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RMIT Bachelor of Architecture Design Studio // Year: 2017 Semester 2
Students: Kingsly Arul, Bingyan Cao, Leonard Li, Gabriel Lim, Leon Lo, Bryn Murrell, Mike Parlapiano, Jerome Peredo, Eric Thoroughgood, Sherilyn Tok, Conrad Tse, Maryanne Waiting, Haiying Wang, Nancy Yu, Tiffany Yu

This studio is dedicated to a research and design led exploration of and speculation on housing alternative models (H.A.M) through specific site conditions and typological rule-based experiments.


The studio is a workshop of typological experiments that investigated how contaminations and transformations of ‘other’ typologies can assist in re-imagining core architectural elements (form, circulation, program & spatial arrangement, ornament, etc.) to generate new propositions and prototypical spatial & formal models for alternative housing.

Rule-based process experiments were deployed to assist in manipulating, distorting, amplifying, shattering, dispersing, and {insert action here} the behaviours and qualities of existing types to affect the architectural elements of the ‘Skinnyscraper’ typology.  The studio was not only be interested in a process based approach but more so, what could be generated in terms of architectural propositions in this specific way of working.


Housing is one the most complex challenges cities face today.  With Melbourne’s population growing rapidly; housing affordability, density and liveability are continually questioned.  How can we learn from and generate new housing typologies out of existing housing types (courtyards, granny flats, Victorian terraces, co-housing, micro apartments, shophouses, tubehouses, etc.)?  How can we refashion them into a vertical condition?  How can we embrace past ideas in order to approach the future?  What might emerge from hybridised housing types?  What might all this look like through the lens of narrow urban infill sites?

The studio explored strategies for alternative housing models from macro to micro scales with a specific interest in narrow urban infill sites.  Normally associated with luxury living, the studio re-imagined ‘skinny skyscrapers’ as viable alternatives for affordable housing models and mix.  At an urban scale – it questioned civic presence and amenity; social – explored engagement and interaction between units as well as public and private spatial connectiviy and arrangements; and the living units – examed its internal specificity promoting variations of housing mix, access and ownership.

The studio culminated in the production of the ‘Book of H.A.M.’ and the ‘Catalogue of H.A.M.’