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Creating home in urban Australia : the role of site, space and form


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Walliss, J 1996 , 'Creating home in urban Australia : the role of site, space and form', Research Master thesis, University of Tasmania.

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Environmental concerns, together with increasing development costs have
created the need for urban housing which can provide an alternative to the
popular, but low density detached house. Coaxing Australians into denser
housing, however, is proving a difficult task, particularly as many regard the
detached house as the ideal home.
The concept of home is extremely complex, incorporating many physical,
social and psychological factors. However, attempting to understand and
incorporate these attributes into the development of denser housing will
surely produce a greater acceptance of urban housing in Australian cities.
This approach must be preferable to simply insisting that Australians modify
their lifestyles and values in order to accept urban housing.
This thesis will explore one important component of housing design - spatial
organisation, in order to establish its role and importance in creating home in
Australia. Spatial organisation describes the method of arranging dwellings,
external spaces and associated facilities on a site. It forms a particularly
important consideration in the design of urban housing where it is often
necessary to design a number of individual dwellings and functions on a
common block of land. This research is therefore not concerned with the
internal spatial arrangement of the dwelling, instead focusing on the
relationship, both physically and socially, between the individual dwelling
and the broader community and urban fabric.
The major component of this research traces the historical development of
spatial organisation in Australian housing. This occurred in two distinct
phases involving:
a) the modification of English cultural models; and
b) the post World War II application of Modernist housing principles.
These two phases were characterised by contrasting spatial organisations
which produced very different concepts of home. The traditional model, for
example, favoured individual and private homes whereas the Modernist
models emphasised mass housing developments with communal facilities.
Evaluation of these models reveal that many Australians have a clear
preference for the domestic qualities produced by the traditional spatial
organisation while contemporary housing design still incorporates many
aspects of Modernist spatial organisation. This thesis examines this paradox
from a number of perspectives and concludes with a new direction for spatial
organisation in urban housing, based on an Australian perception of home. In
addition, it demonstrates the value of multi-disciplinary research in the
development of contemporary design theory, which balances the needs of the
broader population against the inclinations of the design profession.

Item Type: Thesis - Research Master
Authors/Creators:Walliss, J
Copyright Holders: The Author
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Copyright 1996 the Author - The University is continuing to endeavour to trace the copyright
owner(s) and in the meantime this item has been reproduced here in good faith. We
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