La Gorda

La Gorda

City in a City / affordable housing : renewal Corridor Mayfield Newcastle, NSW

Team: Richard Eastman, Nicholoas Wilson, Thomas Youngman, Freya Jarrett

Course Coordinator: Architect Andrew Donaldson

La Gorda : ‘ the well fed ones’

Mass housing in a housing crisis; what gesture?

Where commodified speculative markets are the organisational principal of the built environment for living, there is disjunction, distortion, coercion, appropriation, neglect and inflexibility for ‘public sector fear of the future user’. That traditionally and newly marginalised groups are, in terms of qualitative, affordable housing, under-nourished or ‘unfed’.

La Gorda recentralises 3000 occupants across the Mayfield Renewal Corridor: ‘a city within a city’.  A sub-city where densification brings localised access to amenity and community enhancing agency within the wider city. That communities becomes desirable through diversity: diversity of housing type, of financial access, of shared space, of the expression in architectural language.

To the extent that La Gorda seeks to deconstruct ‘the mass’ in mass housing. That the assemblage of structures and space bestows an activation of the social condition through opportunities for encounter, through shared resource, through shared leisure. A life in common.

That private space is future proofed by way of accommodating diversity, of flexibility and adaptability, of personalisation. That the space and place becomes the very haven ‘for the actualisation of individual identity ’ (Heidegger)

That governance structures enables agency and participation in community.

That enabling financial strategies bestows security, affordability, a non-speculative equity share and agency to marginalised groups. That public-private partnerships are initiated through municipality community land title (CLT), state guarantees and federal subsidies in combination with community housing providers and ethical cooperative banks: necessitating bestowal and largesse.

That in overarching terms, there is a spirit of pluralistic agonism through de-commodification ; such that there is a ‘win’ for all stakeholders and a contribution by stakeholders and that this in itself builds resilience.

Speculations on unceded land, UON, 2023


University of Newcastle:  Nominated Australian Institute of Architects Student Prize 2023

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