Nightingale Village

  • 2023

  • Architectural
    Architectual Design

Designed By:

  • Architecture Architecture
  • Austin Maynard Architects
  • Breathe
  • Clare Cousins Architects
  • Hayball and Kennedy Nolan

Commissioned By:

Duckett Acquisition Collective Pty Ltd

Nightingale Housing

Designed In:


Nightingale Village is a zero-gas, medium-density residential precinct comprising 203 homes across six buildings, located in the heart of vibrant Brunswick. Six leading architecture firms came together through Nightingale Housing to create the precinct, setting a new standard for sustainable, community-centred design.

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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
  • When the Nightingale Village architects acquired the Brunswick site in 2017, the neighbourhood offered limited high-quality options for prospective homeowners, between the increasingly unaffordable freestanding houses west of the train line, and poorly-built shoebox apartments closer to Sydney Road. The vision for Nightingale Village was to create liveable medium-density homes where people would settle and create community, while minimising environmental impact in both construction and operation. The project takes its name from Nightingale Housing, a Melbourne-based organisation aiming to reorient the broken Australian housing market towards providing homes for people, not real estate as a commodity generating revenue for investors.

  • Each architecture team brought a distinct aesthetic to their building, while collaborating closely to ensure maximum benefit to residents and neighbouring communities. They activated the street through commercial ground-level spaces and landscaped pedestrian-only zones with in-built seating. They centralised building services, negating the need for six separate substations and water systems. They devised a design response affording passive surveillance and street engagement from living area balconies, and peace and privacy in bedrooms. They followed Nightingale Housing’s sustainability principles including passive design and material reductionism. They engaged with purchasers throughout construction, ensuring residents had formed connections before moving into their homes.

  • Duckett Street has been transformed from a drab cluster of single-storey brick warehouses, to a vibrant precinct where locals linger to talk, grab coffee and groceries, or stop by the florist or bike workshop. Where vehicles formerly dominated, car access has been partially replaced by landscaping and public seating. Prior to Nightingale Village, three trees comprised the only greenery in the area, at the north edge of the site. The architects successfully lobbied the local council to develop a new green space, and the resulting Bulleke-bek Park is popular with the local community. The three existing trees still stand there.

  • Nightingale Village has impressive environmental sustainability credentials, including being 100% electric with no gas supply to the precinct; a 128kW rooftop solar array supplements an embedded electricity network providing 100% GreenPower; each building has a certified average NatHERS rating between 7.8 and 9.0 stars Shared rooftop spaces on each building include communal laundry facilities, outdoor cooking and entertaining areas, productive gardens and, on one rooftop, a shared bathhouse All homes were sold off the plan via an equitable ballot process in Q1 2019, demonstrating demand for high-quality medium-density housing in well-serviced locations 27 homes were allocated to community housing providers, offering secure, long-term accommodation to people in need. Community housing residents now live alongside owner-occupiers across the precinct One of many positive outcomes of Nightingale Housing’s community engagement activities was a group of residents coming together to jointly purchase one of the commercial spaces. They wanted to offer an affordable tenancy to a project that would benefit the broader community. The space is now occupied by the not-for-profit organisation Good Cycles, a bicycle store that trains and employs people facing barriers to employment