Bennett Street Housing


CODA was one of three practices invited to provide a Concept Design Proposal for Foundation Housing’s new Bennett Street Affordable Housing project. The project will provide hostel and affordable key worker apartment accommodation in the inner east end of the Perth CBD.

Based on our experience in this type of accommodation, our scheme was underpinned by the following four principles: access to daylight, fresh air, robust and sustainable materials and a real sense of community. We believe that these principles should form the heart of any design, but have particular relevance to Foundation Housing, its clients and tenants and the people who work for the organisation delivering its services.

Our scheme proposed a range of activated street front uses such as caretaker offices and interview rooms, and a ‘sunken lounge’ on the upper level that engaged directly with Bennett Street. A combined first floor community area included a Men’s Shed, BBQ areas and a variety of scaled spaces for socialisation. An important link between the laundry spaces, kitchen and cooking education areas was developed, along with the careful provision of stores and separate access points for apartment residents and hostel tenants. A visitation apartment was also proposed to provide a space for tenants to interact with their children in a safe and secure environment.

Looking to minimise site time and to maximise space efficiencies, we proposed a 16-storey apartment tower using the Unitised Building (UB) modular system of construction. This method not only looks great but is cost, resource and time effective. As our imagery demonstrates, the building’s shell was to have been punctuated with an engaging and uplifting palette of coloured, north facing balconies – one for each tenancy.

It was a considered and bold scheme that we believe would have provided a memorable, pragmatic and substantial piece of residential architecture for inner-city Perth.