It seems some Canberrans are in an never-ending tussle about the future of development in the city's inner suburbs.
The ACT government has committed to a policy of urban infill and over the coming decades 70 per cent of the territory's new development will be in existing suburbs.
So far that strategy has mostly resulted in apartments but Canberra architect Philip Leeson said developers and architects needed to look at other options.
He said the territory should look to build more terraces and townhouses in inner-city suburbs.
It's a view that has been long-held by architects and planners alike in Canberra but Mr Leeson said the coronavirus crisis had reinforced his view.
He said many would have "gone nuts" being isolated in an apartment with a small balcony and a shared stairway.
"We've got a surplus of apartment buildings, the apartments have just gone nuts and you think how many people want to live in an apartment permanently," he said.
Instead, Mr Leeson said there was a real opportunity in Canberra to fill the so-called "missing middle". He said an example of clever infill design was at a row of nine terrace houses in Gould Street, Turner. The houses sit on three blocks that were formerly home to detached houses.
The houses were built in the early 2000s and were designed by renowned Sydney architect Alec Tzannes.
"It is a nice example of infill housing," Mr Leeson said.
"There are now three generous houses on each block so there are nine houses where there used to be three."
Inside, the terraces were the same size as a regular home. Each had either three or four bedrooms that spanned three storeys. Out the back there was a courtyard and a detached studio.
The houses had garages that were accessed by a laneway behind the building. Mr Leeson said this was not a common design feature in Canberra but it was good as it allowed the facade "to be free" of cars and driveways.
Houses in the inner north were often used as student share houses but Mr Leeson said they were not appropriate and a terrace house would be better suited.
"[The houses] often have poor orientation, very poor quality in terms of energy efficiency - they are not really suited to group houses, there is always one bedroom that is too small and there is always this arm wrestle about who gets the big bedroom," he said.
"Terraces would make absolutely ideal student accommodation."
While many might consider terrace houses a bygone product of the Victorian era, Mr Leeson said there were many modern examples of how to build clever terrace houses. He said in Canberra there was a need to build an affordable terrace house product.
"[The terraces] are expensive because they are inner city, they are big and they are generous. Nevertheless, this sort of housing could be reproduced in a more compact style at less cost," he said.
Mr Leeson said the design of Turner terraces was "absolutely the missing middle" and Canberra needed to build more of them and less apartments.
"COVID has reinforced my view that this is an absolutely ideal form of housing for inner-city living and for saving land and using land wisely," he said.
"We've got a ready population looking for this sort of stuff.
"And there would be a lot of architects who would be very keen to have a crack at this sort of housing."
- This article is part of a series that looks at the favourite buildings of Canberra architects.