FOA Journal 02 – September 2019

We are pleased to recently learn that our Clifton Hill Terraces project had been named a finalist in this year’s Sustainability Awards, in the multiple dwelling category.

Needless to say, we were thrilled to hear this! With at least 168 entries, it’s wonderful to make the final few, and we’ll find out if we won in November. Check it here.

It is not a unique position for many of us in architecture to say that, basic principles of environmentally responsive design should always be implemented regardless of project, client or budget. We’re fortunate enough to be part of a profession that is increasingly lifting the bar for what it means to create passive, responsible design (though the building industry generally has a long way to go).

But even in the work we do, there’s always a paradox, which is obvious in the sense that, the most sustainable building will always have a far greater impact on our environment than not building anything at all.

Save from making ourselves obsolete, it’s good to remind ourselves of the words of legendary industrial designer, Dieter Rams; “Less, but better”. It’s one of my favourite quotes.

We will always have a need to house a growing population and replace what no longer works, and every time we do, we are given the unique opportunity to design something that is better. And what is better? In architecture, the measurables are endless. But a big one for us will always be; designed to endure.

With the Clifton Hill Terraces project, we had a wonderfully brave client who was keen on pushing every boundary possible when it came to ESD. The result is a development that can operate essentially off-grid, a rare feat in the inner city suburbs of Melbourne. But we know that technology will change, users will change, and the effectiveness of certain features may not always be the same as they are now.

What makes the project a success, and what makes it sustainable, is that we’ve designed a home that the client would like to live in for the rest of their lives. Here’s a snippet from our client;

We love living in our beautifully designed home. It has a really comfortable solidity, serenity & quiet about it. It has been so well made. Lots of well-placed windows with views out to gardens, decking etc. We’ve been in it for almost 18 months now so have experienced all seasons. In spring & autumn the home needs virtually no extra heating or cooling, in summer it’s easy to open up the house to cooling cross breezes in the evening.

In other news, here’s a pretty picture of a new project that we hope will be coming out of the ground sometime soon. The site here has a wonderful slope that has presented some great opportunities to seize upon some amazing views and natural light.We hope you’re having a great month. If you’d like to chat about your new project, or anything at all, we’d love to hear from you.

Chris + Team FOA