Rundle Mall Christmas Community Partner

A community solution to homelessness.

For the month of December, Rundle Mall will be home to the Calyx-16 prototype, with Forage Built partnering with the Mall as this year’s exclusive Christmas Community Partner. The display provides a platform to raise awareness and drive donations to support Forage Built’s work to build sustainable housing communities.

Studio Nine Architects are proud major sponsors of The Calyx Project by Forage Built — providing meaningful change to the problem of homelessness through an innovative, sustainable and integrated housing solution.

Forage Built is a social enterprise and partnership between S9 Director Andrew Steele, Forage Supply Co founders Scott Rogasch and Justin Westhoff, Zoe Steele of Tandem Building Group and Tim Pearce of Frame Creative. The group came together to create a new approach to breaking the cycle of homelessness.

With a current shortage of affordable housing for people experiencing homelessness in Australia, The Calyx Project aims to combat this issue by creating villages where people in need can find safe accommodation and a sense of community.

The solution begins with the design of the Calyx-16 — A 16sqm, safe, affordable, modular, transportable, energy efficient and eco-friendly dwelling.

Unlike current solutions, which include temporary use of motels and share houses, the Calyx-16 concept stems from the idea of a protective layer around a flower bud, creating its own protective layer around the occupant to offer a personal haven to sleep safely and store belongings.

Designed by Andrew, each pod sleeps one, with an ensuite, small kitchen, porch area and ample storage space. The compact design is a dignified place to call home. The considered design includes all-recycled materials that are cost effective, robust and high performing. Importantly, the pods will also be carbon neutral.

The Calyx-16 can be configured in multiple ways. Its modular design allows for optional wet areas and can be configured onsite to include sleeping quarters and living for a small family.

The Calyx homes are not designed to exist in isolation — the solution is focused on community with the homes to be built in a larger village.

Five ingredients are required to bring the project to fruition: a socially conscious developer or landowner, capital partner (financier), placement by an agency, management by a non-for-profit and employment opportunities by a social enterprise. Early collaboration with Council is also required to understand how social impact will be managed.

CBD sites such as dormant car parks or vacant lots awaiting development are key examples of underused land where a village could be established on a medium-term basis, then utilising the pods modular design, relocated to the next available block of land when required. Safety, trust and care are integrated into the overall development principles with clear pathways to a sustainable lifestyle for residents.

A village will include more than four pods, with the agency placing people into homes in complementary cohorts to manage social risks. A designated pod for a case worker to reside onsite and provide 24-hour support will be located within the village for every 4-5 residents and managed by the non-for-profit.

A larger communal pod will also be located within the centre of the site, housing a kitchen, laundry area and space for events and skill-based workshops. This will allow residents to safely connect to form community, access services, learn new skills and transition back into permanent housing and the workforce through employment or placement opportunities with an aligned company.

The Forage Built team undertook an extensive consultation and survey process, speaking to the intended end-users, to decode the brief and truly understand how they would best use the space and interact within the village.

The prototype pod, built by Oxygen Building Group, costs around $80,000, however the Forage Built team is working to reduce costs by up to half that.

The project has been supported by numerous organisations.

The Rundle Mall partnership follows on from the success of the installation at this year’s Tasting Australia Festival in April (pictured below). This led to Yalumba Wines joining the movement, releasing a special edition ‘Homefullness Grenache’ with 50% from every pack sold donated to Forage Built to fund the build of one Calyx-16. A limited number of 12-packs are still available to purchase through Yalumba.

Over the month of October, Romeo’s Retail Group came on board as an official fundraising partner, with an instore campaign across their SA stores to raise donations and awareness for the initiative.

The prototype pod will continue to be displayed at community events and key locations across the state, with community partnerships and pop-up’s already in place for 2022. Sponsorship from financial institutions are currently being sought to inject capital into the project to pilot the first village.

Rundle Mall and Forage Built will be hosting pop-up events in the lead up to Christmas, with the pod open to the public for viewing at select times during the week. View the timetable here.