Setting a Precedent for Green Design – Bruce Street by Carr
Imbued with a sustainable focus and a distinctly contemporary commercial application, Bruce Street sets a precedent for both green design and development at scale in a historically significant area. Set within the former industrial precinct of Kensington, in Melbourne’s inner west, Carr rejuvenates the site while harking back to its industrial past with this robust yet sophisticated eight-storey commercial building.
The first building of its scale within Kensington’s historical industrial wedge, Bruce Street offers a contemporary injection into the streetscape yet simultaneously references the original red brick warehouses, grain silos and wool stores that line the streets. The building comprises two lobby spaces side-by-side on the ground floor, with shared amenities including two commercial meeting spaces and extensive end-of-trip facilities. On the upper levels are office spaces that feature large operable windows and sliding doors for natural ventilation and deep balconies.
The exterior façade of the building is robust, responding to the vernacular of the existing fabric of Kensington. Concrete slabs spliced with red brick piers balanced with fine metal balustrades make up the external structure; the series of slab edges echo the horizontal banding of neighbouring warehouse buildings. Passive design elements play a crucial role in the façade – skewed brick piers frame views to the north-east and of the city to the south-east, providing passive solar protection from the western sun, while the beautiful hit-and-miss brickwork allows additional filtered natural light. Greenery softens the exterior of the building with the insertion of trees and large concrete planters across balconies.
Also designed by Carr, the interiors continue the exterior language while giving a soft, serene feel. Imbued with a refined yet rugged quality, concrete features throughout along with rust-red tones of the metal detailing and paintwork. Bespoke lighting details, exposed soffits and a pared-back aesthetic offer a sophisticated touch.
A reflection of Carr’s commitment to sustainable design practices, the building is the first project to pass Melbourne City Council’s new Green Factor Tool.
Sustainability is embedded in every aspect of Bruce Street. A reflection of Carr’s commitment to sustainable design practices, the building is the first project to pass Melbourne City Council’s new Green Factor Tool. Along with its materiality, the entirely gas-free building isa pioneering example of passive design. Similarly, the Sydney Design Collective and Junglefy have planted a large canopy tree that is placed centrally at ground level and rises through the slab punctuation, a400-metre square extensively biodiverse green roof – both initiatives directly responding to the climate crisis.
A case for sustainable design and negotiating heritage in a development context, Carr reawakens Kensington’s potential with Bruce Street. A direct response to its streetscape, environmental imperatives and the needs of its locale, Bruce Street presents a holistic, contemporary workspace while simultaneously rejuvenating a forgotten precinct and setting a new standard for green design.