New Project Release: New Student Housing at Joondalup, Western Australia

New Project Release: New Student Housing at Joondalup, Western Australia


The new six storey building on the edge of Edith Cowan University’s Joondalup campus, just north of Perth, Western Australia adds 127 beds to, and provides common facilities for, the existing 150 bed student village of two-storey accommodation buildings.

The building was conceived as part of an “old city wall” that defines the eastern edge of the campus, marking the transition from the urban context of the university to the bushland and lake across the road. The landscape is sparse and ancient, with daytime summer temperatures averaging 32 degrees C.

Michael Heenan, Allen Jack+Cottier Principal and Design Director, said: “This is conceived as ‘a building on the edge of the landscape’ – the point at which civilisation meets an ancient land. In design terms, it both addresses and engages with its context, and turns its gaze inward, providing comfort and shelter to its occupants in an unforgiving climate.”

The eastern half is of face brick; with corbelled courses, raked beds and panels of contrasting glazed brick evoking the ancient and weathered quality of an old city wall. The western half looks back over the campus and the architectural expression responds to the “vibrant, modern nature” of the university with a more playful expression. Irregular sized windows with coloured and angled sunshades create bold patterns on the façade and contrast with the sober expression of the eastern half. The northern end is expressed as a tower to visually counterpoint the Chancellery building on the other side of campus and provide an orientation point as the new social centre of the student village.

The building, operated by Campus Living Villages, is designed to provide great flexibility in terms of the types of accommodation it offers: students who want to live in an apartment with four friends can do so, as can individual students wanting an independent studio space.