Seventh Heaven

This project won the Kevin Borland Award for Small Project Architecture in the AIA Victoria 2013 awards.

Converting under-utilised roof space on the 7th floor into post-graduate student accommodation was a fantastic opportunity to work with an iconic Romberg and Boyd building. Originally designed by Romberg, Boyd took over and added the distinctive ‘Akubra’ roof to the top! The unique space required a different approach to the standard student housing model; with student rooms maximising their small footprint through the use of platforms to create zones, and flexible built-in furniture.

Photographs by Jesse Marlow Photography

Seventh Heaven is the fitout of seven student rooms on a new level seven, within the existing roof space of a Romberg and Boyd student residential tower at Ormond College, University of Melbourne.

This is the architecture of ‘found spaces’; it is an architecture of optimising existing conditions, a deluxe version of squatting even! The rooms and functions are a combination of carefully crafted spaces and joinery objects intended to fit the eccentricities of existing spaces. In the process, normality has been challenged. New manners of habitation have been found to accommodate living, studying, washing and sleeping zones. The shared spaces facilitate a sense of community amongst the students.  A shared kitchen makes full use of the existing roof height. Ambiguous steps/seats are provided for students to ‘hang out’. The architectural result is a changing world of student spaces and shared households. What student wouldn’t be in seventh heaven? This is a student garret, designer style. Seventh Heaven is a worthy recipient of the inaugural Kevin Borland Award for small building works.

Awards Jury

AIA Victorian Chapter

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