Doing More with Less – Warehouse Greenhouse by Breathe Architecture
Brunswick, VIC, Australia

Photography Tom Ross
Words Bronwyn Marshall
Structural Engineering Keith Long and Associates
Building Surveyor Metro Building Services
ESD Consultant Nick Bishop ESD

A reflective and considered home, Warehouse Greenhouse is conceived as a place to challenge the typical residential vernacular and do more with less, creating a balance with the natural world. Breathe Architecture’s known rigor sees underpinning sustainable principles combined with a holistic approach.

Imagined as the coming-together of the built and the natural, Warehouse Greenhouse is a home that respectfully captures its past and looks optimistically at its future. At its core, it is a reflective and considered series of spaces that create a safe and encouraging harbour for its introspective and quiet owners. Avid gardeners and makers themselves, there is an inherent patience in the type of home that reflects the values of such inhabitants – a place that can allow and encourage slow, measured growth. The resulting home speaks to these sensibilities while being founded on sustainable principles and a knowing consciousness. Breathe Architecture brings their well-honed, shared appreciation for living in balance with the natural to the project, resulting in a holistic and encouragingly welcoming home.

Imagined as the coming-together of the built and the natural, Warehouse Greenhouse is a home that respectfully captures its past and looks optimistically at its future.

Avid gardeners and makers themselves, there is an inherent patience in the type of home that reflects the values of such owners – a place that can allow and encourage slow and measured growth.

Nestled into the tightly woven, layered cultural backdrop of Brunswick, Warehouse Greenhouse sits comfortably amongst neighbours of similar values and a history of similar vernacular language. Behind its veil of aged brick, the existing warehouse streetscape is maintained, and the residential occupation almost just slips inside, respecting the site’s history. At its heart, it is an extension that captures its contextual values and sees a corrugated Zincalume-clad structure emerge beyond the height of the original buildings silhouette. The existing elements are intentionally preserved and expressed through their wearied weathered nature and natural patina. Consciously aware, the premise for the build was to recapture and utilise as much as possible of the existing and do more with less. A tension between wanting to expand the functionality is then balanced through the lens of necessity.

Breathe Architecture’s known rigor sees underpinning sustainable principles combined with a holistic approach.

Built by Never Stop Group, Warehouse Greenhouse is a study in smaller footprint living. As a family home, its versatility and robustness were key, as was the connection to natural elements to soften the otherwise hardened residential experience. Originally a 1960s warehouse, the new home is part home, part greenhouse, with an increased emphasis on the extended structure and access to natural light as the conduit to creating an inner urban green retreat space. The giving space for the natural elements offers a gesture back to the space, while also aiming to touch the site as lightly as possible. Internally, the expression of the existing trusses, brick and concrete form the foundation and insertions of custom joinery and amenity allow the past to live generously with the present. Each material was selected due to its sustainable properties and embodied energy, as well as increased insulation to enhance the natural thermal responsiveness of the home.

Originally a 1960s warehouse, the new home is part home, part greenhouse, with an increased emphasis on the extended structure and access to natural light as the conduit to creating an inner urban green retreat space.

A home of consciousness and considered care, Warehouse Greenhouse captures the spirit of living sensitively with our world. Breathe Architecture brings a methodical restraint and combines it with a respectful approach to context and the preserving of historical elements to propose a home of enduring and perceptive principles.

A home of consciousness and considered care, Warehouse Greenhouse captures the spirit of living sensitively with our world.

Published 5 August, 2020
Photography  Tom Ross
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