• 2020

  • Architectural
    Place Design

Designed By:

  • DKO and Breathe Architecture

Commissioned By:

Defence Housing Australia

Designed In:


Arkadia is about community and sustainability, it’s about memory and place. Arkadia is about community, past, present and future. It started with interviews of our surrounding neighbours and a historical study of the working class community that existed here in the 20th century.

Image: Tom Ross
Image: Tom Ross
Image: Tom Ross
Image: Tom Ross
Image: Tom Ross
Image: Tom Ross
Image: Tom Ross
Image: Tom Ross
  • MORE
  • The challenge was to design 152 places to call home - 85 homes for defence personnel and their families and 67 to be sold on the open market. At its core, Arkadia was designed to be environmentally and socially sustainable, while capturing the memory of its past. Revealing the history of the site are nearly half a million recycled bricks paying homage to the clay quarries and brick factories that stood there in centuries past.

  • Arkadia is 4 buildings, with 4 identities and 4 communities. They are tied together to form a single sinuous skin, woven together from carefully crafted recycled brickwork. Each building has its own space to come together, its own productive garden, its own lift lobby, its own address and its own community. The buildings serve as a reminder of the sites’ industrial past and form a protective wall to the busy Sydney Park Road to the south. They share a rooftop and open out to the north to embrace a new park to share with the residents of Huntley Street beyond.

  • We wanted to know what the residents of Alexandria loved about their suburb and what they wanted to see in the future. Through resident interviews we heard the hopes and worries of the existing community. They wanted protection – physically and acoustically – from the busy traffic to the south, and they wanted more open space to the north. Arkadia forms a protective wall to Sydney Park Road and invites the community to share its Northern face, a sunlit park protected from the noise and the wind.

  • At its heart Arkadia is about ecological sustainability and social sustainability. The entire building skin is designed not just as a memory of the history on the site but as a beacon to a low carbon future. The building skin is made up of nearly half a million recycled bricks and articulated with deep reveals and solar shading to the north and west. Careful attention has been paid to thermal performance with right sized punched openings and cross ventilation, simultaneously shading and ventilating apartments. Importantly, Arkadia includes 176 bicycle spaces for its residents as well as maintenance facilities. Arkadia prioritises ethics with smaller footprints, less applied finishes, more robust materials and more efficient construction. Additionally, drought tolerant, Indigenous plants populate terraces and communal gardens. To strengthen community Arkadia is broken into 4 buildings, 4 cores, 4 right sized, connected communities.