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Designing the university experience: student amenities and accommodation

University enrolments across Australia continue to skyrocket. How are our architects and designers responding to this increased demand on student amenities?

For many, starting university can be a daunting experience. This is particularly the case for the many students who live on campus, often moving out of home and away from their families for the first time. When designing Walert House, the new 370-bed student accommodation complex for RMIT’s Bundoora West campus, Richard Middleton Architects bore this in mind and set out to design a project that provided a space for a comfortable, healthy transition away from the family home.

The architects sought to create a strong sense of belonging, taking a three-pronged focus on community, sustainability, and amenity. Every aspect of the project’s design was carefully considered for its effect on student wellbeing and its crucial role in shaping the overall campus experience. A marked departure from the staid, utilitarian student housing projects of yesteryear, Walert House incorporates many hallmarks of home into its design. Natural timber frames generous bays of full-height glazing, while community spaces are furnished with plush sofas and soft furnishings. Careful consideration was poured into all elements of Walert House’s 5 Star Green Star fit out, from the ceiling to the floor. Throughout the project, Tretford® carpet tile is used to convey the warmth and comfort of home. Surprisingly soft underfoot, Tretford® carpet tile has been a leading choice for homes and commercial spaces for over 40 years – and with good reason. The tiles combine the hypoallergenic benefit of Mongolian goat cashmere with Irish manufacturing to balance functionality, style, and durability, and actively contribute to improving the level of indoor air quality. The natural goat hair fibres are fully breathable and sequesters dust, allergens, and other particulate matter that may cause irritation or exacerbate asthma.  Tretford® tiles also provide excellent acoustic and thermal insulation for the bustling student hub, helping create a calm, comfortable environment that is a refuge from the busy broader campus – a true home away from home.


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For over 20 years, Gibbon Group has sourced innovative, on-trend carpet roll and carpet tile ranges from around the globe and operated a custom rug program featuring soft flooring produced from the unique goat hair carpet. The Gibbon Group name has become synonymous with high quality, innovation, and design flexibility. Gibbon Group is driven by a strong focus on sustainability and a genuine commitment to delivering products that enhance user wellbeing and help shape considered, balanced spaces. It is this critical understanding of the role of design in creating healthy, happy spaces that makes Gibbon Group the ideal carpet supplier for multi-residential and education projects.

Their modular carpet tiles from Tretford (Germany) and Modulyss (Belgium) allow for phased installation and produce significantly less waste than traditional broadloom carpet. In addition to outstanding appearance retention and a long life expectancy, carpet tiles allow for mixing and matching colours, patterns, and shapes, alongside easy repair and replacement in the case of damage. Tretrford Corded carpet roll is made with 80 per cent highest-grade natural cashmere and is free from toxic chemicals, making it the perfect fit for creating healthy, luxurious interiors. Its 2-metre width saves on waste and makes for easy installation in high-rise buildings. Where it stands apart from traditional broadloom is its non-ravel construction, which allows fray-free cuts in any direction. This unique corded carpet is highly durable and one of Gibbon Group’s oldest and most trusted products. For over 40 years, Gibbon Group’s Tretford corded carpet roll has been made in Waterford, Ireland. All Gibbon Group carpets can be sourced with specific backings that enhance comfort, durability, acoustic and thermal performance, while extending the lifespan of the carpet.

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Project In Detail:

Project Size:  3935m2

Products Specified: Tretford Tile Eco

Custom Elements: Tretford Tile Eco

Builder:  Built Vic South Melbourne VIC

Architect:  Richard Middleton


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In this whitepaper, we explore the positive impacts of carpet and take a closer look at how it can be used to create vibrant, healthy spaces in multi residential and education environments.



Download Whitepaper

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