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The Commons

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Designed by Breathe, The Commons has served as a prototype for many of the ideas inherent to the Nightingale model, from material reductionism to the social impacts of shared facilities. The Commons’ unique approach gained widespread attention, sweeping national awards and creating the foundation for the Nightingale model and eventually Nightingale Housing.

The design strategy for The Commons was to build more with less, emphasising space and height, light and air. From the vibrant and open street frontage, to the green wall established on the northern facade, to the raw and recycled materials used in the apartment interiors, The Commons is designed for maximum sustainability and comfort over a long lifetime.

We are proud to acknowledge the Wurundjeri people of the Kulin Nation, the Traditional Custodians of the land upon which The Commons stands. We recognise their continuing connection to land, waters and culture.

Design features

  • Average 7.5 stars NatHERS rating
  • Low embodied energy materials
  • Rainwater collected for common area use and commercial tenancy toilets
  • Hydronic panel heaters
  • Energy efficient heat pump hot water system
  • 5kW photovoltaic array
  • Shared rooftop with veggie patches and communal laundry
  • Ample secure bicycle parking, close to public transport and car share options, no private car spaces

Media & press


  • 2014 RRR The Architects International Building of the Year
  • 2014 National AIA awards, Frederick Romberg award for Residential Architecture —Multiple Housing
  • 2014 National AIA awards, David Oppenheim award for Sustainable Architecture
  • 2014 Victorian AIA awards, Allan & Beth Coldicutt Award Sustainable Architecture
  • 2014 Victorian AIA awards, Best Overend Award Residential Architecture — Multiple Housing
  • 2014 BPN Sustainability Awards — Best of the Best
  • 2014 BPN Sustainability Awards — Multi-density Residential
  • 2014 Victorian Premier’s Design Awards — Overall Winner
  • 2014 Intergrain Timber Vision Award — Commercial Exterior
  • 2014 Houses Award — Sustainability Award
  • 2014 Timber Design Awards — Timber Cladding
  • 2014 Interior Design Excellence Awards — Residential Multi
  • 2014 Interior Design Excellence Awards — Sustainability

Specs & Team

Brunswick, VIC
Part of Precinct
Apartment Mix

8 x 1 BR
16 x 2 BR
4 x Commercial

Community Housing


Kubic Constructions

Development Manager
Small Giants

Tom Ross

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