Part of the Nightingale Village development, the block by Kennedy Nolan is an example of a typology created under the Nightingale development model, which aims to design residential projects that are “environmentally, socially and financially sustainable”.
The entire village has been longlisted in the Housing project category of the Dezeen Awards.
Nightingale Village is a housing development in Melbourne, Australia
Acting as a developer for the project, Kennedy Nolan aimed to imbue its building of 28 homes with “personality” to give it a welcoming presence in the urban block in which it sits.
“Our methodology always looks to do more with less,” said studio founder Patrick Kennedy.
“This meant identifying fundamental parts of the building and thinking about ways to manipulate or deploy them to make our Nightingale feel domestic, warm, textural and particular.”
Part of the development was designed by Kennedy Nolan
Located in an urban block adjacent to a railway line and surrounded by industrial warehouses to the south, single family homes to the west, and larger apartment and office blocks to the north and east, the project is prominently positioned and is visible across Brunswick.
Large-scale geometric compositions of oculi on the building’s western facade create a generous “urban-scale gesture” to the surrounding neighbourhood, according to the studio.
It was constructed from pigmented concrete
The warm tint of the ochre precast concrete panels used on the building’s facades glows in the afternoon sun, while the inlaid chevron pattern provides texture and contributes to its pictorial imagery.
“We were motivated to make the building sober, handsome and warm – qualities which are domestic or which can instil domestic pride,” explained Kennedy.
The block has a limited tonal palette expressed through different materials and textures, including tactile carbon neutral red brick and “Piranesian” oversized concrete columns used on its ground plane.
“An overall colour scheme provides cohesion and intensity – the ochre tint of the pre-cast suggesting each subsequent material choice to build an overall tonal and textural composition of related and complementary parts,” said Kennedy.
It contains single-family homes, apartments and office
Organised around an external circulation stair, the building has varying apartment typologies across its eight storeys, with communal facilities on its roof to help support informal interactions that can build community.
“Physically, the buildings are not so large that you can’t know everyone,” explained Kennedy. “The communal laundry, roof garden and vegetable beds and the pleasant outdoor circulation and stairs encourage incidental meetings and neighbourly interaction.”
A tonal palette was expressed through different materials
Inside Leftfield, the apartments have a muted material palette that reflects the domestic character of the site. Each home features simple and inexpensive accents of cork, brass, timber, terrazzo, as well as textured wool carpets and linen curtains.
The apartment interiors have a paired back scheme
Kennedy Nolan is an Australian studio founded in 1999 by Patrick Kennedy and Rachel Nolan.
Previous projects by the studio include an Arts and Crafts inspired home with sculptural chimneys, and a house extension with a circular hole bridging old and new.
The building was designed to look warm
The photography is by Tom Ross.
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