New South Wales

NSW Government launches design competition for 'missing middle housing'

ARCHITECTS and building designers are being called on by the NSW Government to showcase their visions for the future of medium density housing in the state through a design competition.

The Missing Middle Design Competition is seeking high-quality, innovative design solutions for low-rise medium density housing. The competition has a prize pool of $50,000 and seeks entries in three categories: terraces, dual occupancies and manor homes.

Medium density housing
Above: Medium density housing / Department of Planning and Environment.

These housing types are known as "the missing middle" because they provide an alternative housing option for residents that bridges the gap between free-standing houses and apartment buildings.

According to the government, terraces are undersupplied within the NSW housing market, despite their popularity and versatility for different lifestyles and household structures.

Entries will be used to road test the NSW Government's new draft Medium Density Design Guide, which is currently on exhibition.

'The Missing Middle'
Above: 'The Missing Middle' / Department of Planning and Environment.

Planning Minister Rob Stokes said the competition will assist the NSW Government's efforts to improve supply, choice and design of these popular housing types.

"Medium density homes such as terraces are highly sought after, efficient and versatile forms of housing, but are in short supply compared with traditional quarter-acre blocks and high-rise apartments." Mr Stokes said.

"We want to know whether our design guide works in practice, or if aspects such as the width of the homes could be reduced in line with their historical design.

"By encouraging creative design we hope to see architects and building designers ranging from students through to established practices take up the challenge and share their ideas with us."

The competition is open to architects, building designers, students and other industry experts. Entries will be assessed by a jury led by NSW Government Architect Peter Poulet.

Winners will receive $10,000 and runners-up will receive $5,000. Competition entries will close on 16th December. More information is available from the Department of Planning and Environment website at <>.

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