La Trobe University in Melbourne, Australia is now home to the mass timber student accommodation scheme created by Australian studio Jackson Clements Burrows. Two sweeping arcs providing accommodation for 642 students hug a central courtyard on the 18,000-square-metre site, which is the first to complete in a new masterplan for the university’s eastern residential precinct.
Jackson Clements Burrows built the student housing using mass timber construction. With a total of 4,500 cubic meters of cross-laminated and glue-laminated timber used for its structure, the building is the largest mass-timber project in Victoria — an approach that saw it win out over a competing concrete design.
The local studio aimed to create a design that would mediate between the large scale of the buildings and “finer grain” experiences for residents, with numerous through-routes uniting the buildings with the courtyard and surrounding paths. Much of the wooden structure was left exposed internally. In the communal circulation spaces, it is visible in monumental glulam columns almost 20 meters in height, as well as on staircases and sanded CLT ceiling and wall panels.
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Jackson Clements Burrows designs mass-timber student accommodation in Melbourne