Breathe Architecture's Warehouse Greenhouse is about the past and the future. It is a story of industrialisation and human occupation, and an attempt to reconcile these with the natural environment. This project is about doing more with less, it’s about giving more than it takes and signals the possibility of a simple, elegant path to a sustainable future.
The home is built to Passivhaus standards, is extremely air-tight with only 1.2 air changes per hour and uses passive solar design to maximise sun penetration in winter and shade the interiors in summer. It has a highly thermally efficient envelope, is cross-ventilated and harnesses the existing buildings thermal mass.
It has high performance, double glazed tilt-and-turn windows, which were installed inside the existing glazed openings – essentially adding a third layer of glazing with a large cavity (making this a triple glazed dwelling). Incredibly, there is no active heating or cooling in this residence, instead, it solely relies on the tight thermal envelope and the HRV system.
Materiality took precedence over form and ethics came before aesthetics. Remnants of the existing building are preserved and expressed revealing its imperfections and years of layered wear. Prioritising the longevity of the existing warehouse, the project is a simple, contextual extension built using as many reused, repurposed materials as possible.
The Single Dwelling (Alteration/Addition) category was sponsored by Global Green Tag.
Photography: Tom Ross