Eastern Campus redevelopment 3B

Precinct upgrade

An exciting opportunity to unite and reshape the eastern sector of the Melbourne Campus.

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The Eastern Campus redevelopment (ECR3B) is an exciting opportunity to unite and reshape the eastern sector of the Melbourne Campus including the refurbishment and upgrade of existing staff accommodations and teaching spaces.

The project supports the University's Future Ready objectives of Lively connected campuses and ethically and sustainably managed resources while directly enabling two of the stated Future Ready Strategic Focus Areas i.e. Outstanding student experience and Brilliant Basics.

The ECR stage 3B is a precinct upgrade to the north east sector of the core campus involving the Donald Whitehead, Martin, and Social Sciences buildings plus Glenn College. The project aims to improve existing infrastructure to accommodate projected growth through the construction of new collaborative teaching, research, and work spaces to support rapidly changing research and teaching methodologies.

The adaptive reuse of existing spaces is central to the Melbourne Campus Masterplan strategy of providing a financially and environmentally sustainable response to the University's infrastructure requirements.

Project Status

Package 1: Relocation of staff and decommissioning the Donald Whitehead Building - completed July 2015.

Package 2: Donald Whitehead Building demolition - completed February 2016.

Package 3: Creation of Moot Court (Social Sciences 232) and five new computer labs in Glenn College - completed February 2016 and currently in use.

Package 4: Donald Whitehead Building Refurbishment - Practical completion 10 March 2017.

Package 5: Martin Building Levels 3 and 4 refurbishment - due to commence April 2017 with expected completion in mid-2017.

Package 6: Social Sciences Levels 1 and 2 refurbishment - due to commence early 2017 with expected completion in mid-2017.


  • innovative, dynamic learning and research environments that support future learning and research requirements and an outstanding student experience
  • research excellence by collocation of staff and students in a single facility
  • student employability through the creation of specialist research hubs that attract industry partnerships
  • assets and infrastructure upgrade that enhance La Trobe's competitiveness in the tertiary market
  • innovative workspace environment that re-imagines working smarter
  • infrastructure that supports the University meeting its Environmental Sustainability commitments.

Design features

  • new external facades on the Donald Whitehead Building will provide the La Trobe Business School with a bold corporate identity, maximise the sense of space, extend social spaces and provide views into interior sections.
  • sensitivity to the existing architecture of the Melbourne Campus will be reflected in the new facades.
  • Donald Whitehead Building connected to the Martin Building to create a seamless transition to one facility.
  • a new atrium on level 1 of the Donald Whitehead Building interlinking two floors of teaching space.
  • a new main entry to the Donald Whitehead Building with a grand amphitheatre style stairway leading to level 2.
  • teaching spaces inspired by the recently completed Melbourne Campus 'The Learning Commons' featuring flat floor teaching spaces, casual breakout areas embedded into the teaching areas, and wall-to-wall writable surfaces to enable 'design thinking'.
  • flexible internal walls enabling teaching spaces to be easily reconfigured for multi-purpose functions.
  • additional teaching spaces in Social Sciences to meet projected Business School flexible teaching space demands and College of ASSC Outreach programs.
  • informal learning spaces where spaces not formally designated for teaching/learning e.g. corridors are made into attractive, inspiring, usable spaces for students to work in. This approach has proved popular in recent projects such as The Learning Commons.
  • specialist labs including a (share) trading room for Business School students, SAS Analytical Innovation Lab, RECCSI Lab and the Yunus Social Business Centre.
  • contemporary staff / student workplace accommodations reflecting modern industry workplace accommodation and collaborative working trends.
  • smart Building Technology utilising information technology to optimise overall building performance thereby reducing global environmental impact.
  • environmentally sustainable design initiatives including thermally efficient building fabrics, rain water harvesting, photovoltaic panels for energy storage, smart building technology, responsible waste disposal/recycling, sustainably-sourced products, and reticulation of campus High Temperature Hot Water flow to generate cooling via an absorption chiller plant.

Frequently asked questions

Does the new design align with the Campus Masterplan vision?
  • ECR 3B projects align to the campus Masterplan with:
  • modern architectural elements that compliment existing campus infrastructure
  • improved campus circulation planning through directing student traffic to teaching spaces. on the lower floors while locating the more quiet staff/ student workspaces to the top two floors
  • the use of environmentally sustainable fabric and materials and the adaptive reuse of existing space to minimise carbon emissions.
How will the design future proof against changing pedagogies and work practices?

New ways of teaching, learning and working are accommodated through:

  • flat floor teaching spaces to create adaptable multi-purpose rooms that can accommodate various University functions and events such as Orientation Day, Open day, Exams and hosting public industry seminars
  • flexible portable loose furniture
  • AV/ IT technologies which focus on collaborative learning
  • high density Wi-Fi broadband coverage to support future portable and wearable technologies
  • modern and spacious spaces that allow for maximum penetration of natural light
  • design that accommodates the colocation of staff and students and the creation of new social spaces to encourage interdisciplinary interactions.

Project consultants

Client: La Trobe University
Project manager: Root Projects Australia
Architects: Hayball
Building services: Simpson Kotzman Pty Ltd
Quantity surveyor: Wilde & Woolard
Structural/civic engineers: Irwin Consult
Building surveyor: Hendry Group
Contractor: Built

Further Information

Contact the project director:

Mr Richard Lindner
La Trobe University Infrastructure and Operations
0419 556 560