2012 National Architecture Awards: Multiple Housing

58 Stevens Street by Officer Woods Residential Architecture – Multiple Housing: National Commendation Australian Institute of Architects

Jury citation

This grouped dwelling development uses courtyards to balance communality and privacy, focusing on the provision of a flexible planning model that favours social housing principles — multi-generational occupation, universal accessibility, home office adaptability and internal subdivision — to accommodate growing and aging families.

On an infill site in a post-industrial setting, Officer Woods has designed a group of four houses. Rather than expressing each dwelling separately, Officer Woods has presented the dwellings as a single identity to the street, similar to a large house in the maisonette tradition. The built form engages with the material and construction language of nearby warehouses. Social sustainability is achieved by maximizing the current density in an established location with high amenity, while providing dual-key adaptability to allow dwellings to be divided if the site density code doubles in the future.

Building massing has been designed to zero setbacks on southern boundaries to maximize solar access, with buildings arranged to avoid overshadowing and to provide acoustic separation between living and sleeping areas. Vehicle and pedestrian entries are separated to enhance safety, security and legibility. The budget was set up to increase longevity through the use of demonstratively low-maintenance and sustainable materials and finishes. The project relies on efficient planning and the juxtaposition of raw and refined materials to maximize cost effectiveness.

Environmental analysis was used to calculate the embodied energy, to ensure a carbon-positive life cycle was achieved. Subsequent environmental auditing resulted in an average 7-star Building Energy Rating Scheme (BERS PRO) rating across the houses.

Read a review of 58 Stevens Street from Architecture Australia.


Officer Woods Architects
Fremantle, WA, Australia
Project Team
Jennie Officer, Trent Woods, Julius Welke, Paul Empson
Builder Imagin Group
Landscape design Earthcare Developments
Structural engineer Andreotta Cardenosa
Site Details
Location 58 Stevens Street,  Fremantle,  WA,  Australia
Project Details
Status Built
Category Residential
Type New houses



Published online: 2 Nov 2012
Words: National Architecture Awards Jury 2012
Images: Robert Frith


Architecture Australia, November 2012

Related topics

More award

See all
Australian House of the Year: Cantala Avenue House by ME. Modest architecture with significant impacts: 2020 Houses Awards winners

A modest house in an “unremarkable but incredibly familiar” Gold Coast suburb has clinched the top prize in the 2020 Houses Awards.

Courtyard House for Fabprefab (NSW) by Chrofi with Fabprefab, New House Under 200 m². 2020 Houses Awards: Commendations

Twenty-two projects and two emerging practices have received commendations in the 2020 Houses Awards.

Cantala Avenue House by ME. 2020 Houses Awards: Australian House of the Year

The winning project celebrates a simple life and the capacity of modest architecture to impact significantly on the way we live.

Waratah Secondary House by Anthrosite. 2020 Houses Awards: Sustainability

The jury lauded this small, humble project, adding that it “delivers something that we need to see more of in our cities.”

Most read

Latest on site