2012 National Architecture Awards: Frederick Romberg Award

Monash University Student Housing, Clayton by BVN Architecture Residential Architecture – Multiple Housing: Frederick Romberg Award Australian Institute of Architects

Jury citation

Monash University Student Housing, Clayton, comprises two five-storey buildings, each containing three hundred studios and flanking a central, common courtyard. A home away from home, the project successfully nurtures the student community while supporting the individual — the courtyard is the meeting point and entry to each building and the place where students interact.

Shared spaces and vertical circulation are located at the centre of each building, encouraging interaction. The main communal spaces are double-storey volumes that play an important role in connecting all levels and defining the architectural composition. Each wing of the building has thirty studios per level. At twenty square metres, the studio module — each studio has an ensuite, kitchenette, and sleeping and study spaces — was refined to create a sense of spaciousness, and incorporates extensive operable floor-to-ceiling windows and exposed 2.7-metre-high ceilings, with services contained at central risers. The external mass is effectively minimized and serially patterned by the offset coupling of units clad in vertical timber.

The landscape environment is planted with an edible garden to encourage community use, recreation and the embracing of freshly grown food, which enhances the sense of community. This project has achieved a Green Star Multi-Unit Residential Design v1 rating and a Green Star Multi-Unit Residential Design As Built v1 rating. It has been identified as a new benchmark for the federal government’s National Rental Affordability Scheme.


BVN Architecture
Melbourne, Vic, 3000, Australia
Building surveyor PLP Building Surveyors & Consultants
Contractor Broad Construction Services
Landscape architect Fitzgerald Frisby Landscape Architecture
Project manager Donald Cant Watts Corke
Quantity surveyor WT Partnership
Services engineer, acoustics and ESD Norman Disney Young
Structural engineer Bonacci Group
Site details
Location Clayton,  Melbourne,  Vic,  Australia
Category Residential buildings
Type Residential
Project Details
Status Built



Published online: 2 Nov 2012
Words: National Architecture Awards Jury 2012
Images: John Gollings


Architecture Australia, November 2012

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