UoM International House


Client: The University of Melbourne
Status: Complete 2005

International House at the University of Melbourne was founded in the early 1950‘s in response to a lack of suitable accommodation for international students mostly from the Asian region. The College, located in Royal Parade Parkville now has some 250 students from 33 countries. The new 5 level residential building provides 4 bedroom apartment living for 32 students and 8 residential tutors and visiting academics suites. In addition there is an academic resource centre serving the whole college. The building is situated in an established garden setting on the western side of the College with spectacular views over Royal Park and Royal Parade.

The building has been sited and designed as the next generation of College accommodation. It represents a significant shift in standard of amenity and social organisation and takes great advantage of its Parkville / Royal Park setting. In urban design and architectural terms the new building forms a third partner to the earlier Clunies Ross and Wadham wings with their strongly expressed horizontal strip windows and spandrel panels. The building has been formed as two linear blocks slipped about a central circulation spine. This not only reduces the overall visual mass of the building, it delineates the separate orientation of private sleep / study spaces from communal living spaces. The western living room block maintains the strip window motif, but adds an animated sun screen element made of laser cut aluminium panels to enliven the wall. In contrast the eastern bedroom block is made up of a deeply recessed grided frame pulled apart around the central stair and lift shafts.

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“This building, in its design, symbolises all that is good at International House: a view to the contemporary and to the future, an inclusive approach to the construction of a residential community…”

Associate Professor Jane Munro, Head of College 2005