Florence Street, Brunswick, Australia – Breathe Architecture

Client: Small Giants
The Commons hit the drawing board with the goal of being one of the most sustainable residential developments in Australia. Comprising 24 apartments, two artists studios and a cafe, it sold out off-the-plan to eager inner city home-owners.
The copper and ironbark facade echos the semi industrial feel of the interiors, a design approach that is both aesthetic and cost saving.
The Commons development has a distinctly industrial feel and finish
The Commons development has a distinctly industrial feel and finish

In a breakthrough planning decision, the development has no provision for car parks. Instead, there are 65 bike spaces and a GoGet car is available less than a minute’s walk from the development.

With extensive shopping facilities within easy walking distance and an adjacent railway station connecting directly to the CBD – which is just six kilometres (four miles) distant, owners clearly see little need for vehicle ownership.

Other appealing eco features include:

  • A roof-top vegetable garden
  • Double-glazed, thermally broken windows and balcony doors throughout the building
  • Timber flooring and feature walls from salvaged timber
  • Exposed concrete ceilings and structural columns to provide thermal mass which, along with extra insulation and ceiling fans, ensures that no air-conditioning is required in the apartments
  • Raw and toxic free finishes to tapware, door handles and joinery ensuring that the indoor air quality is as optimal as possible for residents.

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Another inner-city apartment development that challenges the norm is The Hive Apartments