Zachary Pavlou

Winston Churchill spoke these words in 1943 while advocating for the faithful restoration of the House of Lords exactly as it was before its bombing in 1941.

"We shape our buildings; thereafter they shape us."

This bidirectional relationship we have with our built and natural environment is paramount, and pervades every aspect of our day to day lives. Of course, we know that presence or absence of walkable streets and street trees can shape our physical and mental health - but what of shaping our souls?

At Street Level Australia, we understand the power beautiful buildings have on shaping our souls and inspiring virtuous people. We believe Australia is long overdue for a beautiful, traditional and vernacular architectural revival.

Traditional and vernacular architecture means using local craftsmen and local materials to create buildings suited to our local environments and reflective of our local culture. It means passing on skills and wisdom from generation to generation rather than relying on new, novel technologies and poisonous materials which divorce us from - and destroy - the natural world. 

This is the way humanity has built for millennia - from our most humble huts to our most opulent opera houses. 

This practice came to an abrupt end in the darkness of the world wars which brought on the cold dawn of modernism. Local, natural materials like brick, timber and stone were thrown out for mass produced, imported materials like glass, steel and concrete.

No longer were we dwelling in intimate, lovely, welcoming courtyards or playing on gentle, windy, cobblestone streets. Our built environment began to resemble machinery. Our souls began to be shaped into cogs.


Street Level Australia is advocating to bring back this lost spirit of beauty right here in Australia. It is a critical element of reshaping our souls into what they were intended to be. We’re working with a range of professionals across architecture, town planning, and construction to build momentum for this movement. 

We have local chapters all around the country and we would love for you to join us in our grassroots mission to bring beauty back to the street. 

If you’re not a professional - don’t worry! We host sketching classes, walking tours, letter writing workshops, design competitions and more - and our impact is only growing. We look forward to having you join us. For further information visit