Issue 78

Recently, we’ve seen more residential architecture that engages with the street, rather than turning away or closing itself off from it. Our cover house does this beautifully; a cyclone fence provides transparency and welcomes street activity. Borrowed shade and light from deciduous trees on the adjacent nature strip help with cooling and warming at the right times. Large openings and window seats make the most of the free space beyond the boundary of the property.

And just as the house borrows from the street, the street and its passersby bene t from the house: speci cally the garden, which occupies a vast 85 per cent of the block (far more than a typical suburban home) and can be experienced by all.

In another form of giving back, we take a look at three nature strips that have been lovingly tended for the enjoyment of others. In particular, John Shaw’s 30-metre long veggie patch – the produce of which is generously shared with not just family and friends, but the wider community. Most importantly, the garden has become a resource for new and keen gardeners, creating an invaluable neighbourhood bond.

Meanwhile, as Melbourne slept for much of the year, environmental designer and activist Joost Bakker was busy building the house of the future on the banks of the Yarra River. The house is a living example of a closed loop, zero- waste system, with its occupants actively demonstrating how easily this can be achieved and sharing that knowledge with us all.

This outward approach is refreshing and encouraging.