(Un)Common House

Darcy Kay

As greater Melbourne’s population continues to increase, the polarity of domestic typologies is increasingly unable to cater to the city’s changing needs. In urban typologies, glass and steel spectres perforate the skyline in pursuit of economy, efficiency and architectural uniformity. By contrast, material expression and pride in ownership are relegated to the unsustainable and insatiable sprawl of the outer suburbs.

Could a reimagining of the “intentional community” synthesise the ownership and individuality trapped in the suburbs with the density and community of urban typologies?

(un)Common House seeks to reimagine the intentional community for the future of living in Melbourne. Situated in Prahran, (un)Common House encourages individual residents to express themselves while occupying a collection of community spaces. The volumetric form is adorned with a simple material palette to create a canvas for residents to mould the architectural manifestation to suit their desires, while offering a medium-density typology on a tight site in Melbourne’s Inner South. In this way, (un)Common House celebrates a community of individuals.


A Future of Densification

As the density and volume of Prahran is set to intensify in the coming years, the massing and volume of (un)Common House respond to the future of our suburbs, not the just the visible state of our streetscapes.


A Volumetric Community

As a reimagining of the intentional community it is important to offer a new way of pursuing and celebrating ownership and identification. In this experiment the community is manifest in volumetric manipulation.


An Individualised Experience

As a response to the typological offering of the suburbs, the individual apartments in (un)Common House differ and flex around fixed service locations. Individual residents therefore have an individualised experience, designed to support and strength the bond between apartment and home.

(un)Common House - 10 Apartments in an Intentional Community

(un)Common House - 10 Apartments in an Intentional Community


A Community of Opportunities

While the common thread of the intentional community is a common room or dining hall, (un)Common House disperses the community offering into smaller moments. This dispersion breaks down the scale of interaction, supporting casual and planned social engagement amongst the network of socially cohesive residents.


A Community Architecture

As the material manifestation of a community, the architecture is conceived as a canvas. It is hoped that the residents of a modern intentional community could take this canvas and adapt it to their collective desires. The images below offer the most basic adaptations of (un)Common House as a flavour of its potential.


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