Often referred to as the “missing middle”, well-designed medium-density housing is undersupplied in the suburbs of Australia’s capital cities. With the recent announcement by the Western Australian Government on the draft Design WA Medium Density policy, it is timely Hames Sharley reflects on one such endeavour which certainly exceeds all future expectations…

The missing middle provides an opportunity to rethink design and spatial qualities to ensure that the home has all its needs and desires but equally focus’ on efficient use of available space. Interaction and engagement across the public and private threshold become critically important to find the balance between encouraging neighbourhood engagement and privacy.

Bridging that gap and meeting the demand for medium-density housing in Perth, Hames Sharley – in collaboration with DevelopmentWA, introduce Salt Lane at Shoreline.

Located in North Coogee, Western Australia, Salt Lane is an urban regeneration project with an approach that is both sympathetic to the context of coastal living, while demonstrating a unique and alternative approach to residential living.

Shoreline is a breakthrough development for the Perth community and will provide housing for up to 5,000 people upon completion. Salt Lane, a small but essential development within Shoreline, will offer around 170 dwellings in an integrated form.

Hames Sharley’s approach for the Shoreline project has been to embrace its place, create flexibility for changing needs in the housing typology and create a timeless architecture that appeals to all. We believe that creating living environments that adapt to the occupants, help facilitate a place for people to stay and become neighbours and friends. Salt Lane includes strategic thinking around parking to enable the provision of active, living and walkable streets not dominated by cars and garages.

On a sustainable front - Salt Lane is paving the way for our future. The multi-level terraces feature a passive solar design to incorporate excellent natural daylight while minimising harsh westerly sunlight in the later periods of the day. The passive solar system also provides cross ventilation throughout each home.

Salt Lane proves to be both environmental and socially sustainable in its long-term approach, as it uses surrounding areas more efficiently for the benefit of the greater community.

With a need to increase Perth’s density, the outcome of Salt Lane is a new benchmark for the missing middle. We are excited by the design outcome and thrilled by the prospect to design more economical, sustainable and social communities in the future.