Edmund Wright Heritage Awards - Commendation Year of the Built Environment Exemplars Programme for National Built Heritage
Increasingly, Adelaide is the ultimate destination for the homeless across the greater metropolitan area and beyond. The swelling tide of the destitute and desperate washes around the city’s shelters and parks, putting pressure on social services and charities alike. Finding itself unable to provide more than the briefest of respite for homeless people, or having to turn them away, the St Vincent de Paul Society made the decision to upgrade and expand its Adelaide hostel located on the edge of the traditional gathering point for the homeless, Whitmore Square, in the south-west corner of the city.
Tectvs designed new accommodation on the Whitmore Square property to provide 55 beds and some sense of identity and dignity for people otherwise relegated to the fringes of modern society.
The design and construction challenge was to insert highly specialised residential accommodation into a tight clutch of notable heritage buildings on and around the square. Tectvs’s design intent was to make the upgraded night shelter feel part of the city and not apologetically bland and institutional, both in terms of its place in the public realm and in the eyes of occupants already acutely conscious of being at the foot of the social ladder.