With construction imminent, we have finally given Nightingale 3.0 a name. Please meet Nightingale Terrace House. But why the new name? These Nightingale homes are different to what has come before. These Nightingale homes are not apartments. They’re Terrace Houses, stacked six storeys high.
>Nightingale 3 homes are Terrace homes
But why is Nightingale Terrace House such a generous size?
Every Nightingale home is designed by an award winning architect to create the best homes that suit the unique conditions of place and its community. Nightingale Terrace House is on a thin, long block (10m x 57m). Apartments cannot fit on such a block without facing homes inward, towards each other. Homes should have an aspect out from the site, into the surroundings, to the sky. Homes should not be designed to look onto each other. Therefore this unique site demanded generous homes. This gave us a wonderful opportunity. Rather than generating tight apartment plans, we emulated terrace home plans. Homes at Nightingale Terrace House are large with big outlooks, a front verandah, a study and a huge shared ‘backyard' on the roof. These are highly sustainable terrace homes, stacked 6 stories high, with super-low running costs, in an engaged community. But without the high price, constant demands for maintenance and poor thermal performance of typical terrace homes.
Nightingale Terrace House are not wasteful. These homes are not oversized. They are not inefficient. They are site appropriate. A terrace home, as a typology, is an efficient type of free standing housing. With homes up to 130m2 Nightingale Terrace House is large relative to other incredibly well designed Nightingale apartments, yet they are highly efficient relative to the typical Australian homes. The average Australian home is 233m2, and it is typically inefficient in its use of space and energy, poorly designed and unsustainable. Relative to the average Australian home Nightingale Terrace House could be called Nightingale JUST RIGHT.
>Nightingale may not be what you think it is.
Nightingale is a model for supplying ethical housing. The Nightingale Model arms architects with a process to create highly sustainable, community orientated housing, at cost. That’s right, no profit. After all, housing is a human right, and should not be treated as a commodity. Nightingale homes are designed to suit the site and the community for which they are built. Nightingale is not a building type or aesthetic. Therefore each architect is free to design with each unique community and each unique site. The Nightingale Model is generous, not prescriptive.
>Our community is diverse, and so is Nightingale.
From the first Nightingale homes, through to the Nightingale Village, and onto future Nightingale homes in regional Australia, the Nightingale Model is being executed in diverse ways. Nightingale’s housing solutions range in size from large 130 m2 two level, three bedroom, plus study, family homes down to beautiful 30m2 Teilhaus apartments. Nightingale homes range from below $300,000 to over $1m, and all homes are sold at cost and below the market. At Nightingale we are trying to find a price tag that suits everyone. Some larger Nightingale homes may be priced beyond what some of us can afford, however they are sold at low square metre rates. Despite their low sales rate, their highly liveable size adds up, hence the price tag. They are exceptional value for money, and if you are in a larger family, then there is no better long term option out there. Nightingale Terrace House has a lot of families. Many of whom are priced out of the housing market, yet do not want to live in small apartments. Nightingale Terrace House employs the Nightingale Model to fill that gap in the market.
Nightingale Terrace House isn’t an evolution of the Nightingale model. Nightingale Terrace House is a different application of the Nightingale Model, with a different approach to home making. This is the power of the Nightingale Model. It offers us a way to create ethical, sustainable, cost effective housing, while also allowing each community to craft an outcome that suits their needs and wants. The Nightingale Model is for everyone. It empowers and enables diversity and difference, and the best is yet to come.
> The Nightingale Model
The Nightingale Model is triple bottom line development model that delivers homes that are environmentally, socially and financially sustainable. The goal of each Nightingale project is to provide quality urban housing, with high sustainability outcomes, at an affordable price. Further information can be seen at www.nightingalehousing.org
The growing Nightingale database consists of over 1400 potential purchasers, all of whom have an interest in the model and are open to living in a sustainable car-free community. We have surveyed these people to gauge, among many questions, who among them are interested in living at 209 Sydney Road, Brunswick and whether they have a requirement for 1, 2 or 3 bedroom apartments.
Through this survey and a further interview process, all purchasers will be vetted to ensure that they will be owner occupiers, that they truly understand the nature of the project and that they have no requirement for car parking. To date we have approximately 190 potential purchasers who wish to live in this vertical community, with the vast majority interested in utilising the existing sustainable transport infrastructure provided in Brunswick as their only mode of transport, including public transport, walking, cycling and car share.
TONY PATTON, OWNER OF KINKI GERLINKI
Tony Patton is the owner of 209 Sydney Road and the retail business Kinki Gerlinki. Tony is a long time resident of Brunswick who has watched as developer led housing has changed his beloved Brunswick in ways that he has been saddened to see. Tony has been approached by profit driven developers in the past who have offered to purchase 209 Sydney Road. Rather than “cashing in” and leaving Brunswick, Tony has decided to become part of the housing solution. Rather than enabling poor development to continue in his suburb, Tony approached Nightingale Housing and asked how he could help create an ethical, sustainable home for himself and for others.
Austin Maynard Architects and Tony have been working together, along with the guidance of the Nightingale Housing not-for-profit board, to design a building and community to be proud of. Tony won’t be selling up and moving away. Once Nightingale 3.0 has finished construction Tony will own an apartment and Kinki Gerlinki with continue to operate on Sydney Road. Other apartments will be sold to owner-occupiers who have also helped guide the design process, and a vibrant community will be established.
Like everyone involved in Nightingale, Tony has put his money where his mouth is to ensure that Brunswick, and Melbourne, create an ethical, sustainable and affordable future.
THE BRUNSWICK COMMUNITY
Brunswick is a wonderfully diverse suburb, with residents from a range of different socio-economic backgrounds, ethnicity and lifestyles. Issues of equality, sustainability, the arts and ethics are high priorities of many residents of Brunswick as evidenced through voting tendency over the years. The majority of purchasers of Nightingale Terrace House are locals of Brunswick and many are renters in the area who have been unable to find affordable and liveable options to purchase locally. They already have an established social network and make use of the public and commercial transport options in the area. Issues of finding a liveable, yet cost effective homes are forcing many locals to relocate to other suburbs further from the city, away from established social networks and infrastructure such as reliable public transport.
THE NIGHTINGALE TERRACE HOUSE HOME OWNERS
In June 2016 we made available a survey to the Nightingale purchaser list. The results from that survey have strongly informed the design of Nightingale Terrace House. 194 respondents have expressed a willingness to purchase homes designed by Austin Maynard Architects at 209 Sydney Road. The survey revealed that 160 respondents are ready to put down deposits as owner-occupiers, whilst the remaining 34 purchasers were in the process of finalising their finances. 55% of respondents are first home buyers and 75% of respondents are under 45. The vast majority of respondents wanted a shared laundry, rooftop clothes line to ensure that they had larger living spaces. A rooftop garden was very important to most respondents. Everyone was concerned about climate change and the majority wanted a highly sustainable development. Almost no-one requested air-conditioning, with the knowledge that Austin Maynard would be designing a highly thermal efficient building. 23% of respondents requested 1 bedroom homes, 53% requested 2 bedroom homes and 20% requested 3 bedroom homes. Other respondents asked for larger homes. The vast majority of respondents want a car free home as almost everyone commutes via public transport, bicycles and walking and Uber.
Brunswick is one of the most eclectic and multi-cultural suburbs of Melbourne. It has a rich and diverse heritage. We aim for Nightingale Terrace House to be a type of love letter to Brunswick’s eclectic heritage and specifically to its often undervalued Mediterranean-Australian built history. Sadly arches and brown brick are not in fashion at the moment and as such we are seeing the erasure of a very important part of post war Australia. Nightingale Terrace House borrows not only from the plethora of unique arches along Sydney Road, but also from the often undervalued Mediterranean history of the area. Importantly, Nightingale Terrace House will avoid masonry arches on the eastern and western facades and instead will be constructed from metal mesh. This ensures that occupants of Nightingale Terrace House will have an abundance of natural light and as well as a mesh for vegetation to grow on.
AN URBAN RESPONSE TO TRANSIT & PARKING
As determined by the transport plan, increased car usage of Saxon should be discouraged. The width, the pedestrian park and the private road all contributed to a street that cannot effectively tolerate car usage. Increased car activity would not only be an ineffective transport outcome, it would be to the absolute detriment of the area and would effectively terminate the moment for Saxon to become an important public space and artery to important public infrastructure such as the school, the baths, the train, bike path, library, council building and other services tightly packed in this unique public realm. Furthermore the purchasers of Nightingale Terrace House have articulated a commitment to sustainable transport options and a history of non-car usage during their time living elsewhere in Brunswick. The transport solution is an ideal solution not only for the residents of Nightingale Terrace House, but importantly for the broader community and its public spaces and infrastructure.
RESPONSE TO BRUNSWICK’S BUILT HERITAGE
The design of Nightingale Terrace House is a direct response to Brunswick’s rich and diverse built heritage. The design responds to far more than just the Victorian heritage in the area. Brunswick contains some of the best examples of post war Mediterranean-Australian architecture. Brunswick also has an intriguing industrial history that remains to this day. Nightingale Terrace House borrows from this context in a respectful and playful way. Sydney Road has a unique and wonderful collection of arches of various types and epochs. We’ve studied the Sydney Road facades and have created a modern interpretation of the context, yet using light utilitarian materials on the eastern and western facades that reflect Brunswick’s industrial past. Although we are very fond of the masonry arch balconies of neighbouring buildings the lack of natural light provides poor amenity to the inhabitants compared to the metal mesh and gardens proposed at Nightingale Terrace House.
Undertaking yet another dumb, boxy, masculine development is exactly what Brunswick does not need. Neither does it need a direct copy of heritage structures. Instead we have designed a green lung that borrows the forms and rhythms of the area. The utilitarian concrete and metal mesh provide the backdrop for substantial gardens on the east and west facade and elegant, simple graphics of the North and South facades. The balustrading is simple vertical aluminium posts which ensure that the balconies are not scalable by youngsters whilst providing abundant light to the Nightingale inhabitants.
Our vision is that Nightingale Terrace House will become a vertical community garden within a masonry context. Our aim is to provide a tall garden full of life.
Nightingale Terrace House will house owner-occupiers who have expressed their desire to live in a green building both in a sustainable sense, and also in a garden sense. Through surveys of the Nightingale purchaser list it has been established that the owners of Nightingale Terrace House homes love the roof top garden at The Commons yet desire even more access to gardens and gardening. Unlike many developments, which are aimed at investors and renters, Nightingale Terrace House’s owner-occupier communities will ensure that greenery thrives on both Sydney Road and Saxon Street. As apposed to apartment buildings occupied by renters, Nightingale Terrace House owner-occupiers they will be “house proud” and will ensure that the arched garden forms of their community add vibrancy and amenity to the broader context.