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La Trobe Street Student Accommodation Melbourne, VIC

An exemplar project that heralds a new generation in student accommodation, Atira Latrobe St has been devised to provide the ultimate in amenity, quality and lifestyle, offering a sophisticated approach to both living and communal spaces, contributing new public amenity for the wider community, and supporting meaningful pastoral care to residents.

Developed across two parcels of land; the architectural response was purposely designed to capitalise on the potential to give back a useful public amenity while at the same time providing a uniquely Melbourne front-door to the building. This was achieved by proposing a tall and slender built form with a high-quality façade that responded to Atira’s ethos of providing a site-specific identity for the building while simultaneously advancing the philosophy behind the City of Melbourne’s Student Housing Design Policy, devised to support a sense of belonging and social interaction for all students.

The project creates a generous new fine grain laneway space for Melbourne’s CBD. Richly textured surfaces, engaging bespoke elements of seating, planting and lighting as well as the provision of retail and exhibition spaces, all create a vibrant respite from the surrounding city.

At nearly 150m high the project is one of the world’s tallest prefabricated student accommodation buildings. Designed for manufacture and assembly offsite, the construction technology allowed the design of a slender vertical form with a highly engineered façade and elements of commercial materiality refined for use within a residential setting.

40 Latrobe offers highly engaging social spaces interspersed throughout the building’s 43 levels, greatly intensified at ground level to integrate with the new laneway and cityscape. Communal facilities include terraces, lounges, shared dining rooms, kitchens, sports and recreation zones, a cinema, videogame spaces and collaborative learning areas for studying and hot-desking.

The building brings together the latest thinking in contemporary student accommodation with a true sense of community. Throughout the design process our focus was on bringing scholarship and a sense of home to the forefront. By designing from the idea of providing a vertical village, incorporating the idea of moving between private, shared, and public spaces at differing scales and uses. This idea of actively designing the progression from room, to home, to neighbourhood, to village and beyond, sets a new benchmark and offers a vibrant and unique addition to student accommodation in Melbourne

The building supports a contemporary, twenty-first century community of scholars All communal spaces encourage use, dwelling and occupation, while incidental learning areas are located alongside varied and customised living and study spaces that support an innovative pedagogy and maximise opportunities for social interaction.

Video content by Hickory Group