Purpose

We use design as a weapon for good, and a tool to build a better future.

We design built environments from a holistic, sustainable perspective: each project reconciles ecological and social impacts within the current economic climate.

Breathe are change agents, advocating for the people in the cities where we live and work. We create spaces that are meaningful and accessible to everyone.

A group of about 25 people chatting while gathered on a cul-de-sac, some seated on a long table with benches, some standing. In the background the platform of a train station with trees behind.

Our values

Ethical

We approach our work with integrity, humility, equitability and transparency. We work to our established values and moral compass.

Tenacious

We push through complexity to understand the issues behind the problem. We work to understand the needs of our stakeholders, how they live and work, how they aspire to operate, and how we can make their lives better through design.

Innovative

We never cease to question the status quo, create new systems, and overturn convention when convention isn’t good enough. We study what’s been done before and strive to do better. We inspire each other to broaden our positive impact.

Strategic

We always see the forest first, then the trees. We work smarter, not harder, build more with less, and always stop to ask the question, ‘Should we build anything at all?’

Accountable

We holistically evaluate environmental, cultural and financial sustainability in every task we undertake. We consider liveability, material life-cycle, carbon footprint and building performance to establish industry-leading projects.

Perfectly imperfect

We embrace honesty in ourselves and in our practice. Our designs expose structure and services, and use natural, raw, robust materials. We accept their heritage and sense of purpose and we celebrate their imperfections and individuality.

A practice with principles

Carbon neutral

All Breathe buildings are designed to be holistically sustainable. We focus on 100% electrification, as well as removing natural gas, reducing carbon through construction, and eliminating carbon in the operation of the finished building.

Breathe has been carbon neutral since 2018 (you can see the results of our annual carbon audits here) and as a founding signatory to Architects Declare, we helped lead the campaign to have Australian architects commit to carbon neutrality by 2030.

Our office is powered by 100% renewable energy, and operates in a building with a photovoltaic array and energy storage. We also purchase carbon credits to offset our business’ carbon footprint, and those of our projects. Breathe targets zero waste, and offers composting and recycling facilities. All catering is vegan and cruelty-free.

Facing up to our history

Breathe are also committed to a reconciled, just and equitable Australia. We recognise the role we play in turning our intentions into clear actions through our Reconciliation Action Plan (RAP). We are in the early stages of our journey and have established a working committee to help create a workplace culture that understands, values and respects the true history of this country and the cultures and contributions of First Nations peoples, to develop respectful relationships and create meaningful opportunities with First Nations peoples.

A person sitting on the steps in front of an old terrace house painted in grey and bright blue.