123 Brunswick Street, Fitzroy Vic. 3065, Australia
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Communal facilities diagram

Nightingale Village, Urban Coup

Architecture architecture worked in collaboration with Breathe Architecture and Hayball on the design and delivery of a Nightingale co-housing development for Urban Coup, within Brunswick’s Nightingale Village.

Urban Coup are a deliberative housing community who aim to live together in more socially integrated ways. Such communities are typically formed in rural areas and on the urban fringes where developments have room to sprawl across the earth. Constructed in the inner-north of Melbourne, close to services and public transport, Urban Coup is the first vertical community of its kind in Australia.

Location  Brunswick
Completed  2022
Budget  $12m
Awards  2023, National Architecture Awards, David Oppenheim Award for Sustainable Architecture
  2023, National Architecture Awards, Frederick Romberg Award for Multiple Housing
  2023, National Architecture Awards, Commendation for Urban Design
  2023, Victorian Architecture Awards, Dimity Reed Melbourne Prize
  2023, Victorian Architecture Awards, Urban Design Award
  2023, Victorian Architecture Awards, Multiple Housing Award
  2023, Victorian Architecture Awards, A. & B. Coldicutt Award for Sustainable Architecture
  2023, Melbourne Design Awards, Environmental Sustainability, Gold
  2023, Melbourne Design Awards, Mult-residential Architecture, Silver
  2023, INDE Awards, Best Of The Best, winner
  2023, INDE Awards, Multi-Residential Building, winner
  2023, Urban Developer Awards, Design Innovation, winner.
  2023, Urban Developer Awards, Decarbonisation in Real Estate, winner.
Video  Urban Coup community living
Construction  Hacer Group
Landscape  Openwork
Photography  Tom Ross
Details  See communal facilities diagram

Beyond the scope of a typical housing development, the Urban Coup development includes communal kitchen and dining facilities, workshop spaces, a yoga room, music room and productive rooftop gardens.

Architecture architecture have worked extensively with the future residents of Urban Coup—a client base of 50—running regular workshops and surveys to ensure the design supports the lifestyle they desire. In collaboration with the residents, the building has been designed to foster a resilient, integrated community, providing an architecture that supports connection with the local neighbourhood, integration with the Nightingale Village, and the creation of a supportive, familial community within the building itself. In social sustainability terms, there is no other Nightingale building like it.

(Fragment 7)

Verner Panton, Multi-Level Lounger, 1964

(Fragment 7)

The Multi-Level Lounger

Verner Panton’s simple yet elegant ‘multi-level lounger’ communicates so much of what we are striving for in our architecture. It stands as a built diagram of the communal life, where people are brought together in a three-dimensional matrix of spaces: adjacent, above, across, below.

It represents the diametric affordances of all good architecture: both the opportunity to gather, and to retreat. To gather with friends, colleagues, family; or to retreat from the world into a place of quiet comfort. It’s a provocation for what might be possible in the arrangement of our homes, our workplaces, our public spaces, both at the macro scale and the micro.

It is also an exemplar of clarity in form-making – doing no more than it needs. And yet, there’s a sparkle in its eye. It isn’t like anything else we know. Just looking at it, we begin to imagine our lives differently.


Urban Coup worked with the Architecture architecture team to realise our dream of living in a co-housing community that was designed with and for us. Aa was outstanding to work with. Their capacity and enthusiasm for community processes delivered 29 liveable and connected homes. I love living in my apartment and Urban Coup and I wouldn’t hesitate to work with Aa again.

Alex, Urban Coup Resident