Jackson Clements Burrows’ student accommodation project at La Trobe University’s Bundoora Campus has been shortlisted for the Deezen Awards 2021. It follows the practice being named the winner of the Multiple Dwelling category at the 2020 Sustainability Awards for its Gillies Hall project, located at La Trobe’s Frankston Campus.

Comprising enough space to house 642 students, the two volumes surround a central courtyard on an 18,000 sqm site. The two buildings are part of a push from the university to completely transform its eastern residential precinct. 

The project is regarded as the largest mass-timber project in Victoria, with approximately 4,500 cubic metres of cross-laminated and glue-laminated timber utilised for the structure. The studio endeavoured to create a design that would intersect large scale buildings and ‘finer grain’ experiences for residents, with numerous through-routes uniting the buildings with the courtyard and surrounding paths.

Each arc is atypically split into two wings that revolve around a central lift and stairs. One of the wings houses the apartments that are either four, five or six-bedrooms, with the other wing playing host to communal areas, study spaces and kitchen facilities. Circulation areas invite interaction, where theatre-like seating has been implemented in a number of spots.

north south apartments jackson clements burrows

The building’s facade is characterised by its striking aluminium panels. Providing shade from the sun, the panels are coloured in shades of green, orange, pink and are red on the inside. The panels, glazed areas on the ground floor and external seating spaces are part of Jackson Burrows Clements’ attempts to encourage conversation and collaboration amongst residents. 

The timber structure has remained exposed internally, speaking to the sustainable principles that have guided the project. The staircases, ceiling and wall panels all feature robust timber finishes. 

Gillies Hall, located on La Trobe’s ‘Peninsula’ Campus, comprises 150 studio apartments and common areas. The building is a showcase of the University’s commitment to deliver first-class student accommodation and achieve Net Zero emissions for its operations.

gillies hall jackson clements burrows la trobe university

Similar to the Bundoora Campus project, the building utilises mass timber structure and Passive House design and certification, the building puts occupant comfort, health and wellbeing as a central focus. The building provides an ideal indoor environment at an energy and carbon footprint dramatically lower than any similar type building in Australia.