Architecture - Masters
The Urban Commons for Lotus Place is a response to the question 'how can architecture help to solve the issue of homelessness in Brisbane?' The response investigated how childhood trauma and institutional care leads to a high likelihood of mental and physical health issues, and vulnerability to homelessness. The proposal seeks to provide a preventative solution through a GP and medical health clinic, counselling centre and homelessness support agency under one roof.
People who have suffered during their childhood whilst in the care of institutions such as a church, state, foster care, detention centres and mental health institutions are often an invisible part of our society. The systems meant to help them has left them scared and traumatised without support or recognition of the abuse they have suffered.
Lotus Place consists of three buildings enclosing the central green space and public lawn. Each of the buildings has its unique identity but tie into a single language across the site.
The largest, and most dominant building, on the northern corner of the site is the Fortitude Valley GP Clinic. It provides an initial point of contact between the public and the other functions on-site. It also hosts a conference centre and staff library. Connected to the GP through an open-air walkway is the mental health and counselling centre. More domestic in scale than the other buildings, this is the most private and intimate of the trio.
Finally the third building, fronting St Pauls Terrace, is Lotus Place Headquarters and emergency accommodation for those suffering mental health issues and homelessness. It functions as a gym, art studio, information centre, and point of contact to support services.
Completing her Masters in Architecture has encouraged Lauren to consider how design can have a revolutionary or catalytic effect on societies problems by offering unique built and unbuilt solutions. Through work and experience living and studying abroad, Lauren has developed an interest in using these design skills to propose how we might improve how we live, work and play in our cities. In all of her work, people and their experiences of our built environment is her focus.