Let’s not be naive. The contextual character of the site is clear – it is right in your face.

This is not a traditional suburban street dominated by 22 degree pitched roofs and low picket fences.

This as an unforgiving laneway in Seddon, no manicured nature strip in sight. The only constant is the line of the back fence – a datum for setback – and the continuous monotony of the asphalt surface.

The fences are high and graffiti covered – made of steel, timber and iron – clues for materiality. An urban lane where security and privacy are critical – no low fences and open front yards here please. Architecturally, the response begs, as clear as day, not for mock federation typology or of the such. It demands a certain brutality that adopts and embraces its condition.

Let’s not be utopian and ignore the facts. Let’s understand the conditions and embrace them, set an outstanding contextual precedent that “feels” as if it belongs in a lane in the suburb of Seddon. Any other response would be a vast misreading of an urban context.

There really is no other sensible architectural response – our proposition understands and acknowledges the real nature of this site. A gritty urban Australian architectural response now, that will not sit well with the mediocrity.

Pretext: This argument was framed from a position where the governing authority judges an application on what it defines as the preferred “neighbourhood character”. In this instance, the authority’s preferred model is a generic pitched roof, no front fence, mock Edwardian with a six meter setback. A conformist view, where approval is by committee. Now that it is built they see the understanding.

Lily Street

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