When celebrated Brisbane architecture firm Donovan Hill merged with respected national firm, BVN Architecture in late 2012, some, especially from Brisbane, were worried.
Since 1992, Donovan Hill founders Brian Donovan and Timothy Hill had been busy leaving their mark on Brisbane’s built environment and there were concerns that the merger would discontinue this trajectory. And in some senses, until now, it did.
While Donovan did move straight into a director role at the new firm BVN Donovan Hill (now just BVN) and has since worked on many award-winning projects, Hill didn’t join and hasn’t worked on a major project since.
But now Hill is back with a new name and a rather large project. In his first major job since the BVN Donovan Hill merger, Hill has joined fellow University of Queensland alumni Hamilton Wilson to design the new $250m Student Residences project at the St Lucia campus of the University of Queensland (UQ).
Wilson Architects and Partners Hill won the brief for the project in a design competition involving HBO-EMTB, Nettleton Tribe, Denton Corker Marshall and Cottee Parker, WOHA and Architectus, and, coincidently, BVN.
It’s also the second time Hill and Wilson have collaborated for the University of Queensland, the last time the pair put their heads together for a project they delivered the 2013 Australian Institute of Architects John Dalton Award for Building of the Year, Brisbane - the Translational Research Institute.
The firms are reportedly excited about working together again and the project is being billed as a great assembly of the two architects’ chief specialties, Wilson’s educational know-how and Hill’s residential expertise.
The Student Residences Project will deliver quality, self-catered student accommodation. Accommodation will include single rooms with en suites in cluster apartments, and self-contained studio apartments. In addition, there will be shared laundry, social and recreation areas, academic support space, bicycle storage and limited car parking.
Construction is expected to commence in mid-2017, with completion planned for 2020.