Presently the two largest challenges facing our built environment are affordability and sustainability. Australia is currently in the grips of a devastating housing crisis where housing affordability has become a critical national issue, and many struggle to find housing that offers the bare minimums within their budgets. With the crisis on the scale it is, some of our communities most marginalised have been the left in a vulnerable position. Sydney especially has been feeling the pressure, witnessing record high shortages causing consistent month on month price increases for housing, making what was already the nation’s most expensive property market even more unapproachable for an increasing number of renters, first homebuyers and marginalised peoples.

It is within this market that Sydney charity Fresh Hope Communities has been looking at what it can do to relieve some of the housing pressure. Since 1936 Fresh Hope Communities has been providing care and accommodation to some of Sydney’s most vulnerable and at risk. These operations have continued through to the present day, with the charity offering a wide range of support services for people transitioning from work to retirement, proving residential care to the elderly and disabled, and offering short stay respite services for the families of those with Dementia and Alzheimer’s.

As such, they acquired the title to an old church on Illawarra Road in the heart of Marrickville, an area that is rapidly becoming a thriving arts and culture hub in Sydney’s inner west. Although the site itself has always been a centrepiece of the surrounding community, having originally hosted the church since 1891, by 2016 the congregation had dwindled. Fresh Hope were able to acquire the lease from the Churches of Christ in NSW and ACT with the vision that the site would be an ideal location to build affordable build-to-rent accommodation, constructed with an emphasis on public spaces and local integration that preserves the community focus the Church wanted to maintain. The Church agreed to the proposal, and Fresh Hope quickly partnered with Nightingale housing and SJB architects to develop the site.

The results of the build were a project that provides 54 teilhaus micro apartments that rent at rates 20% lower than the market value. Teilhaus apartments are small footprint homes designed to maintain liveability, while being sustainable. The sustainability elements of the project are continued throughout the build, with a high-quality fit-out using sustainable materials, interior garden spaces, sustainable internal power systems, an emphasis on public transport connectivity over car focused design considerations, and sustainable ventilation practices within each apartment.

Our Breeze AC fan was chosen for this project because its design actively supports the goals of the project both aesthetically and mechanically. The clean lines and curved elegant shape of the design match perfectly with the curved and modern edges of the surrounding architecture, whilst mechanically the operation of the fans promote energy efficient cross-ventilation practices.

The collaboration between Fresh Hope Communities and Nightingale Housing exemplifies how innovative thinking and sustainable practices can address the urgent issue of housing affordability. Through the modernisation of land use, these 54 affordable build-to-rent apartments provide necessary and important housing at 20% below market rates to those that need it. The success of this initiative underscores the potential for similar projects to alleviate the housing crisis, demonstrating a scalable model that prioritises community integration and environmental sustainability that enhances the local built environment with an emphasis on community, connectivity and solidarity. At Fanco, we are proud that our Breeze AC fan could contribute to such a meaningful and forward-thinking project. Projects like the Marrickville are the trailblazers in improving our built environment and serve as inspiring examples of how strategic partnerships and innovative solutions can create lasting, positive change in our communities.

You can see more of our work with Nightingale here

Project name:
Nightingale Marrickville


CD Construction Group

Kate Longley and Tom Roe

Fanco Products:
Breeze AC Ceiling Fan

➕ Our relationship with Nightingale 

Image Credits – Kate Longley and Tom Roe – Project by Nightingale

Image Credits – Kate Longley and Tom Roe – Project by Nightingale