Lime Street by Formworks

Wow Formworks must have a good PR agent. Lately I have heard about the Lime St social housing project in Architectural Review Asia Pacific and Australian Design Review continously, as it keeps doing the rounds on Twitter.

Firstly, if Kelly is reading this humble little blog, I’d love you to share some of your tips of how you get your project so well published.

Secondly, I’m not sure if the articles I’ve read are from independent reviewers who have visited the building, or just from a press release by Formworks offices. So I’d like to add my own two cents to the conversation, basing it entirely on the articles I’ve read and the photos I’ve seen, not on a site visit, which I realise is quite frankly no way to conduct a review. But I am already at home so it will have to do.

Anyway, things I like … I like the concrete banding showing the hollow cores of the blockwork. This is a neat way to use concrete block (a current fave of mine) and gives a really good effect over the high walls.
I like the open ‘public’ spaces which are really just extended parts of corridors. However I’ve seen a photo of such a place, and read about them, but can’t see them on the plan. Are they only on some floors?
I like the street feel with the alley grittiness at the entrance. This gives a more residential feel to what could be a tall ghetto-like structure.

Things I’m confused about … The articles I’ve read indicate this is for homeless accommodation but the one floor plan I’ve seen shows more like an aged care facility. Is this short or long term accommodation? I always think of homeless accommodation as emergency, short stay accommodation or crisis care. Which then affects some of the other social impacts of the design – if people are long term residents they may be more likely to use the social interaction spaces, if they are only there for one night they may not?

Overall it’s great to see government spending on supporting the different types of residential accommodation required in Perth at the moment. Lets hope there’s more of it.

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