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Tom Fisher House

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A new acute homeless shelter in an inner-city suburb designed to allay nervous neighbours

Tom Fisher House

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Architect: Cox Architecture
Photographer: Peter Bennetts

About the project: Tom Fisher House is a new acute homeless shelter in the inner-city suburb of Mount Lawley. The 10-bed facility provides chronically homeless people with safe, supervised overnight accommodation, support services, ablution and kitchen facilities, and basic first aid.

The project is in two parts. To maintain an anonymous address, away from public scrutiny and to allay nervous neighbours, Tom Fisher House sits at the rear of the block with a non-descript commercial building, also designed by us, facing Beaufort Street. Integration of an artwork by Bevan Honey across the façade is a contemporary take on the traditional small-scale shop, adding visual interest for passers-by.

The hostel intentionally oscillates between the domestic and institutional. It's a place that provides essential services but through design, creates a space of comfort and security. The need for shelter is critical but so is providing a place to be welcomed with dignity and without judgment.

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