A Study in Biophilic Architecture – Barkly Street by DREAMER Architecture and Breathe Architecture
Brunswick, VIC, Australia
The developers (OUTsideIN) and architects behind 388 Barkly Street commenced this project with the stark realisation that Australia’s developer-driven model is in crisis. Correcting said crisis became the ambition to develop a building that is not only aesthetically pleasing, but that holds itself to a higher standard through an ardent respect for the environment, local community and occupiers.
388 Barkly Street is the manifestation of a collaboration between DREAMER Architecture and Breathe Architecture. The environmentally-conscious firms set out to achieve 11 biophilic town homes that strengthen the residents’ connection to nature through abundant natural light sources, dynamic vegetation and design choices that embrace blurring the line between outside and in. Specific consideration is given to natural light, air flow, plant life and soil – all elements that collectively effect the sense of warmth, comfort and calm throughout the interiors.
The homes at 388 Barkly Street have been crafted with ethically sourced materials, selected for both their durability and reduced carbon footprint. The building’s heritage exterior brick shell is owed to Brunswick’s history of brick production and has actually been returned to a condition much closer to its original state throughout this development.
388 Barkly Street is the manifestation of a collaboration between DREAMER Architecture and Breathe Architecture.
Meticulously planned detailing extends to inside the building, where solutions-focused design objects again emphasise the accomplished maturity of this project. A series of what the developers and architects call ‘Moments’ greet you throughout your journey into one of the Barkly Street residences. The first of these, titled A Seat the Foot of the Mountain by BMDO, is a bench bridge – a carefully considered seat that subtly directs rainwater into the lobby. The Handshake of a Building alludes to the door handles throughout, each of which has been individually handcrafted by Kyneton-based creative practice, Rowsaan, whilst Folded Steel Pendant for Barkly Street is a fixture light integrated above the kitchen bench. Developed by Melbourne-based studio Ambience, it encourages a central gathering point within the home.
What is perhaps most impressive about 388 Barkly Street, however, is how these seemingly isolated design moments come together to form a cohesive and relaxing experience in step with the biophilic goals of the project. This is best demonstrated when considering that the bespoke details above have been achieved alongside a fossil fuel-free development powered by 100% green energy. A solar-powered system, high-performance glazing and low VOC materials specified throughout have helped the development in achieving a 7.5-star NatHERS rating, reinforcing the notion that 388 Barkly Street reflects the expertise and unwavering vision that its creators hold for sustainable architecture in the 21st century.