Designed by Breathe Architecture and engineered by Vistek, Bardolph Gardens consists of two single storey houses built behind two existing houses in Glen Iris. The dwellings are intended for the rental market. There is currently a clear gap in the market for extremely high quality, environmentally sustainable, and yet affordable rental housing.  The Bardolph Gardens design demonstrate a way forward for filling this lack.

The residences were built on under-utilised space at the rear of the existing properties in suburban Melbourne. Breathe made sure the new buildings would fit in to their surrounds. First of all, they selected recycled brick for the façade, and incorporated a high, pitched roof. These details sympathetically reflect the materials and shapes of the neighbourhood.

Perhaps most noteworthy are the stunning ‘hit and miss’ perforated brick walls. These allow light and air to circulate through the space. The perforated screens also function to create private nooks and courtyards for the residents to enjoy. The interiors are bright, welcoming, and generous. However, they are also robust enough to gracefully weather the normal wear and tear of a rental property. In addition, the design fully utilises the materials and spaces to maximise thermal efficiencies. For example, the houses have solar panels, rainwater and grey water collection and a heat pump system. This will therefore ensure that Bardolph Gardens remains efficient and sustainable over time. As a result, each house design achieved at least 8 stars, well above the National Construction Code (NCC) minimum of 6 stars.

Vistek greatly appreciated the opportunity to work on these lovely homes with the like-minded team at Breathe. The Bardolph Gardens designs open up an exciting new direction for highly liveable and sustainable rental homes in Melbourne.

All photographs courtesy of photographer Tom Ross.