Breathe is proud to support local initiatives that help our communities thrive. Here’s a selection of projects we’re involved in.

Rebuild Cobargo

The recent Australian bushfires devastated so many communities, but none more so than Cobargo. We all remember the images of the exhausted firefighter not wanting to shake hands with our Prime Minister; we all remember the Prime Minister asking, “Was it because he was tired?” and being told, no, it was because his house had burnt to the ground.

We at Breathe, like every other Australian who lived through that horrific summer of 2019/2020, wanted to do what we could to help those brave RFS firefighters who had lost their own homes defending other people’s lives. 

To that end, we embarked on the Cobargo Santa project. 

We are providing pro-bono architectural services to brave RFS firefighter Dave, and his wife Barbara. They have 6 kids and 2 foster children. They are kind, giving and generous people. They not only lost their house in the fire, but they also lost their shed containing Dave’s Santa Sleigh (Dave is also the Cobargo Town Santa, bringing joy to the children in their community every year).

We contacted other organisations who were deeply touched by this story. We can’t express our gratitude to following organisations for their donations that helped to rebuild Dave and Barbara’s lives:

Fisher & Paykel, Tradelink, PPG, Universal Fans, BREC Energy, Studio All, Form Brick, Accent Windows, Fielders, Automatic Heating

Remains of a house after the fires

Brunswick Silo Mural

Our community is a place made up of many cultures and many faiths. It is rich because of its diverse history and community. It is a place that had its heart broken on the day of the Christchurch shootings.⁣

The image of Jacinda hugging a muslim woman after the shootings has become a beacon of tolerance, love and peace in these divisive times.⁣ We want this message, this moment in time, remembered. We want to learn from it, we want it to hold us up, to strengthen us. We want everyone to know we are them, that they are us and, that we are, and always will be, stronger together.⁣

Breathe worked with the local community to bring the renowned street artist, Loretta Lizzio to Melbourne to paint the Tinning street silos. The silos stand 75 feet tall and are a singular landmark on the Brunswick skyline. Loretta agreed to donate her time to paint an image of unity, an image of hope, and an image of peace on these massive silos. ⁣

Broken hearted but not broken.

Florence Street Pocket Park

Noting a need for public, open green space and relief from the relentless built form, Breathe worked closely with residents from The Commons and Nightingale 1 to successfully petition Moreland City Council for the construction of a ‘pocket park’ at the end of Florence Street in Brunswick.

The Pocket Park provides a pooch and pedestrian friendly space for residents and visitors of the Florence Street cul-de-sac to gather, engage and enjoy the treats on offer at nearby Home.One and Steam Junkies.

Our ultimate goal is to have a series of pocket parks installed in the Moreland municipality, enhancing the sense of community in the neighbourhood.

The facade of Nightingale 1

Upfield Urban Forest

The Upfield Shared Path is one of the most used car-free spaces in Moreland, and yet much of it is a waste land. More than ever Melbourne needs cool, shady, beautiful spaces that encourage bike use and walking, while simultaneously storing water, carbon and increasing biodiversity. Ordinary people within our community are working on this transformation and have formed the Upfield Urban Forest Group. Breathe are proud supporters of this community group and we help out wherever we can.

The Upfield Urban Forest group’s mission is to transform the Upfield shared path and greens spaces either side of the train-line into a safe, beautiful urban forest. A place where users can experience tranquility, shade, inspiration and connectedness. Come and join the transformation.

Some volunteers planting trees near Jewell Station

Nightingale Night School

Master of Architecture Design Thesis students at University of Melbourne are offered a selection of studio options each semester, including Nightingale Night School. The School is led by Jeremy McLeod, Managing Director of Nightingale Housing and Founding Director of Breathe, as well as members of the Breathe and Nightingale Housing teams.

The currently accepted multi-residential development model is aimed at delivering buildings with maximum financial yields. It places no focus on the people who will live in the building, or the impacts it will have on the environment and local communities. 
The Nightingale Night School gives students the opportunity to learn in depth the Nightingale Housing process of delivering carbon neutral, triple-bottom-line housing at cost. It lets them push the boundaries of multi-residential architectural design to create meaningful contributions to the city, and exceptional spaces for people to live in.

Students are taught how to run financial feasibility studies on project sites. They gain unique insights into the interaction between architectural design and other disciplines involved in the procurement process, such as development managers, financiers and community housing providers. They are given the tools to undertake a Nightingale project and use these to design, in detail, a medium-density apartment building on a real site in Melbourne — a prototype of their vision for the future of urban housing in our city.

The Nightingale Night School logoA drawing of an apartment by a student