Is Common Ground a commonsense response to homelessness?

5 Aug 2013

THE Palladium, a seventeen-storey residential tower under construction on Adelaide’s Light Square, is being marketed as the city’s “most indulgent address.” Potential residents have been invited to express their interest in acquiring one of the fifty-four “luxurious,” “sophisticated” and “exclusive” apartments.

Just metres away, in the building next door, is a housing project of a very different kind – one that caters to the needs of Adelaide’s most disadvantaged residents. And because that apartment block also looks like an example of chic inner-city living, the well-heeled occupants of the Palladium may never realise that their neighbours live at the other end of the wealth scale.

Four storeys high, with an elegant facade rich in architectural detail, the main building is a former printer’s warehouse that stood empty for years before being converted into housing. With deft use of colour, the architects have integrated this heritage-listed, redbrick block with a slim, contemporary construction of equal height. Together, these two buildings make up Common Ground, a complex of fifty-two “basic but decent” one-bedroom units that provide secure, affordable accommodation for people on low incomes or at risk of homelessness…

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