University of Melbourne, Leicester Street Village Student Accommodation
University of Melbourne
The brief required a substantial development of student accommodation on an inner urban site, fronting Leicester Street (between Queensberry and Pelham Streets). The location is ideally positioned between the CBD, and the University of Melbourne’s Parkville campus.
The scale of the project required consideration of the contribution the project could make to the public domain – in addition to meeting the primary objective of significantly increasing the University’s student accommodation portfolio.
The proposal develops a strong urban design solution that:
- strengthens, connects with and enhances the existing urban pattern;
- creates an architecture that acknowledges adjacent building amenity; and
- provides an affordable residential amenity for tertiary students.
The introduction of a new laneway, proposed as an urban device to directly connect Bouverie Street with Leicester Street, also provides a north facing laneway frontage and Village Square. This tactic immediately enlivens the project – breaking down a potentially large and bulky institutional volume into smaller parts. The residential frontage is then maximized along the depth of the block, running east west, giving the majority of multi-room apartments a north facing orientation, to underpin the 5 Star Green Star requirement.
The underlying spatial logic has the effect of reducing street impact, adding a new laneway connection to the city and reducing environmental impact on adjacent properties (that would otherwise be impossible to avoid with a single tower or perimeter solution).
At the heart of the design approach is the creation of a facility that supports academic, cultural and social life – adding to the city through the combined effect of how the new building and Village Square are composed – inviting connectivity, activation and participation, as part of the knowledge transfer agenda of the University of Melbourne.