Student accommodation in the heart of the community

Iglu Mascot

Iglu Mascot’s architecture centres on community in two ways.

The building provides a much needed, high quality home to more than 430 university students located within 200 metres from Mascot Station. It also works hard to lift Mascot’s built environment, one which is dominated by bland residential super blocks, high levels of traffic congestion, a lack of public open space and less than 10% tree canopy.

We designed the building as three interconnected rectilinear volumes of varying height organized around a 35m x 18m landscaped courtyard. The siting of the volumes frames a highly efficient C-shaped plan, with reduced height to the south hiding the bulk of the building behind the street wall. Building height, form and orientation have been carefully composed to sit sympathetically within the established urban context, maximising outlook and view sharing. Colour and materiality is integral to the design and communal outdoor spaces and soft landscaping have been maximised to improve liveability and set a new precedent for neighbourhood architecture.

We wrapped the buildings in a precast concrete grid that embraces the modularity of the apartments. The horizontal projects 350mm from the large awning windows to provide shading, while the vertical piers are set back 100mm to enhance the façade’s visual depth. The grid extends above the rooftop to create a crown and to frame the roof terrace and basketball court. At the base the central volume is elevated to express the double height communal spaces within.

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Colour works with the grid: each volume has its own two colours, a lighter colour for the matt pigmented concrete, and a darker colour for the glossy metal infill panels that sit between the vertical piers and windows. We drew all colours from Mascot’s older homes and brick warehouses. When read together, they create a tonal composition the unifies the whole building while creating depth and texture.

Inside, the building balances efficient studio and 6xbed cluster apartments with generous shared amenities. Beds in cluster apartments are oriented against the windows, doubling as sofas and optimising space and access to light and fresh air.

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The ground plane is organised across two interconnected floors accommodating communal facilities anchored by the eastern courtyard. Its plantings are layered: historic Mascot species mixed with exotic species add canopy and understory to the site. Residents enter the building on the southern side of the upper ground level, where the café and lounge are located; walking beyond leads to reception, formal meeting rooms, communal spaces, and a terrace, all wrapped around the courtyard.

A double-height void and wide stair lead to lower ground, where the media room, gym, library, games, laundry, bike storage and more communal spaces are located. The floor opens directly onto the covered BBQ area and courtyard, connecting residents directly to the large greenspace. The green at lower ground is mirrored on the roof, where a large, landscaped terrace and basketball court offer more spaces for socialising and play.

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Iglu Pty Ltd


  • RPS


Sydney | Gadigal Country, Australia






11,757 sqm


Felix Mooneeram