Native Fish Hatchery


Bundoora, Victoria


2019 – 2020


Principal Consultant
Contract Administration
Interior Design
Workplace Strategy and Design
Landscape design
Design team management

A rendering of the new fish hatchery design at La Trobe University


La Trobe University’s Wildlife Sanctuary was established in 1967 with the aim of restoring and managing indigenous flora and fauna, and providing an all-ages learning experience celebrating the importance of indigenous plants and animals.

Native Fish Australia (NFA), a not-for-profit, volunteer organisation, has been assisting La Trobe for many years by breeding native and endangered fish for release into their Wildlife Sanctuary and other Victorian waterways. The Native Fish Hatchery project will see the relocation of NFA’s present operations to a new facility adjacent to the University’s Wildlife Sanctuary, offering tremendous opportunities for partnerships: in education, in research and in practical conservation works.

A focus on sustainability

As a building which contributes to public education about native flora and fauna it is important that it displays exemplar passive sustainability features. Key features will include: 

  • water tanks which capture rainwater and are used as thermal mass internally to help condition internal temperature 
  • building form designed and orientated to allow winter sun but block summer sun, and allow indirect sunlight to aquaculture tanks 
  • natural ventilation achieved by utilising a narrow floor plate and deliberately placed operable windows/hatches 
  • solar panels to harness solar energy and insulated walls and roofing for maximised energy efficiency
  • materials selected by considering their embodied energy, life-cycle, renewability and durability.
A diagram depicting the various components of a fish hatchery design within a house.

Driving research and innovation

The NFA Fish Hatchery will be a purpose-built facility to assist the long-term goals of NFA to continue to lead research in new techniques in native fish breeding and to become a leader in environmental education around native fish.

A fish hatchery facility with tanks, filters, and water recirculation system for optimal fish breeding and growth.

Strengthening relationships

The Native Fish Hatchery will provide a platform for NFA to enhance their relationship with the University, facilitating greater sharing of information and resources, and involvement in academic research.

A rendering of a green house with people walking around it, showcasing the fish hatchery design.