Student accommodation in the heart of the community

Iglu Summer Hill

Iglu Summer Hill has been carefully designed to improve street activation and sit sympathetically within its park, village and heritage setting.

Iglu Summer Hill is a student accommodation community situated in the heart of Summer Hill Village, in close proximity to Summer Hill train station, and adjacent to the Darrell Jackson Gardens and the local shopping precinct. The existing heritage-listed Western Suburbs District Ambulance Station building located on the site has been restored and re-purposed as part of the student accommodation.

The development accommodates 184 studios, with self-contained kitchens and bathrooms, and is supported by a diversity of indoor and outdoor communal spaces. New 3- and 4-storey buildings adjoin the heritage listed Ambulance Station. Together they frame a generous communal landscaped courtyard which has excellent access to sunlight and provides shelter from train and traffic noise.

The form and scale of the new buildings are consistent with the existing heritage building and surrounding low-rise context. The north edge is setback from the boundary along Carlton Crescent to increase footpath width and emphasise the primary entry through the heritage building. Facades are defined by vertical brickwork piers and framed picture windows that reflect the structure and repetition of individual studios. Their proportions balance privacy and outlook and present a strong masonry character consistent with the Summer Hill context. The upper level has been setback from the heritage building and defined by lightweight metal frames.

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Landscaping is integral at Iglu Summer Hill. The large courtyard forms a central feature, framed by inner façade planting to the north and south. Throughout the development, open circulation corridors and breezeways are defined with vertical planting, and picture window frames integrate planters. On the outer west and south facades, a generous green edge establishes a cohesive relationship with the park and ensures visual privacy for students.

Inside, generous communal spaces provide residential amenity, support study and promote a strong sense of community. A lounge, kitchen, gym and study rooms are organised around a large double height void with an open stair. The void reconciles the level change across the site and provides sunlight to the lounge and communal kitchen at the lower courtyard level. Beyond the courtyard seating is an outdoor terrace with a BBQ area.

The majority of studios are orientated to the east and west, benefiting from park and courtyard outlooks. Beds are oriented against the façade, doubling as sofas and optimising studio space. They are framed by full height picture windows with deep reveals, providing abundant natural light, views and ventilation but also shading and privacy.

Sustainability was a key design driver at Iglu Summer Hill. Passive design measures include open naturally ventilated corridors, cross-ventilated studios, sun shading to glazing and extensive landscaped areas. Iglu is committed to clean renewable energy, and to the Inner West community’s zero emissions goal. To this end, the project accommodates a 100kW PV system with integrated battery storage, which will reduce annual CO2 greenhouse gas emissions by 138 tonnes.

Jonathan Gliksten

Director, Iglu Pty Ltd



Iglu Pty Ltd


  • 360 Degrees Landscape Architecture


Sydney | Gadigal and Wangal Country, Australia






4,500 sqm


  • Australian Institute of Architects (AIA) NSW, Aaron Bolot Award for Residential Architecture - Multiple Housing, 2023


Felix Mooneeram