Deakin University, Burwood Highway Frontage Building


  • Designed by Woods Bagot
  • Photography by Peter Bennetts


The Burwood Highway Frontage is an eight-level tower connected to a five-level podium building, running between the two main entrances of Deakin University Melbourne Campus, Burwood. With a total gross building area of 17,000m2, the building provides new academic and high level research spaces directed towards accommodating the University’s expanded Faculty of Health. Informed by the Deakin University Masterplan, this building assists in defining a new urban precinct from within the campus and along Burwood Highway.

Key Features


The architecture is based on the concept of a vertical campus with an activated ground level, providing a new social hub for the university community, including outdoor space for informal learning. The stack department allocation has been designed to help minimize the load on the lifts by placing the heavily occupied spaces like the public and teaching facilities on the lower levels, while the offices and research spaces are located between levels 3-8.


The buildings provide a flexible floor plate and general arrangement, suitable for varied uses. Five components to the building – the Wing, the Tower, Car Park, Facilities and Landscape – create a functional network of spaces.
The Wing presents a gentle convex shape towards the highway over four levels.

The glazing provides a transparent face to Burwood Highway, which defines the urban edge between the University and Burwood Highway. Silver vertical louvred screens protect and define the north, east and west facades. The varying louvre profiles create angular patterns and appear to change when viewed at different angles, creating a sense of depth.


The Tower is a clearly identifiable landmark that has panoramic views over the rest of Burwood Campus, Gardiner’s Creek and towards the city.

The Car Park located beneath Stage 02 and accommodates approximately 263 cars along with lift, service support facilities, bicycle storage and shower facilities and water storage.

Public meeting and student facilities are largely contained within the lower levels and maintain most of the student movement to the Wing. At ground level, there is retail space that comprises a bookstore, general tenancy areas, visitor information centre, campus cafe, and informal breakout spaces.


Level 1 contains medium, large and extra-large meeting and training spaces, as well as an airline club-style lounge area for a variety of uses.

Levels 2, 3 and 4 contain spaces for the Faculty of Health, including the School of Psychology, School of Health and Social Development, and Centre for Population Health. Level 6 is the office for the Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Education) and CFO\’s staff, Level 7 is the office of the Vice-President (Advancement) and staff of the Advancement Portfolio, and Level 8 is the workplace of the Advancement (Donor Relations) staff and the Vice-Chancellor\’s Office.


The design provides a highly energy efficient building with easy occupant control over local environment. This includes under floor air distribution, active mass cooling, low energy usage, high water efficiency, solar hot water, solar shading, high levels of daylight penetration, rain water harvesting and cyclist facilities. The building was designed to meet a 5 Star Green Star Rating.

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