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This eventful building draws natural light into its heart.

Its north-south orientation and linear nature overlaid onto the existing contours of the site generates the idea of weaving landscape and building. This idea initiates studies of the cellular nature of the building with modules of research laboratories and teaching spaces being interrupted by events in the landscape which mark the point where topography crosses building.

The linear footprint is interrupted along its length by nodes that draw natural light into the centre, creating event spaces that relieve the crush of students and develop a visual connection to the landscape. An efficient and flexible central double loaded passage with flanking laboratory zones to each side allow good access to natural light and views. 

A narrow linear building has potential to create a single, long, and unremitting passage by default. The extent of conventional passage with parallel walls is reduced by a shifting misalignment of walls expanding the passage width as you approach the event spaces. This experience is heightened by the introduction of controlled natural light via roof monitors into each of the spaces. 

Within two of the event spaces a circular platform is suspended within the roof monitor as an informal discussion area accessed from the central bridge. The platform is wrapped with a corrugated fibreglass balustrade that also partially screens the space.

Within each a large couch is formed from vinyl to an amorphous shape suggesting a culture developing within a petri dish.

  • Design Team JWA in association with DesignInc Melbourne
  • Location RMIT University, Bundoora Campus, Victoria
  • Procurement Invitation
  • Project Duration 1998 – 2002
  • Floor Levels 2
  • Floor Area 9,400 sqm
  • Selected Awards
  • Sir Zelman Cowen Award for Public Buildings, RAIA 2002

 

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