Over the past few years there has been a wave of bold, adventurous design applied to new university buildings in Australia. In South Australia the M2 Building at UniSA's Mawson Lakes Campus, and Adelaide University's Hub Central are two examples of high quality teaching and learning facilities combined with exciting design. In Melbourne, the RMIT University's recently completed Swanston Academic Building by Lyon Architects displays an almost lavish approach to the provision of space for students. I spend a Saturday afternoon there recently, armed with a camera, tripod and a couple of good lenses.
A right angle triangle motif dictates the cladding of the building and both the exterior and interior detail, right down to the bike racks.
The interiors are beautifully finished, with lots of timber
and some pressed metal sheeting.
It is the mix of indoor and elevated outdoor informal spaces made from bold breaks in the facade that make this building a treat for its users. This space is behind the RMIT sign shown on the first photo, about half way up the building. The view is straight down the north end of Swanston Street, with the RMIT Design Centre down the road on the left, and the Melbourne City Baths on the right.