Breathe Architecture – The Commons - IDEA 2020

Breathe Architecture – The Commons

The goal of The Commons was to build a flagship of sustainable development: a triple bottom line development that could be replicable. The apartments are affordable, sustainable, generous, easy to live in, and light filled. You know your neighbours and most have pets. Accommodating all ages without limit, you can grow old here. The communal rooftop, with vegetable plots, shared laundry, washing line and barbecue spaces, ensures company is always at hand. The ground floor is designed to engage with the community above it, and includes a café, retail tenancy and two artist studios, proposed as a response to the supplantation of artists by new developments.

Sustainability and affordability were approached via reduction wherever possible: no cars; no air-conditioning; no second bathrooms; no individual laundries or individual washing machines; no plasterboard ceilings; no chrome; no tiles; no toxic finishes; no imported timbers.

Conversely The Commons provides an average 7.5 star energy rating; parking for 72 bikes; car share; productive rooftop gardens; shared laundry; cross ventilation and natural light to all apartments and lobbies; 5KW PV array; shared Solar hot water system; shared hydronic heating boiler; 2900mm ceiling heights; recycled timber floors; exposed concrete structure & ceilings (thermal mass); timber framing; Class 1 durable timber cladding; unlaminated formply joinery; concrete benchtops; locally manufactured raw brass tapware & door hardware; copper sinks; double glazed thermally broken windows; double glazed timber doors; and mild steel light fittings. The Commons is a simple building, assembled with beautiful, natural, materials. Made up of a series of small, but delightful architectural moments. Each of these were created with a social, sustainable and economic mandate in mind. The Commons encourages real behavioural change in its occupants and aims to inspire others to do the same.