ILLUMANATE LBC Design Competition

Living Building Challenge Design competition

The ILLUMANATE Living Future Institute of Australia’s Living Building Challenge Design Competition allowed us to assemble a team of regenerative designers, ecologists, graphic designers and engineers to build our capability and connection through designing for the regeneration of the Heritage listed Water Works building in Sunshine, Melbourne.

The brief was twofold: create an adaptive reuse design that can theoretically achieve full certification under version 4.0 of the Living Building Challenge (LBC); and in doing so, design a facility that provides the residents and broader catchment area with the community services they need. The intent is for the building to be a vital community hub that includes: 90-120 place childcare centre; family health and wellbeing services (e.g. a gym, allied health, pharmacy); commercial office space (e.g. co-working); space for education and training; café or social gathering space; multifunctional creative space; community garden; some car-parking with EV charging.

ILLUMINATE LBC design-competition

Our ANIMA design process stepped back to view the wider living system and sought to understand the important role this development would play within the larger system it is embedded. Our design process addresses the needs of all of life, creating a place for people to co-exist with nature, reconnect and Care for Country, and each other.

We led an integrated design team that collaborated with fun, dedication, and commitment. Our in-house design team brought energy, passion and drive led by Joe Wright whose humour, creativity and collaborative approach enabled a connected team to work with a shared purpose – all pulling together to create a thoughtful scheme.

ILLUMINATE LBC design-competition interior view.
ILLUMINATE LBC design-competition, interior view.

Thank you to everyone involved. To Tyson Montague, Corey Blake and Joe Wright from the i2C Collingwood Studio your design input was invaluable. Joe reflected that “the project represented an opportunity to co-design from project inception with the whole team and demystify any notion of land regeneration and improving biodiversity as being footnotes in the design process.”

Chris Buntine and the wider team at Northrop excelled as they do and brought the best in thinking around delivering LBC for this project with a strong guiding focus on unlocking the potential and stretching the team’s thinking. “Collaborating with this talented team was a joy and revealed just how much energy, creativity and leadership is generated by everyone involved in a design process that prioritises the regeneration of living systems.” Chris Buntine.

Our ecology partners were none other than the fantastic ICON research team at RMIT People – ICON Science led by Prof Sarah Bekessey every team member gave their all in ensuring that our non-human species had a place at the table and centred within this competition. Thanks to Jacqui Midgley from HACER Group for contributing time and energy and sharing valuable insights and experience from a cost and buildability perspective of having delivered Burwood Brickworks Living Building Challenge retail centre.

We grounded the project in the successful collaborative model as a Community Improvement District , embracing a Fabric First approach to retrofitting building a governance structure for a community food system with the wonderful cultivating community and embracing and celebrating material reuse with our resource partner Revival projects and a strategy for local artist engagement with the wonderful Art Pharmacy

ANIMA Living Building Challenge Design Competition Animation

This competition was not only an opportunity to practice regenerative design but was also a shared developmental experience where we worked regeneratively in a way that will shift the way we approach our businesses and projects moving forward.

Congratulations to the wonderful team at Includesign and Mine the Sky on winning the professional category with your wonderful entry “Between Two Creeks”.

Read more about our ILLUMANATE Living Building Challenge Design.

Claire Bowles

Claire Bowles

Purpose Director