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    Melbourne architects invest in new project that could revolutionise apartment living

    Geraldine Chua

    Breathe Architecture, along with a number of architects from other studios, has plans for a new multi-residential block in Melbourne that they hope would eventually be replicated across the city.

    The Nightingale, a 20-unit development that would sit across from the practice’s multi-award winning project The Commons, is designed to challenge the way Melbourne builds its apartments, and change the way its people perceive these buildings.

    "There is a great apartment culture in Europe, northern America, most other countries actually. But not in Australia. Here, if you don't have money, you might rent an apartment if you have to, but it won't be peoples' first choice,” Breathe’s founder, Jeremy McLeod told the The Age.

    Seeking to surpass the environmental credentials of The Commons, The Nightingale will be Zero Emission Ready with no gas reticulated to the apartment portion of the block. The team is also aiming for only renewable energy to be supplied to the development, both onsite and offsite.

    Other ESD goals, according to Urban Digestor, are:

    • A commitment to an 8-star average energy rating
    • No cooling to be provided in the apartments
    • High efficiency central heat pump hot water system
    • 10kW minimum solar photovoltaic system
    • 7,000L rainwater collection and reuse system plumbed to central washing machines

    As with The Commons, Breathe Architecture will place focus on communal and social interactions, with the new project to include communal laundry areas, ground floor retail, and a large rooftop gardens and terrace.

    So far, $2.7 million has been raised to kickstart the development, with investors including a number of architects such as Six Degrees, Andrew Maynard and Clare Cousins.

    Joining McLeod in the consortium hoping to develop the land are architects Will Smart (Wolveridge Architects), Andrew Maynard (Andrew Maynard Architects), Michael Roper (Architecture, Architecture), Yui Uchimura (Six Degrees Architects) and Tony Lee (Robin Boyd Foundation). Image: Sunny Nyssen. Source: The Age

    Although the project has not yet been approved by Moreland Council, Mayor Meghan Hopper has asked fellow councillors to check out The Commons, “so they can understand what the architects are trying to do” with the Nightingale. 

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