University of Melbourne
DS Architects worked closely with The University of Melbourne, School of Rural Health to completely upgrade and extend their student accommodation facilities in Wangaratta. The facility accommodated Medical students undertaking a long-term work placement at Wangaratta Hospital. As local town amenities nearby the facility were limited in the rural setting, DS and the client worked closely to create additional communal spaces which met the students’ social and personal needs.
The original building was an aged care center, and the first stage included refurbishment of the existing facility to accommodate 15 student dormitories. During the second stage, an additional 16 dormitories were built in a new student wing.
An important consideration to the design approach was to consider the needs of students who were moving into a new area and make them feel welcome and connected to the community. This included a strong focus on the links between private areas to public and shared space, allowing residents and the community to gather and socialise. These spaces included:
- Creation of new informal lounges and TV areas, including furniture selection
- External and landscaping works, including outdoor seating, tables, BBQ facilities, and gathering areas.
- New communal shower, toilet, and laundry facilities, including DDA accessible and ambulant facilities.
- Delivered a ‘key turn’ project. DS Architects specified all white goods and equipment, cutlery, homewares, dinnerware, kitchenware, and cooking utensils.
Inclusive and accessible design was a key focus in this project, and so facilities were fully enhanced to be more accessible and DDA compliant.
The project was driven to respond to the local community and assisting students transitioning into a new surrounding through maximizing social interaction.
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