Arkadia, Sydney Housing Complex

Arkadia Housing Complex, Sydney Real Estate, NSW Homes, Australia Building Design Images

Arkadia Housing Complex in Sydney

13 May 2022

Design: Breathe Architecture, DKO Architecture and Oculus

Location: Sydney, New South Wales, Australia

Arkadia Sydney Housing Complex

Photos: Tom Ross

Arkadia Housing Complex, NSW

Arkadia is a collaboration from Breathe Architecture, DKO Architecture and Oculus.

Arkadia Sydney Arkadia Sydney

At its heart Arkadia is about ecological sustainability and social sustainability. It’s about memory and place.

Arkadia is the first building in the country to be built with nearly half a million recycled bricks, an almost entirely carbon-neutral skin. Arkadia uses recycled materials and passive solar-design technologies to stand as a beacon to a low carbon future.

To strengthen community Arkadia is broken into 4 buildings, 4 cores, 4 right-sized, connected communities.

Arkadia Sydney Housing Complex

The 4 communities are woven together by a single sinuous skin formed from carefully crafted recycled brickwork. Each building has its own space to come together, its own productive garden, its own lift lobby, its own address and its own community.

Arkadia Sydney Housing Complex

Defence Housing Australia (DHA) has been providing quality homes for Defence families for over 30 years. DHA wanted Arkadia to set a new benchmark in multi-residential buildings. They wanted housing that prioritised environmental and social sustainability.

The challenge was to design 152 places to call home, 85 homes for defence personnel and their families and 67 for new residents. To achieve this, we wanted to know what the residents of Alexandria loved about their suburb and what they wanted to see in the future. Through resident interviews, we heard the hopes and worries of the existing community. They wanted protection physically and acoustically from the busy traffic to the south, and more open space to the north. Arkadia forms a protective wall to Sydney Park Road and the busy WestConnex Interconnector to the south and invites the community to share its Northern face a sunlit park protected from the noise and the wind.

Arkadia Sydney Housing Complex Arkadia Sydney Housing Complex

The entire ground floor plan is activated and engages with the surrounding streets. The ground floor levels are lifted 1.2m to provide a visual connection between people’s entries, their decks, their living spaces and the streets below. This also provides steps and stoops for neighbours, and seating for chance meetings. The ground floor residents act as both gate-keepers and concierge. Rather than a dislocated body of residents, Arkadia creates the opportunity for chance encounters and neighbourly connection.

Two key strategies were employed to deliver exceptional sustainability outcomes of Arkadia. The first is a reduction of carbon and embodied energy during construction; the building envelope itself is almost carbon neutral given its half a million recycled bricks were lovingly reassembled on site.

The second is carbon reduction in the building’s operations. Heating and cooling loads are reduced through right-sized window openings in the well-insulated building fabric, and through use of the deep brick facade and steel, hoods to shade windows from the summer sun, but allow winter sun penetration. The buildings vegetation has been designed to cool the roof and limit the urban heat island effect in a rapidly warming city. It also serves to grow and occupy the facade, softening its appearance and further improving its thermal performance. Arkadia was built to last, resembling a ruin that nature has slowly reclaimed.

Arkadia Sydney

Importantly, there is no gas plumbed into Arkadia.
Paying homage to the history of the site, the recycled brick facade talks to the future as a symbol of hope that values community, sustainability and connection. Arkadia is largely constructed of materials that are 100 years old and it has been built to last hundreds more.

We acknowledge the Gadigal people of the Eora Nation, the traditional custodians of the land upon which Arkadia stands. We recognise their continuing connection to land, waters and culture.

Arkadia Sydney

Design: Breathe Architecture –

OCULUS Landscape Architecture –

DKO Architecture –

Photography: Tom Ross

Arkadia, Sydney Housing Complex images / information received 130522

Location: Sydney, New South Wales, Australia

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