Jury announced for $500k Future Homes design competition

An international jury that will judge a major residential design competition with a $500,000 prize pool organized by the Victorian government has been announced to coincide with the opening of Melbourne Design Week.

The Future Homes design competition is organized by the Department of Environment Land Water and Planning in partnership with the Office of the Victorian Government Architect, the Future Homes Competition is the first stage of the Future Homes Project.

The jury will be chaired by Jill Garner, the Victorian Government Architect, and will include London-based Sadie Morgan (founding director, dRMM), Koos de Keijzer (principal, DKO), Jan McRedie McCredie (urban design manager, Urban Design Manager, City of Parramatta), Jennie Officer (director, Officer Woods Architects), Tony Isaacson (chair, Robn Robin Boyd Foundation and former director of Kane Constructions) and Matt Cohen (director, development approvals and urban design, DELWP).

The two-phase project comprises both the competition and an implementation stage, which could include possible changes to the planning system, such as possible fast tracking of planning processes.

Speaking at a launch event, Garner said the competition was “a challenge to our best designers to turn their minds to some of the key design questions of our time – questions like ‘how do we bridge the gap between the concept of housing the population and the ambition to build homes and communities?’

“As our cities grow, how do we build more new homes within our established and well-serviced suburbs to accomodate a more diverse range of household types? How do we ensure that our housing is sustainable and affordable to build and run in the long-term?”

The Australian Institute of Architects has welcomed the competition and endorsed the first stage, with a review of the second stage pending.

Amy Muir, president of the Institute’s Victorian chapter, said, “We welcome this considered approach to population growth that recognizes the value of good design and uses it to problem solve and promote better building.

“The Future Homes design brief embraces critically important themes that the Institute has consistently advocated for over many years including sustainability, accessibility, quality and liveability.

‘The Institute is particularly pleased to see an emphasis placed on adaptability and housing diversity.

Muir also noted the “family-friendly” focus of the brief, with a call for designs that emphasize the ability to “downsize, upsize and adapt” and allow “planning and design to work together, creating innovation in the housing market, by supporting and encouraging high-quality future homes.”

The competition is being held in light of Melbourne’s swelling population, which is projected to reach 9 million by 2056, with the aim of keeping the city “as one of the most liveable cities in the world.”

“We need to ensure future apartment designs are world-leading, sustainable, liveable and provide high quality homes for families,” says the competition brief.

Winners will be given the opportunity for ongoing paid work through the implementation phase. The government may also build a demonstration project in the implementation phase.

To register for the Future Homes competition, click here.

The competition follows a number of similar government-led housing design competitions in New South Wales, Queensland and Western Australia.

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