Density Diversity Done Well Social Housing Demonstration Projects

A demonstration project showing dwellings around a shared courtyard with table, seating a play areas in a garden setting.

Exploring Queensland housing design to meet our community's changing needs.

From competition to demonstration

In 2017, the Office of the Queensland Government Architect ran a design competition that sought new ‘missing middle’ housing ideas for Queensland to meet contemporary community, urban and environmental challenges. The ‘missing middle’ is a term used in the South-East Queensland Regional Plan to describe dwellings that sit between high-rise, high-density living and the free-standing suburban family home. The Department of Housing and Public Works (HPW), through its social housing program, is considered a key ‘missing middle’ influencer given its substantial landholdings in middle-ring, low-density suburbs across the state.

On 19 December 2018, the Honourable Mick de Brenni, the then Minister for Housing and Public Works, Minister for Digital Technology and Minister for Sport announced that the department would deliver 20 social housing demonstration projects in partnerships with private sector architects.

These 20 demonstration projects will build on the ideas that came out of the Density and Diversity Done Well competition, supplemented with additional projects commissioned by the department.

All projects will respond to the original challenge of the competition: to be a good neighbour and create a good neighbourhood.

Key actions for the demonstration projects

This Density and Diversity Done Well initiative encompasses 3 key actions:

Action 1 - Scope and commence 20 social-housing demonstration projects

A collaborative partnership has been created between the Office of the Queensland Government Architect, Building and Asset Services and the Housing Partnerships Office to scope, commence and deliver 20 social housing demonstration projects as part the Housing Construction Jobs Program.

Action 2 - Establish a design excellence panel of architects

An external design excellence panel (the panel) of up to 20 architects will be established. These architects will be selected through an open-tender EOI procurement process. The panel will comprise Queensland-based architects (individuals) who:

  • work in small-to-medium enterprises

  • have already delivered exemplar (award-winning) housing projects.

Prior experience working with the HPW is not essential.

The panel will:

  • assist the department to deliver the 20 demonstration projects

  • provide broader social-housing design advice to the department.

Action 3 - Develop new design guidelines through demonstration

New design guidelines for social housing will be developed from learnings from the first 10 demonstration projects. This guidance material will form part of the QDesign suite of documents.

Further information

Read more about QDesign