Pialba Supported Youth Accommodation


We were hired by the Department of Housing and Public Works (DHPW) to review an existing supported your accommodation that is to be replaced. We designed and ran a consultation and post occupancy review with the community who run the existing facility, local service provides and youth who had previously lived in the accommodation.

core themes

Throughout the workshop exercises, everyone shares their own response with the group (verbally). The result is a series of verbal anecdotes and requests that provide a deeper layer of information to the architects, the project team and us as hosts. The following themes are a summary of the ‘patterns’ we saw emerging in the conversational elements over the workshop and site visit.


We dive in deep and generate and collate the insights and ideas raised abehind each of these themes. We also like to find a set or core concepts that will be key for a successful outcome. These can be tangible spaces, human experiences or may relate to the service delivery or management of the accommodation.

For this project we came up with:

  1.  tribe space

    First and foremost this is a purpose built space for teenagers and young adults. The supported accommodation can give these young people a positive and abundant life experience and show them how a home and set of rituals can build community.  

  2. places to learn

    Create supported accommodation that fosters learning. Add desks to rooms, study areas, and access to computers and training. Acknowledge that this is a generation of digital natives and design the environment to suit.

  3. youth hub

    Create a shared space for hosting at the front of the site. Co-locate the office, administration, intake and training zones to create a community space, a ‘living room’ for support, learning, sharing and connecting. Use the hub to support young people on their journey before, during and after their stay.

  4. alone & together

    Create a series of communal zones: The hub (the most public), the residential indoor communal areas, and the outdoor communal areas. Create a buffer and transition between each. Add a series of private quiet areas to edges of each of these communal zones.  

  5. a rhythm of rituals

    Create a series of spaces to foster and support community rituals of connection and self care. Regular barbeques and feasts, movie nights, story-telling around the fire, gardening and cooking classes and more.