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Future Homes

Shaping the future of Victoria

The Future Homes Project will produce better apartment designs that support the building of apartments that become world leaders in design, sustainability and liveability.

The project has 2 stages:

  • Stage 1: A competition for Victorian architects to create plans and designs. A student competition will also target up and coming leaders in design and architecture.
  • Stage 2: Implementing the designs including changes to the planning system such as possible fast track planning processes.

Stage 1: The competition

Architects competition

The best architects across the industry will participate in a design competition to produce exemplar apartment designs that support better developments in Melbourne's suburbs.

Designs will be:

  • Liveable – high internal amenity, social spaces, natural light, good outlook
  • Cost effective – access to good design for everyone
  • Buildable – realistic projects suitable for construction
  • Replicable – approaches to adapt to a range of typical locations in suburban Melbourne
  • Good neighbours – look after the amenity of the street and surrounding residents
  • Enduring – family friendly, sustainable, safe and adaptable
  • Meeting a need – responsive to the needs of industry and consumers

Prize: A share in a prize pool of $500,000 will be awarded at the end of the competition.

Winners will have the opportunity of ongoing work (at a fee for service) through the planning implementation phase. A demonstration project may be constructed as part of Stage 2.

University Student Participation

A university student competition will run alongside the architect's competition. The student competition aims to harness the skills and experience of our up and coming leaders in design and architecture.

Further information on student participation will be available in early 2020.

Why are we running this competition?

Melbourne’s population is predicted to increase from 4.5 million to almost 9 million by 2056 and many of these people will be living in apartments.

To keep Melbourne as one of the most liveable places in the world, we need to ensure future apartment designs are world-leading in design, sustainability and liveability and provide high quality homes for families.

Many of these homes will be located within our established middle ring suburbs, where there is already convenient access to transport, jobs and services. The competition will demonstrate how great design can improve the quality of these new homes and how they can integrate with existing neighbourhoods.

Who is running this competition?

The Department of Environment, Land, Water and Planning (DELWP) is partnering with the Office of the Victorian Government Architect (OVGA).

How will this competition run?

In early 2020, all Victorian Architects will be able to register their interest to participate. They will then receive a design brief that sets out the design competition requirements. The replicability of these exemplar designs across typical suburban lots is key to this competition.

A jury will select up to 8 finalists who will then compete in a second stage to further refine proposals to create replicable, better apartment designs that will form the basis of our world-leading, liveable and sustainable homes.

At the end of the competition, winners will have the opportunity to undertake further work with the department and OVGA to inform potential planning reforms. Alongside consultation with local government, stakeholders and industry groups, the department will work to facilitate a streamlined planning process for apartment developments which utilise the exemplar designs produced from the competition.

Judging of the competition

A jury of 7 leading industry professionals will judge the competition. Each jury member has extensive experience in the architecture, environment, landscape or planning industry. Their combined wealth of knowledge makes these 7 jury members best placed to select the winners and the possibility to implement the designs into the planning system.

Jill Garner - Chair
Victorian Government Architect

Jill took the helm of the Office of the Victorian Government Architect in 2015, stepping into the role as a public advocate for architecture and design after more than 20 years in practice. As an architect, her practice - Garner Davis - has received numerous industry awards for delivering sensitive, crafted public and private work. As a design adviser and advocate in government, she strongly promotes the value of contextual, integrated design thinking and a collaborative approach across design disciplines.

Information on our renowned jury members will be released early in the new year.

Contact details

Contact Future Homes for more information.

Reviewed 19 December 2019

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