La Trobe University North and South Apartments has received a 2021 Interior Design Excellence Awards (IDEA) Sustainability Award, announced at a gala in Sydney on 24 February. 

Launched by inside magazine in 2003, the IDEA program celebrates the best of Australian interior and product design across 14 categories and six Special Awards, including Sustainability.

The JCB team is committed to continuously pushing the boundaries on sustainability innovation. For the La Trobe Apartments, it was integral to our design to expose as much of the mass timber elements as possible.

Given the project's scale, we needed to balance the visual grade requirement with what was feasible both due to cost and transportation. Sanded structural grade CLT was selected for exposed areas; on site these were protected through construction and given a final sand and seal to deliver the required finish appearance.

The design celebrates the warmth of the timber structure and natural materials, supporting wellbeing and biophilic design. The light-filled exposed timber staircase provides additional space to interact with fellow students.

A big thank you to the jury and inside magazine, client La Trobe University, builder Multiplex and all consultants involved.

More info on the project is available here

View all the 2021 IDEA Winners here

Photography: Peter Clarke