18-040 La Trobe University North and South Apartments by Jackson Clements Burrows Architects Pty Ltd

The largest mass timber project in Victoria, Australia by volume

Project Specs


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La Trobe University’s twin building student accommodation development brings 624 new student beds to the eastern residential precinct. It forms a key part of an ambitious plan to transform the Bundoora campus into a University City of the Future. This is a significant project for the University and one of the first buildings of an overall master plan that creates high quality housing and study spaces, improves student living and enhances connections to adjacent precincts.

▼项目概览,General view © Peter Clarke


▼平面图,Plan © Jackson Clements Burrows Architects Pty Ltd

The buildings form two sweeping arcs along the site’s north eastern and south western corners, creating strong edges to the campus ‘street’ network and a large central ‘private’ courtyard space. The radial forms negotiate their way around the established gum trees which flank the site boundary and form sculptural clusters. Whilst both buildings have respective ‘front doors’ to the street network, a finer grain of pathways sneak between to reveal the development’s inner, more colourful heart.

▼建筑体量与种植在场地边界的桉树形成了和谐的关系 © John Gollings
The radial forms negotiate their way around the established gum trees


Building orientation balances sun exposure across all facades and minimised the potential for poor performing western and southern facades. Through off-site fabrication and unitised facade units, a thermally broken high-performance facade was employed in the tight timeframe. The folded outer sheet provides shading to windows, and is a study in repetition, shadow and colour.

The folded outer sheet provides shading to windows © Peter Clarke


A considered palette applied to the facade and interior spaces references the macro to micro of the site’s indigenous landscape, respecting its Australian bush campus context. The colour spectrum indicates a progression from the whites, silver and greys of eucalyptus trunks to the vibrant colours found in the details – greens, pinks and reds in the gum leaves, and burnt oranges in the bark fissures.

▼立面细节,Facade detailed view © Peter Clarke


Activating the street edge at ground level, a transparent glazed curtain wall for communal spaces and continuous seating along perimeters create pedestrian scale and encourage students to informally sit, gather and engage with the buildings and broader street context.

▼公共空间,communal space © Peter Clarke

▼大台阶座位,The stepped seating area © Peter Clarke

▼走廊,Corridor © Peter Clarke


275 apartments, including single occupancy studios and 4-, 5- and 6-bedroom units are supported by study areas, student kitchens and large communal spaces. A central core balances two equally loaded wings on a typical floorplate, creating circulation efficiency and promoting chance encounters between students.

▼学生厨房和共享空间,Student kitchen and communal spaces © Peter Clarke


The project is ambitious in its extensive use of mass timber construction. Over 75% of approximately 20,000 sqm gross floor and roof area, and over 90% of the load-bearing walls and columns are constructed in CLT and Glulam. As the largest mass timber project in Victoria, Australia by volume, it utilises 4500 cubic metres of Cross Laminated and GluLam timber.

▼超过90%的承重墙和立柱均采用CLT和胶合木建造 © Peter Clarke
Over 90% of the load-bearing walls and columns are constructed in CLT and Glulam

Architects :
Jackson Clements Burrows Architects Pty Ltd
Project Team:
Graham Burrows, Director
Simon Topliss, Project Director
Danielle Pacella, Project Architect
Thom McCarthy, Lead Interior Designer
Chad Brown, Architectural Graduate
Gretel Stent, Architect
Yukari Yamaguchi, Architect
Amanda Callaghan, Architect
Naomi Evans, Architect
Contact: Graham Burrows, Director
Project Address: La Trobe University Bundoora Campus
Project Type: Multi Residential / Student Housing / University
Project Cost: AU$100M
Project Size: 18,000 sqm (GFA)
Completion Date: August 2020
Project Duration: 24 months (12 months design/12 months construction)
Traditional Owners: Wurundjeri
Project Client: La Trobe University
Head contractor: Multiplex
Structural Engineer: Wallbridge Gilbert Aztec (WGA) & Taylor Thomson Whitting (TTW)
Civil: Wallbridge Gilbert Aztec (WGA)
Facade: WSP (formerly Irwinconsult) & Taylor Thomson Whitting (TTW)
Mechanical: Stantec (formerly Wood & Grieve Engineers)
Electrical: Stantec (formerly Wood & Grieve Engineers)
Hydraulics: Stantec (formerly Wood & Grieve Engineers)
Fire Systems: Stantec (formerly Wood & Grieve Engineers)
Fire Engineering: SciFire (Scientific Fire Services)
Acoustics: Marshall Day Acoustics
ESD: Stantec (formerly Wood & Grieve Engineers)
Landscaping: ASPECT Studios
Engineered Timber Fabricator: XLam Dolomiti
Building Surveyor: Philip Chun
Signage and Wayfinding: Latitude Group
Project Managers: Duo Projects
Photographer: John Gollings, Peter Clarke

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