Northern Plaza, Monash University Clayton

From the landscape architect: Contemporary universities are becoming microcosms of our cities. Open spaces are now being developed not as decorative foregrounds to buildings, but to host staff, students and the wider community in myriad ways: whether it is meeting, studying, playing, exercising, partying, dining, promenading or escaping.

These are social spaces serving increasing student populations, rising on-campus residents, as well as responding to a new 24/7 activated campus paradigm.

At the heart of Monash University, Clayton is the newly minted Northern Plaza – the dynamic student hub adjacent to the Campus Centre.

Underpinning this field of student activity are layered strategies for interaction creating a curated canvas of engagement. Within a 75 x 75 metre frame, Northern Plaza hosts alfresco dining under a leafy canopy, event lawns, BBQs, decks, long civic-scaled study desks, informal seating, terraces and linking promenades.

This dynamic strategy invites the university population to come together in an animated urban setting, where music, exercise classes, student clubs, pop-ups, cinema and exhibitions, or just lounging around, further enrich the setting. This is a design that says “the more life and activity, the better!”

– Taylor Cullity Lethlean.


Landscape architect
Project Team
Perry Lethlean(design director); Lisa Howard (project manager); Alex Lock (senior landscape architect) Elly Russell (senior landscape architect); Jennifer Lynch (landscape architect); Alexa Ongoco (landscape architect)
Arborist Treelogic
Architect MGS Architects
Construction team PTA landscapes, Neo Construct
Cost planner Simon Wragg and Associates
DDA Consultant Architecture and Access
Electrical & hydraulic engineer Irwinconsult
Furniture Tait
Horticulture Paul Thompson
Industrial design Ian Dryden
Irrigation LIS
Lighting Electrolight
Soils Peter May
Structural and civil engineering Irwinconsult
Turf SportsTurf Consultants
Site details
Location Melbourne,  Vic,  Australia
Site type Urban
Building area 5000 m2
Category Landscape / urban design
Type Universities / colleges
Project Details
Status Built
Completion date 2016
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