JCU Burralga Yumba, Townsville

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nettletontribe worked closely with James Cook University and local architects i4architecture to deliver a design that celebrates Townsville’s tropical climate through its high-quality community landscape, whilst enabling community engagement through public placemaking and ideas market and creating a vibrant and inviting streetscape that attracts students and staff whilst reinforcing the Magnetic Island pedestrian Axis and promoting a strong connection to land by embedding local Indigenous narratives in design. 

The building addresses the Ideas Market, Magnetic Island link and TIC building by opening the visual line from Mt Stuart Street across the ideas market toward TIC. The Café at ground floor sits adjacent to the ideas market in the under croft of this wing with an awning roof that follows the line of TIC entry wall. Pushing the building east also provides a sympathetic response to the indigenous centre to the south. The entry and lifts are located close to the ideas market with a clearly defined awning signalling the building entry.  

A private tropical courtyard is created between the two western wings with the central self-catered kitchen overlooking and activating Mt Stuart Street, with games and lounges siting at the south opposite the dining.  

Common study spaces are created off the lift corridor with two-storey volume spaces at the base and top with views extending to the TIC building and to Mt Stuart beyond. The spaces have a strong connection to land by embedding local Indigenous narratives in design. On the roof, Skylounges help to articulate the mass of the building and take advantage of the views across the site.  

The architecture successfully delivers an environment that is highly connected to its surroundings, whilst celebrating and promoting the unique tropical urban landscape of Townsville. The functional and aesthetic requirements are efficient and climate-sensitive which clearly registers as a high-quality residential development. The positive feedback is a testament to the experience that nettletontribe has from working on a large range of student accommodation projects and universities.