ParkLife isn’t your common house constructing. The Austin Maynard Architects-designed and developed advanced is all-electric, fossil-fuel free and has a formidable 9.1-star NatHERS score. And nestled in Brunswick proper by the practice station, it’s bought the most effective of Melbourne’s inner-city at its doorstep.
It’s additionally considered one of six new neighbouring buildings in The Village. Every one has been designed by native, award-winning architects underneath the Nightingale mannequin, that’s been pushing change on Melbourne’s housing market disaster since 2013.
Based by architect Jeremy McLeod and his workforce at Breathe Structure, Nightingale Housing has grown into one thing unprecedented: a non-for-profit housing supplier creating ‘off-the-plan’-style houses which might be sustainable, habitable, and reasonably priced.
Nightingale sells their residences ‘at-cost’, with out a mark-up. As an alternative of bidding for properties primarily based on their funds, consumers enter a aggressive ‘poll’ to be supplied the prospect to purchase an house of their alternative — with a precedence system in place for individuals who usually get left behind on the property ladder, together with individuals with disabilities or their carers, girls aged 55 and over and First Nations individuals.
All of it sounds a bit too good to be true. However residents of the eye-catching ParkLife constructing are grateful for the way this ethos shapes who lives inside, and what values they share.
Having lived in residences throughout Melbourne and New York earlier than, resident Johanna Picton says ‘nothing compares to ParkLife’. Her two-bedroom house has a birdcage balcony, which completely catches the afternoon solar, and its considerate structure makes it really feel like a ‘mini home’ inside an house footprint.
‘I’ve all the time been drawn to what Nightingale stands for and am simply fortunate sufficient to have received the poll for ParkLife,’ she says. ‘I used to be so completely satisfied I cried once they known as me to inform me!’
All 37 houses inside have been bought to native residents and neighborhood housing suppliers — not traders — making them much more engaging to first-home consumers like Tristan and Claire Ward, who’s an architect for Austin Maynard Architects. Regardless of not being concerned within the design of ParkLife herself, Claire says she knew the distinctive Nightingale mannequin supplied them an opportunity to personal ‘a fantastic house’, whereas additionally being a part of a neighborhood.
‘For a very long time, we purchased into the notion that we wanted to purchase a home, on a block, with a yard however realised we’d be giving up the internal north way of life that we actually loved,’ Claire provides.
‘Our house overlooks the Bulleke-Bek park. After I sit in my lounge, I look into the cover of a longtime gum tree known as Alan, named after the person who planted him. Past the cover I can see different gum bushes dotted across the park and surrounding space. It’s laborious to elucidate, but it surely actually doesn’t really feel like we stay in the midst of Brunswick.’
Inside every house, a easy inside palette of timber flooring, white partitions and joinery, concrete ceiling, and a terrazzo tile within the toilet left room for residents like Ray Dinh (one other Austin Maynard architect) to make the area their very own. He designed and constructed a bookshelf of their lounge as a spot for his household’s ‘favorite issues’, including persona to the light-filled area beside their yellow balcony. For Ray, good structure helps individuals ‘stay a extra balanced, fulfilled life’ – and ParkLife ticks all of the packing containers.
All of the house owners say the tight-knit neighborhood is (overwhelmingly) the most effective half in regards to the advanced, which has even earned a fame of being the ‘occasion constructing’ of The Village.
Playful shared areas just like the vegetable gardens, laundry, and open-entry breezeways have made it a spot the place the neighbours not solely know one another, however cease to talk. And so they usually meet up on the rooftop amphitheatre to observe the spectacular sundown.