Kinglake Community Shelter opens

Oct 6, 2009
  • Article by Online Editor

Architecture students from Monash University have completed a project for a community shelter at the Kinglake Temporary Village, which provides accommodation for families who lost their homes in the ‘Black Saturday’ bushfires.

The team of 20 second-year students were lead by Silvia Acosta from Rhode Island School of Design, Adrienne Benz, and Ross Brewin from Monash University.

After prefabricating much of the structure at the Caulfield campus, the shelter was built over a 12-day period, using donated materials including laminated veneer lumber, roof sheeting and water tanks. Many of the tools used were also gifted. The team also incorporated shipping pallets into the design, which were bought using a grant from the faculty.

The design of the project was adapted and developed as materials were gathered, and the team had to move the location of the structure to a plot of land above the intended site, but despite these constraints the project was completed in time for the official opening of the Kinglake Temporary Village on 3 October.

The shelter provides a performance space, BBQ shelter and seating area for the residents of the village. It consists of one large structure, with a second, smaller structure to the east on the original site. It is closed to the north and west, to provide protection from the prevailing winds in the area.

Architecture blog Butterpaper featured early drawings of the project last week, prompting a flurry of comments from residents, observers and students involved with the project. Monash Architecture Program Coordinator Diego Ramirez-Lovering said that residents had been gracious at the opening, and were appreciative of the hard work and long hours invested in the project by the students.

The architecture program at Monash, only in its second year, is designed to give students exposure to the whole process of architectural design, with emphasis on issues of execution. Ramirez-Lovering added that it was important for students to gain early experience on site.

Link to Peter Johns’ article: [“”:]

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