Breathing new life into urban Melbourne

Image by Tom Ross.

Image by Tom Ross.

Location: Melbourne, Victoria.

Environmentally sustainable, well designed AND affordable? Breathe Architecture delivered on the brief with these two Bardolph Gardens homes constructed in Glen Iris, Melbourne.

The new single story dwellings have transformed under-utilised open space at the rear of two existing California bungalows into carefully considered rental housing.  They have been cleverly designed to maximise thermal performance, operating from a zero fossil fuel services system, including a solar PV array and heat pump system that supplies hot water, which helps each home to achieve an impressive energy rating of 8 stars (minimum).  

From the outside, the use of recycled red brick and the shape of the roof echo the character of neighbouring houses in the street. Entry can be via a private courtyard or landscaped garden. A series of ‘hit and miss’ brick screens create smaller courtyards, drawing in air and dappled light to adjacent bedrooms and bathrooms.

Each room has been designed to have an outlook to greenery creating a sense of calm and connection to nature.  The north facing glazing ensures an abundance of natural light into the spacious, double-height living areas. 

The result is two beautiful and creative homes that provide a great example of sensitive, urban infill development for rental housing. This type of approach provides an option for people to live close to the city, which helps to limit urban sprawl on the outer edges of our cities. Reducing urban sprawl can mean less traffic, less CO2 emissions, and less removal of forests and agricultural land for housing - pretty good reasons to think more carefully about how we use our urban space.

Architect: Breathe Architecture.

Builder: Greg Scott Constructions.

Image by Tom Ross.

Image by Tom Ross.

Image by Tom Ross.

Image by Tom Ross.

Image by Tom Ross. Furniture supplied by    StyleCraft    (Tom Skeehan Studio Hoshi Armchair and Hoshi Ottoman, Ross Gardam Adapt Lounge and Duet Barstools, Arper Pix Ottomans, Sipa Tommy Low Stool). Rug supplied by    Armadillo & Co    (Agra Rug in Duchess).

Image by Tom Ross. Furniture supplied by StyleCraft (Tom Skeehan Studio Hoshi Armchair and Hoshi Ottoman, Ross Gardam Adapt Lounge and Duet Barstools, Arper Pix Ottomans, Sipa Tommy Low Stool). Rug supplied by Armadillo & Co (Agra Rug in Duchess).

Image by Tom Ross.

Image by Tom Ross.

Image by Tom Ross.

Image by Tom Ross.

Kate Derbyshire