Gaia Architects

non-toxic refurbishment of 30's housing

McKenzie Court, Fairfield, Perth

Client: Fairfield Housing Cooperative, 1991-3

Gaia worked as lead architect for this refurbishment of 81 houses in the third phase of the regeneration of the former Hunter Crescent sink estate.

Following on from the first two successful refurbishment phases – which housed most of those who were still remaining in the area – this phase was for a combination of some identified and some as yet unidentified future residents. For those who were known, a series of options in layout and specification were offered, such that there was a range of house type beyond the limitations of the 1930's layouts. For the others the committee and the design team created as wide a range as possible and reduced the number of flats to a single access stair by giving all ground floor accommodation sits own front and back doors. This was particularly important on this phase as it represented the highest density accommodation in the whole estate.


A major innovation on this phase was the development of a toxin-free timber specification, which was arranged to give the project a 30-year guarantee for all timber – through maintaining natural ventilation to the structural timbers, rather than using CCA treatment. The existing timber was in any case of a higher quality than would have been available new.


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