Creating a vision for the revitalisation of an important public space within Ballarat based around the key placemaking principles of ‘lighter, quicker, cheaper’. The brief was to add new life and amenity to the space but in a way that was flexible and still allowed it to be cleared or re-arranged as required to host events. OneCollective developed a vision based around a ‘toolbox’ of semi-permanent furniture and planters and worked with the adjoining university arts academy to develop concepts for series of artworks that promoted creative change whilst also telling the important history of the space. The space was (re)imagined within a 3 month process from initial concept through to opening in time for the hosting of the Archibald Prize at the adjoining Art Gallery of Ballarat.
New developments, particularly in a greenfield suburban context, are often seen as being boring and sterile - nothing to do and all the same. This is because you need more than just houses and streets to create a real community, and it then takes time for a place to mature and develop character, and for a community to form. And this raises the question of what, if anything, can be done in the early days to help this process along.
This newly emerging development of 2500 homes in Ballarat is planned to include a community village and main street, district park, schools and business precinct. To help add some 'life' to the community in the early days, the detailed design focuses on providing a mix of housing types, streetscape features and park spaces that are not typically found in a suburban context and that add interest and diversity to the community. A central open space and pedestrian spine has also been included to link all key destinations - promoting walking and cycling, encouraging social activity and interaction and helping to bind the community together and add life from day one.
Project: Lucas (Ballarat, VIC)
Description: Master planning and detailed urban design for 2500 home new community
The brief for this project was to develop a plan that would help to breathe new life and attract new residents into this small and declining rural township. Rather than following a traditional statutory planning type process, the project took a design led approach with a focus on delivering 5 key “shovel ready’ projects that the community could understand and take ownership over and would attract government support .
In collaboration with CHC architects and FFLA, onecollective provided the lead urban design role in developing an innovative consultation strategy which centred around the refit of a vacant shop space within the town’s main street into a community ‘workshop’. An overall town plan and key projects for the main street, parkland foreshore, sports precinct and future residential areas were generated which have to date leveraged investment in the range of $5.8 million and helped to create an exciting future for the Tallagatta of tomorrow.
Project: Tallangatta Tomorrow (Tallangatta, VIC)
Description: Community consultation, project visioning and urban design for revitalisation of small rural township
Part event space.
The concept for CommonHouse was to design a flexible space that provided a comfortable modern home for a family of 5 but that could be adapted to become an a office and studio throughout the day and a event space to host workshops and functions in the evenings and on weekends. The underlying aim of the project was to demonstrate that good design should, and can, be affordable and a part of the everyday life of everyday people. Reflecting the shape and scale of the original barn that still stands nearby on the property, the design utilised a simple form and palette of materials achieve a budget similar to a standard project home whilst still managing to deliver house that meets a 6 star green building rating and provides a contemporary take on the country vernacular.
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Project: Common House (Lauriston, VIC)
Description: Architectural concept design for modern country residence
By rethinking the humble cornershop as more than just a place to buy milk and bread, this project explores ideas of how this near extinct species could be reborn whilst also helping to bring new life to the neighbourhoods in which they sit.
Taking inspiration from pop-up shops and newly emerging prefab building methods, the design combines a small convenience store with a café within a compact internal floorplan with larger covered outdoor areas to help reduce start-up and running costs whilst still achieving a distinctive appearance and open feel suited to its park setting and tropical climate. To promote the potential for the space to become a community meeting place, the design includes a flexible event and art space, outdoor cinema, ‘edible garden and picnic patch’ and an ideas wall - all helping to breathe new life and a sense of community into the ‘humble’ cornershop.
Project: Cornershop (Mackay, QLD)
Description: Project visioning and concept design for combined cafe, cornershop and flexible community space exploring pre-fab and pop-up principles
The brief for this project was challenging - to develop a new suite of signage that would become a distinctive feature and reflect the rural character of the shire but at a cost that would be similar to a standard ‘off-the-shelf’ approach. Taking inspiration from rural fencing found in the local area, we developed design based around a simple pallette of materials and forms that were cost effective and could be easily adapted to a variety of wayfinding and signage types. The farm posts were sourced from a local mill and a simple process for fabrication and installation was developed meaning that the signs could be produced by local suppliers and then installed by Council’s own in-house maintenance team. The end suite of signage is clearly contemporary, but reflecting the materials and forms of the local rural fencing created a way to link back to the history and character of the local area - creating ‘new ways from old things’.
Turning a problem into a point of difference - whilst the land for this project had been designated as a future urban growth area, bushland conservation areas within the site and associated bushfire management buffers posed significant constraints to development. By designing for site - working 'with' rather than 'against' these features, rethinking the open space and street network, and adopting a multiple-use approach to open space planning that integrated parkland and water management systems with bushland conservation areas - we were able to achieve better environmental and development outcomes for the project whilst at the same time improving the amenity, efficiency and maintenance of key open areas and creating a better setting for the community.
With increasing housing densities, changing lifestyle and recreational trends and a push towards more environmentally sustainable development, the way in which open space has traditionally been provided within our communities is increasingly being questioned. Throughout our projects we have been exploring different ideas in response to these issues under what we call 'living spaces' - creating open space which is multiple-use and more land efficient, is better linked and encourages walking, cycling and active recreation, promotes better environmental and maintenance outcomes and importantly, better reflects what people want and adds 'life' to the community in which it sits.
For this project, a 150ha new community in Queensland, the site adjoins regionally significant conservation and low-lying flood plain areas. Rather than seeing this as a constraint and turning our back on is area, we worked closely with specialist WSUD consultancy DesignFlow and Landscape Architects Vee Design to develop a street and open space network which maximised view lines and access to these areas and introduced a range of features such as pathways and boardwalk trails, wetland and environmental interpretive areas and small 'break-out' spaces that would turn this area into the key recreational destination for the community whilst still protecting its environmental values. The more traditional neighbourhood park, which was centralised within the residential area, was designed to incorporate a broader range of landscape, recreational and WSUD functions than is typically found in that park type and was connected to the wider open space and conservation network through a series of linear parks and 'green streets' to create a network which improves WSUD outcomes, encourages walking and cycling, is more cost effective to maintain and draws the amenity of the natural setting into the heart of the community.
Project: Plantation Palms (Mackay, QLD)
Description: Master planning and detailed urban design for 2000 home new community
The concept for A Plot in Common was to create a space that would become a hub for local makers and creatives and to provide a testing ground for community building and design based projects. With their studio incorporated into the precinct, OneCollective led the design to convert a series of rural buildings into flexible spaces to host workshops, food based events and community gatherings and to create an extensive community ‘open’ garden that would become a ‘common’ for the local community. The focus was to take a ‘minimal intervention’ approach - giving the buildings a new life and contemporary use but at the same time making as little changes as possible to retain their original character.
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Suburbia is often criticised for its monotony - streets, houses and garages, trees (if your lucky) and the odd park - all the same. Through some of our recent projects we have been exploring and testing different ideas for how to challenge the standard suburban pattern and to create better and more interesting places to live. One such idea has been to re-think the typical suburban street and, in key locations, replacing it with a shared zone and urban plaza that provides a unique community space and pedestrian link whilst still retaining the necessary functions of safety, access, parking and amenity.
While not claiming to be a solution for all suburban woes, the focus of this project was to investigate new housing and urban forms, challenge existing engineering standards and show that even a small intervention can make a big difference to the overall community by helping to ‘break-up’ the typical suburban model.
Warrnambool City Council recently identified the need to undertake a revitalisation program for its city centre in response to declining retail, business and investment activity and to improve the quality of the public domain. Working with SED Advisory, our initial role was to generate a new structure plan for the city centre that would provide a vision and strategic framework for the next 20 years and identify a range of priority projects to be implemented as part of the revitalisation program. Rather than just following a traditional statutory based approach, we undertook a series of stakeholder workshops and presented best practice case study examples from around the world to generate discussion, promote new ideas and thinking and help create an exciting and shared vision for the future of the city. Following the generation of the new City Centre Structure Plan, Onecollective is now providing lead urban design advice and review for Council across its (re)create the city program incorporating a range of streetscape, parking, laneway, urban art, pop-up and events projects.
Within most golfing communities, unless you actually own a golf front home or are playing golf, you won't see much, if anything of the golf course. This is because the land with direct golf frontage is valued at a premium and is almost always built out to its edges in the belief that this approach will maximise sales profit, meaning that if you live on a non-golf front home you may as well be living anywhere.
Through this recent project, a 160ha golfing community in Sydney, we took a different approach to the design and have shown that it is possible to open-up views to the golf and bring the amenity and value of the golf setting from the edge into the heart of the community whilst at the same time making significant improvements to the project returns. In reviewing an existing plan for the site we were able to redesign the park and street network to introduce a series of 'golf windows' that opened views to the golf course and provided better parkland and community spaces. The slight reduction in lots with direct golf frontage was easily offset by the improved value of the internal lots and reductions in engineering and construction costs resulting from the more site responsive design - showing how good design can improve our lives, but it can also pay for itself.
Inspired by leading sustainability and community design projects from around the world, this project involved working with Towong Council to design a new Zero Energy Neighbourhood (ZEN) that could be used to demonstrate sustainable lifestyle options to the region whilst also attracting new people and investment to help revitalize the local community. The initial master plan focused on setting up a neighbourhood structure where residents would have the opportunity to live a more sustainable and healthy lifestyle - through correct passive solar design, improved access to public transport, shopping, walking and cycling, increased housing choices, provision of a community garden for green waste and food production and incorporation of water quality management systems. Further sustainability initiatives are now being investigated including the building of a 7+ star demonstration home and a range of energy, water and waste management systems with the aim of becoming the region’s first Zero Energy Rating neighbourhood.
The success of a project can often hinge on how well you can communicate with people and get them to understand and support what you are trying to achieve. This recent project involved the revitalisation of a historically significant landmark site, and council were looking for the best way to communicate their vision so that it could be easily understood by all the stakeholders involved. Utilising on-site photography, we produced a series of perspectives that provided an accurate real-life representation and allowed everyone to clearly understand and comment on the key features of the proposal.