The student grapevine is powerful dishing up the latest gossip and the last word on what's hot and what's not. It is critical, therefore, to find the right mix of style and practicality that appeals to young people, especially when building student housing.
Designed by Shane Rothe of RotheLowman and built by developer Michael Piccolo, Melbourne's D2 represents a new generation of privately owned, investor-driven accommodation that caters to today's technology-savvy student population.
"D2 responds directly to the need for high-quality, affordable student accommodation," says Piccolo. "It has also given investors an opportunity to tap into this growing market."
The aim with D2 was to take what Piccolo and Rothe learned from developing and building D1, an earlier student accommodation project they worked on together, and bring it to the next level.
"Students indicated that they'd like to have bathtubs, double beds and more natural light, which can all be hard to find in inner-city apartments. These requests were addressed as a way of setting D2 apart from other accommodation available in the market," Piccolo says.
The building itself was designed to fit onto a very tight site, close to RMIT and Melbourne University. Because of height restrictions, it could only rise nine storeys, but a generous amount of glass in the facade, thanks to a series of screens and balconies, makes the structure look light and tall. The glass balustrades and floor-to-ceiling ranchsliders also provide an abundance of natural light, as requested by the students.