Best in Category - Architectural Design 2018

Nightingale 1

Breathe Architecture / Nightingale Housing/Project Group / Oculus/ Openwork / Nick Bishop ESD with Hip V. Hype Sustainability / Hansen Partnership

Nightingale 1 is the inaugural project of the Nightingale Model - a replicable, triple bottom line housing model with an overarching priority towards social, economic and environmental sustainability.

At it’s heart, Nightingale is all about people. Its architecture serves as a catalyst to unite a group with similar values and build community.


  • Breathe Architecture/ Nightingale Housing
  • Project Group
  • Oculus/ Openwork
  • Nick Bishop ESD with Hip V. Hype Sustainability
  • Hansen Partnership

Design Excellence

Nightingale is all about people. The project was about building a place that people wanted to live in, a place they would love, a place they would call home.

Design Impact

Nightingale’s ground floor is about engagement between residents, the street and the wider Brunswick community. Tenancies are occupied by organisations with similarly aligned values - Nightingale Housing, and Branch Studio Architects. Seating nooks and a semi public laneway work hard to activate the space.

Nightingale apartments are affordable, sustainable, generous, easy to live in, and light filled. A series of meaningful social and utility spaces promote interaction and engagement. The rooftop deck is about the utility of living and people coming together. With vegetable plots, shared laundry, washing line and outdoor dining and rooftop lawn, ensures company is always at hand.

Design Transformation

Homes built for people, not profit.

Nightingale 1 is made up of a series of meaningful architectural moments. Adopting a design approach of building more with less and an emphasis on reduction, non-essential building systems, such as second bathrooms, individual laundries, car parking, ceilings, chrome, air-conditioning and toxic finishes, have all been excluded. Instead, apartments are generous, light, affordable and sustainable.

The whole together is so much more than the sum of its parts. Designed with a priority towards social, economic and environmental sustainability, Nightingale 1 encourages a real behavioural and lifestyle change in its occupants with hope to inspire others to do the same.

Design Innovation

Nightingale 1 is the first building in the country to be connected under an embedded network that is 100% fossil fuel free. Nightingale is carbon neutral in its operation. There is no gas. This is not by accident but by design.

We designed not only the building or the electrical reticulation but we also designed the owners corporation rules, the embedded network and metering systems, the metering and sharing of the solar and solar feedings so that every Nightingale resident receives 100% green power at more than 30% less than any other Brunswick resident pays for carbon laden black power.

Other Key Features

The building is designed to operate without air conditioning. We have partnered with The University of Melbourne to test internal temperatures, to prove that air-conditioning is not required in Melbourne’s temperate climate zone.

Nightingale includes:

  • Average 8.2 stars
  • Parking for 42 bicycles
  • Car Share
  • Rooftop gardens
  • Shared rooftop laundry
  • Natural light and ventilation to all bedrooms
  • Shared 18kW PV array
  • Shared solar hot water system
  • Shared hydronic heating boiler
  • Re-use of rainwater for irrigation, laundry and shared amenities
  • Recycled timber floors
  • Formply joinery
  • Concrete bench tops
  • Hydronic heating
  • Double glazed, thermally broken windows