of the site.

“New ideas and lessons learned from these exemplar projects have informed the development of these design guidelines”  

Leah Lang, Queensland Government Architect (Social Housing Design Guidelines, A Q Companion Document 2021)

Department of Communities, Housing
and Digital Economy
MNCE (Structural, Civil & Traffic Engineering)
Cushway Blackford (Services Engineers)
Matt Duncan (Arborist)
Renzo Tonin (Acoustic Engineers)
In Construction 2023