Making sustainability tangible: Burwood Brickworks in Architecture Australia

Burwood Brickworks has been hailed as a built example of what can be achieved when we innovate, pushing beyond business-as-usual sustainability practices in the July issue of Architecture Australia.

Burwood Brickworks, a community center we completed in 2019 for Frasers Property, was reviewed recently in the Architecture Australia magazine. The issue is themed around regenerative design and argues that we need to dramatically rethink and redefine how we understand and approach sustainability as an industry. In the article, writers Katherine Sundermann and Natalie Keynton praise Burwood Brickworks for both its ambition and its achievements.

“Architecturally humble, Brickworks avoids grand gestures or iconographic references in favour of putting people first and incorporating functionality that helps both humans and non-humans thrive. One example is the sawtooth roof, which borrows from industrial structures … to provide sky views, light, water capture, solar harvesting and natural ventilation. Further enriching the roof is its underside, which features artwork by Mandy Nicholson that depicts the six inextricably linked layers of Wurundjeri Country.”

They recognise the achievements of the project in terms of making the benefits of sustainable design visible through formal elements like the sawtooth roof and rooftop garden, and the materials, such as recycled bricks and timber. In addition, they see the potential for Brickworks to contribute to future projects of its kind by sharing the knowledge collected through the design process.

“The high standards applied to Brickworks’s materials testing permanently changed several products to eliminate harmful chemicals, and Woolworths implemented many Brickworks improvements at its other stores. This one project made supply chains more environmentally friendly – we can only imagine what a hundred similar projects could achieve.”

Read the full review online here.

You can find the Greensheet, a list of over 1400 materials that were rigorously vetted for inclusion at Burwood Brickworks online through Frasers Property.