SCALE: Sam Klopper’s Kennedy Street project has been designed to fit seamlessly into its local environment. Image: Klopper & Davis Architects

Maylands infill model pitch

Architect Sam Klopper has shrugged off community consternation over an apartment project on Kennedy Street in Maylands, instead pitching the development as a model for future urban infill.


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Mount Lawley
Well designed small scale developments along these lines are just what is needed as infill where it's permitted in predominantly single house neighbourhoods. The interface with neighbours can and should be friendly and not dominating, materials can be compatible with the local 'vernacular' if one exists. The trouble, apart from knee-jerk nimbyism, is that there have been too many poorly designed developments approved that simply ignore context and which people can justifiably be upset about because communities including the future residents of these developments deserve better. Appropriately located infill is essential for the future, but it also should be respectful of what exists already. Just because it's infill doesn't mean it has a God-given right to dominate everything around it. Apartments don't have to tower above all else, or contain 100 dwellings. I'm not familiar with this particular site, but I'd much sooner something like this than some of the monstrosities that have been constructed in the inner city in recent years. And I'd sooner see a modest apartment building like this than a row of ghastly units all facing a driveway. For the record, I don't know Sam Klopper or Dale Alcock but I'm pleased to see a major builder of project homes is using qualified and thoughtful architects to do higher density development. Until we insist of quality design and construction, the criticisms of infill will be much harder to convert to acceptance.

High quality projects like these are fine for very low rise urban infill in very establish inner city suburbs...and good on Klopper for keeping it classy. Unfortunately a lot of other infill is (and has been) done hideously cheaply and becomes the bane of the existing residents' existence, as they attract low-quality tenants and disrupt everything that the people who live in these suburbs enjoy about their area (noting they often paid significantly to get there).

Victoria Park
We need to endorse choice of housing - not everyone wants a 4 bedroom/2 bathroom home!

This all sounds well and good, but 18 months after completion only a few of these apartments have sold. We live nearby so have watched the developers have to rent them out. No-one wants to spend what the developer is asking. This development should serve as a warning to others thinking they'll make a mint out of carving up a suburban block.

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