“The facilities have exceeded the end users’ expectations, are enduring in their design and represent new benchmarks for Defence facilities in Australia"
Brigadier General Gary Kelly, Former Director General - Project Delivery

Lavarack Barracks Redevelopment

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Department of Defence
Lavarack Barracks, Townsville, Queensland, Australia
May 1999 - December 2019
$1,000,000,000.00 estimate
Full Architectural Services

4,000,000m² Site Area estimate

250,000m² GFA estimate


Lavarack Barracks, located in Townsville is one of the Australian Defence Force’s largest bases and is home to the Australian Army’s 3rd Brigade. BVN has played a significant architectural role in multiple stages of the redevelopment of the Barracks since 1999 through to the present.

Careful design and implementation of an architectural expression and character appropriate to the function of the facilities has been developed and appropriately synthesised with the landscape and to provide the physical matrix and background to tropical Australian Army life.

The redevelopment projects have made a significant contribution to the new identity of Lavarack Barracks and its future in northern Australia. The architectural and urban design solutions developed define Lavarack Barracks as a place of significance within Defence and the broader community. The redevelopment has been seen by Defence as a benchmark of excellence in the provision of facilities for Defence accommodation.

Rigorous, well researched testing and exploration of design options has led to the development of building typologies and site planning strategies that allow working accommodation to be naturally ventilated, with high levels of occupant comfort despite its location in the dry tropics.

Projects delivered at Lavarack Barracks include:

  • Living-in accommodation units
  • Mess facilities to serve living-in personnel and those accommodated off-base
  • Working accommodation for 1RAR, 2RAR, 3CSR, 3BDE Army units
  • Training facilities
  • A Physical Fitness Complex
  • Warrant Officer and Non Commissioned Officer Academy, North Queensland
  • Working accommodation, workshop and logistical facilities for 3 CER and 4 RAA
  • Relocation of 3RAR to the Lavarack Barracks
  • Joint Logistics Unit – North Queensland, Workshop and Secure Store
  • Joint Logistics Unit – North Queensland Clothing Store
  • New facilities for the Land 121 Vehicle Replacement Program



Lavarack Barracks, Townsville, Queensland, Australia


RAIA QLD Public Buildings - Community Building Award - High Commendation
RAIA QLD Regional Commendation (Mess Facilities)
The Francis Greenway Society Green Buildings Awards - Gold Medal
RAIA Robin Boyd Award for Residential Buildings
AISC Queensland Architectural Steel Design Award - High Commendation
RAIA QLD Residential Buildings - Multi-Residential Award
RAIA QLD Robin Dods Award for Residential Buildings
Harry Marks Award for Sustainable Architecture
RAIA QLD Regional Commendation (Living-in accommodation)
RAIA QLD Colorbond Award
RAIA QLD Regional Commendation
RAIA North QLD Regional Commendation
RAIA North QLD Walter and Oliver Tunbridge Award for Building of the Year
RAIA QLD Commercial Commendation
RAIA North QLD Regional Commendation

Brief Elements

  • Living-in accommodation
  • Mess facilities
  • Working accommodation
  • Logistics and maintenance facilities
  • A training academy
  • External training areas
  • Physical fitness facility
  • Vehicle compounds and workshops
  • Music and band facilities
  • Medical centres


  • Extensive master planning and redevelopment of the Barracks over 15 years
  • High levels of sustainability including naturally ventilated working accommodation
  • Rigorous approach to detailing and form creates consistent architectural character across the Barracks


Associate Architects – Stage 2
Troppo Architects
Structural Engineer
Electrical, Communications and Security
Webb Australia
Parker Hydraulic Consulting Group
Cost Planning
Aquenta, MCD Douglas