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Project / Completed 2022

388 Barkly Street by DREAMER & Breathe

/ By DREAMER & Breathe
DREAMER & Breathe

The Space

Outside stands a 1930 textile warehouse, inside occupies 11 newly built townhouses designed using biophilic principles.


“DREAMER with Breathe Architecture present 388 Barkly Street — a thoughtful adaptive reuse of a warehouse to create a series of sophisticated, sustainably-designed homes in Brunswick. Central to the design are the principles of ethical architecture and a desire to craft beautiful, functional homes that facilitate a meaningful connection between residents and nature”

Inside the shell of a 1930 Brunswick warehouse are 11 sustainably-designed townhouses, inspired by an ethical architecture approach and aiding meaningful connections between residents and nature. Keeping within the urban fabric of Brunswick, 388 Barkly Street utilises Biophilic design principles to bridge the environment with inner-city living through sustainable and fossil-fuel free materials.

Biophilic design is a concept that uses nature-inspired materials to connect occupants to the natural environment, resulting in improved cognitive function, physical health and psychological well being.

The multi-residential project was brought to life by the creative, design-led and values driven architecture studio DREAMER with the help of Melbourne-based studio Breathe.

With sustainability at the forefront, initiatives like green power, tactile materials, low demolition waste, and a high performing thermal envelope were established.

Minimum intervention to the existing warehouse meant so much of the historic façade remained intact. Light was also a priority, using light wells, skylights and double-height spaces to achieve this.

Materiality followed biophilic design principles, championing native flora and fauna, sustainable timber, and eliminating chrome finishes or dark corridors.

GoodWood Victorian ash was used for the hard-wearing timber windows and doors. Often utilised in a window or door application for its energy efficiency, GoodWood is also visually stunning and can achieve up to BAL-29 and BAL-40 rating is some cases.

ASH offers window and door options in both GoodWood and American Oak by ASH. Both hardwood options are processed locally in Heyfield, benefiting from over 3 decades of timber processing and manufacturing experience. Learn more about window and door options here.


“The ultimate goal of sustainable and biophilic design is to support people’s wellbeing through connection with nature in the built environment. These opportunities for connection take many forms at Barkly Street: timber flooring and joinery, terrace glazing, drought-resistant plantings – and doorways placed, strategically, to guide residents toward paths that connect with the wider world”

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