Architecture - Masters

Brisbane Urban Commons

The Urban Commons is located in Fortitude Valley, Brisbane. Through a combination of architectural spaces and technological solutions, the place aims to help combat youth homelessness in Brisbane.


This project aims to create a ‘place’ that will support unemployed homeless youths through social and technological aspects. The Urban Commons should not be a place which only reflects the tragedy of homelessness, but provide physical spaces that give the users and visitors hope. The building should also bring awareness to the issue of homelessness, and engage potential employers and public into contributing to the place through social and environment means.

drawing plans



The are respective procedures upon entry depending on the purpose of the visitor. For example, newcomer homeless youths that want to use the education space and sleeping quarters must register at the reception beforehand. They will also be given a waiting ticket and brochure to wait at the waiting area.


Youths who are seeking for help will be led by the receptionist to the consultation area to discuss about the their circumstances, so that the staff will know which services and facilities to provide them.


The urban commons has a pathway which allows pedestrians to travel directly through the site. The openings on the facades of the event space exposes the space to the exterior, which is suitable depending on the event held.


The timber pathway along the urban garden connects all the different spaces of the ground floor together, creating a smooth and continuous circulation of movement. It removes the restriction of spaces such as the café and canteen. Instead, the users can choose to sit anywhere they want along the urban garden and consume their food and drinks.


The event space on the ground floor can accommodate different events through different equipment set ups and the option of enclosing or opening the facade walls of the space. The storage room next to it allows for the necessary equipment to be retrieved and returned.

It is also an important place and opportunity for employers and homeless youths to interact as they might become employees in the future. Seminar and recruitment events held also allows employers of different industries to attract homeless youths that are seeking for jobs.


The ramp is an important vertical connection of the Urban Commons. The curved and dividing paths which allows for the users to easily move to the spaces they want reflects the possibilities in life to the homeless youths. This freedom for them to go reflects that they can eventually achieve the future that they desire with the help of the Urban Commons.


Homeless youths who have registered will be educated on the knowledge and skills to operate the remote controlled robotics. They will be taking something similar to a course and when they are accessed to be proficient, they can register to work at the urban commons. The space allows them to potentially become the future workforce of the construction and labor industry.


It is a place which serves as a relaxation area for those to take breaks or after finishing their work shift or education course. They can relax through activities like reading or playing games. This creates a healthy and less stressful work environment, which is suitable for the youths that might have encounter poor workplace experience in the past.


A space where it exhibit homeless youths doing their jobs. They are employed to operate VR controlled robots to remotely carryout labor and construction works on sites. Furthermore, the public can also try out the VR system provided with the guidance of a staff to better understand the work experience and ethics of the homeless youths working there.


The VR zone has screen projectors that provide information to familiarize visitors with the technology and operation method. The screens also demonstrate the work operation of the homeless youths in real time.


The auditorium is where lectures and talks are held to provide motivation and knowledge of past experience from those who graduated from homelessness. Shows can also occasionally be held to attract socialization between the homeless youths and the public.


Homeless youths must be registered to use the sleeping and residential facilities in the Urban Commons.


The recreation area is a private space used by the homeless youths to maintain a fun and healthy lifestyle while living and working at the Urban Commons.

Alvin Chua

Alvin is a master of architecture student who has great interest in creating sustainable architecture that would positively impact its users and surroundings.