Nightingale Village - Episode VI - Nightingale Coup

Nightingale Village - Episode VI - Nightingale Coup
Laurence DragomirSeptember 24, 2018

The penultimate entry in’s Nightingale Village series is Architecture Architecture’s Nightingale Coup, in collaboration with Breathe Architecture. Located at 24-26 Hope Street, the eight-storey building is the most southerly of the Nightgale Village seven, setback from Kennedy Nolan's building to the north to allow for the proposed mews. 

Nightingale Coup has also been designed to address any potential future development on the adjoining sites to the east and west, setting a planning framework for those that might follow. A central light court provides circulation and access to apartments while also ensuring all apartments benefit from the dual-aspect configuration, with primary aspect to either the north or south. This allows for improved internal amenity via increased daylight and natural ventilation.

The architectural expression of Nightingale Coup responds to the site’s industrial history and context through its honest, robust materiality while evoking a sense of familiar domesticity through breaking the building into finer grain elements, referencing traditional roof & chimney line forms in the street wall parapet, and reinterpreting materials like shingles in contemporary ways.

This familiar yet contemporary architectural treatment encompasses the values of the co-housing group that it will be home for — Urban Coup — while expressing an affectionate understanding of the local context and

- Architecture Architecture

Nightingale Village - Episode VI - Nightingale Coup
Nightingale Coup, provides a highly textured presence to the street. Image: Architecture Architecture

For the most part, Nightingale Coup follows the urban formula of its siblings in how it formally responds to planning considerations and fits within the overall master plan for Nightingale Village.

To the southern frontage, along Hope Street the building’s streetwall is expressed as a solid cream brick base, carved and punctured with arched and orthogonal apertures and a profiled roof form evoking . The depth created between the perimeter walls and glazing line allows for outdoor balconies which provide internal spaces with privacy and shading during summer months.

The upper levels are setback and treated with a textured concrete that evokes roof shingles, resulting in a visually recessive upper form above the streetwall. This overall streetwall and upper level strategy is also employed to the northern frontage albeit with a slightly more light weight approach, responding to the proposed mews. 

The streetwalls are also split into two and distinguished via a staggering of heights. One is expressed as a more solid massing, once again carved with apertures and the other featuring a lightweight framework which supports the balconies. Combined, these strategies aim to reduce the visual mass of the building.

In keeping with the Nightingale Village ethos of building more with less, Nightingale Coup employs robust and durable materials of a largely domestic scale, which reflect Nightingale Village's industrial context and create a cohesive urban village. 

Nightingale Village - Episode VI - Nightingale Coup
The northern aspect appears much more lightweight and transparent. Image: Architecture Architecture

Communal rooftop spaces are located to the south on level 7 and on the roof with a northerly aspect. Between them these spaces provide for passive landscaped areas to dwell, productive gardens, communal laundry and clothesline and extensive decking. The building also accommodates the vehicular access ramp to the precinct’s car share hub, located in the basement of Skye House. This has been integrated into the overall design of the street frontage.

At ground level a 136 sqm retail tenancy is provided with a Hope Street address, while the mews frontage incorporating a communal kitchen and dinning area which spills out onto a communal deck. Additionally, the design team have designed an active ground floor with nooks, seats and a semi public laneway at the entry of the building help foster a local community spirit.

Upon completion Nightingale Coup would add 31 dwellings to the precinct comprising a mix of one, two, three and four bedroom configurations, and provision for 28 visitor bike spaces and 64 resident bike spaces. The shared basement parking hub has capacity for six private car parks and 14 GoGet car share spaces.

In the final piece of the series we'll be looking at Austin Maynard's Nightingale Village project.

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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