Transformer is an exercise in building more with less. It takes the 'long life, loose fit' approach. The aim from Breathe Architecture was to maximise flexibility and longevity of the space by preserving as much of the existing structure and texture as possible and to then add the kitchen and back of house as one simple, elegant built element into the space.

Transformer's function - as a wholefood vegetarian restaurant - was an inspirational and motivating force behind the sustainable design of the building. Breathe added a simple palette of raw, local and natural materials referencing the idea behind the vegetarian menu at Transformer; fresh, raw & natural. These materials include recycled timber battens to enclose the kitchen, recycled messmate table tops from the old Geelong station, mild steel door frames & joinery, locally manufactured brass door furniture and tap ware, cyclone wire planting screens, and exposed cement sheet linings in bathrooms in lieu of tiles.

Finally, Breathe let the plants run wild, occupying the space with verdant, fresh greenery.

There is currently no post occupancy performance testing available for the building, however the very function of the building - as a vegetarian restaurant suggests a dramatic reduction in the ongoing carbon emissions created throughout its lifecycle.


  • Simplicity - Building more with less - Taking the 'Long life, loose fit' approach.
  • Adaptive Reuse
  • All existing structure and linings retained
  • All new interventions freestanding to maximize flexibility, ensuring building can y be adapted in thefuture
  • Use of local and/or recycled materials
  • Extensive planting/greenery
  • To try, in some small way, to inspire a choice toward vegetarian choices.
  • Extensive planting -used to create intimate 'plots' of dining space.
  • Materials left raw/natural state where possible.
  • Low VOC paint and sealants where required.
  • Autex 'Greenstuf' for acoustic and thermal performance.
  • Recycled timber table tops and cladding, from the old Geelong Station.
  • Mild steel joinery and window reveals, locally manufactured.
  • LED lighting throughout.