Plus Architecture has received development approval to transform John Chapman House, Moore Theological College’s student accommodation. 

Valued at $30 million, construction on the redevelopment is expected to begin in 2023, providing 91 new students with a new living experience on campus. The current two-storey buildings, dating back to the 1950s, will be demolished, with new four and six-storey sections to be implemented. Plus Architecture’s design, which saw them win a design competition in November 2019, blends existing and new elements in order to pay homage to the character of the former buildings.

“An important part of our process was to assess which existing elements on site were able to contribute most to the final outcome while providing an opportunity to complement it with a new and exciting building. Understanding the culture and heritage of the surrounding area also played a role in our design approach and the overall outcome of the project,” says Rido Pin, Design Director at Plus Architecture.

The practice were required to balance the transition between the hustle and bustle of the city and its locale, as well as tree-lined heritage areas in close proximity. In order to smooth the transition, Plus Architecture developed a design with two distinct elements, one at six-storeys facing City Road and another expressed at four-storeys on Carillon Avenue, joined by a glass element and landscaped connection which serves as the main entrance to the building.

Sandstone has been utilised to achieve commonality with the neighbouring existing and heritage buildings in the district while a mix of lighter contemporary façades such as a fine-scale silver-coloured battened screens will create a sense of softness and sculptural quality.

The building aims to create a space where students can feel at home while providing a healthy environment that promotes learning, collaboration and friendships. Plus Architecture has created a network of meeting places to promote this positive ecosystem and encourage interaction and a sense of community.

“Creating spaces for interaction is an essential part of the new John Chapman House and community touchpoints have been deliberately positioned at the pinch points where the two structural forms come together. The ground floor will be a generous open space, which can be opened up to engage with the outdoor garden setting in a flexible way,” says Pin.

Open staircases in the design encourage people to walk between the various levels, connecting to the community rooms and there is also a rooftop pavilion over the western building which merges with the external outdoor decks creating shared indoor and outdoor spaces.”

The building contains a number of amenities, including a gym, cinema, kitchen, BBQ and lounge areas which Pin believes will elevate the current campus experience.

“There's a lot of generosity in this building in terms of creating a great place to live and learn and now more than ever, wellbeing and connection are imperative to hosting positive living and learning environments. John Chapman House was very much about providing the best living environment for students, and I think we have been able to achieve this through the process. The new architectural and design plans for John Chapman House will have a positive impact on the local community and will create high quality student accommodation for Moore Theological College,” he says.

Once completed, John Chapman House will comprise 103 rooms, of which there will be a balance of residential and faculty living available for individual singles, clusters, and 1- and 4-bedroom apartments for families.

For more information regarding the John Chapman House development, click here.

Images: Supplied.