Nightingale Village - Episode IV - Kennedy Nolan

Nightingale Village - Episode IV - Kennedy Nolan
Laurence DragomirSeptember 4, 2018

Today we'll be taking a look at Kennedy Nolan's contribution to Nightingale Village as part of's continuing series on the ethical development model.

The building has been designed to align with the Nightingale ethos of providing high quality, good value urban housing by simplifying both the development process and the building itself.

Nightingale provides an opportunity to reach a more diverse group and without the negative constraints of conventional developer-funded housing models.

We have a wide range of experience in designing housing, from alterations to single residences to high-density innercity apartment buildings and have long looked forward to bringing this expertise to a Nightingale Housing project.

We feel strongly that there are many ways to engage positively with a neighbourhood, and that conventional responses can be limited in scope and imagination. Mature, dense urban environments must tackle privacy and maintain the dignity of those living there and so the contribution to urbanity provided by an individual building might also be aesthetic, abstract and related to the scale of the city.

- Kennedy Nolan

Nightingale Village - Episode IV - Kennedy Nolan
Kennedy Nolan's Nightingale Building along the Upfield corridor. Image: Kennedy Nolan

Located at 9 Duckett Street, the seven-storey building joins Nightingale WOW and Nightingale CCA in abutting the Upfield cycling corridor. Similar to its two aforementioned neighbours, Kennedy Nolan's building addresses its adjacency to the railway interface and western sun via a 'buffered' approach, whereby windows are either oriented north or south or located within lightcourts. 

A sheltered pedestrian colonnade along the western edge provides raised access to the building protected from the adjacent bike path by lush planting.  Along this frontage Kennedy Nolan have selected robust and durable materials which require minimal maintenance, with the architects citing access to the facade (or lack-there-of) as a key consideration in its material selection.

The building's materiality is generally in keeping with the Nightingale Village theme of domestic materials which draw on the site's industrial context and history. 9 Duckett Street is characterised by its combination of both textured and smooth precast panelling which which features red oxide colouring, resulting in a pink quality. This is complemented by further splashes of colour through the use of red steel framing, red perforated mesh and red fabric markisolette blinds. 

The building form has been derived from a response to the various factors impacting the site and comprises for key elements:

  • the crafted street podium - to Duckett Street
  • the activated arcade - along the Upfield corridor
  • building 1 and building 2
  • transparent circulation; and
  • the sky garden
Nightingale Village - Episode IV - Kennedy Nolan
The building has been designed to appear as two, reducing its visual bulk. Image: Kennedy Nolan

The massing has been split into two parts to appear as two distinct buildings which form a whole, linked via an open stair within a light shaft much like Nightingale CCA. Along Duckett Street, the streetwall has been conceived as a carefully crafted brick massing punctured by arched openings at ground and recessed balconies above.

A southern Mews has been created through setbacks to the southern title boundary, which provides a new east-west connection, in addition to walk up access to apartments. Lightweight structural framing to the southern Mews frontage and above both north and south streetwalls provides the building with a light and transparent quality, while allowing for more unobscured views from within apartments.

The building is capped by two separate outdoor spaces - the 'Sky Garden' and the 'Working Yard'. To the south, the Working Yard offers functional facilities, outdoor dining areas and sheltered communal laundry clustered together to allow for the Sky Garden located to the north, which enjoys good northern solar exposure. The Sky Garden has been conceived as a densely planted park on the roof, providing passive spaces for retreat and relaxation, while also being visible from a distance.

Overall 9 Duckett Street will comprise 27 apartments featuring a mix of studio, 1, 2 & 3 bedroom apartments in addition to 68 residents bike parks, 6 visitor bike parks and a ground floor tenancy.

Next up in the Nightingale Village will be Breathe Architecture's Skye House. Look out for it next week.

Laurence Dragomir

Laurence Dragomir is one of the co-founders of Urban Melbourne. Laurence has developed a wealth of knowledge and experience working in both the private and public sector specialising in architecture, urban design and planning. He also has a keen interest in the built environment, cities and Star Wars.

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