A view to rival any in Melbourne’s CBD has been revealed as RMIT’s new Student Portals were opened in time for semester one.
The three level, 330-seat Student Portals study space in Building 10 is the first stage of RMIT’s New Academic Street project to delivered.
The space features a towering glass façade, which replaced 40-year-old concrete walls.
While studying in the portals, students can enjoy a stunning view across Bowen Street to the dome of the World Heritage-listed Royal Exhibition Building.
It is a symbolic first step in the delivery of one of New Academic Street's key aims; opening the heart of the RMIT City campus to the CBD.
Each of the three study spaces across levels 9 to 13 was designed distinctively.
The Lower Portal (levels 9 and 10) features a ‘hive’ of study pods, the Middle Portal (level 11) reflects the State Library’s popular grassy hill, and the Upper Portal (levels 12 and 13) features long working tables perfect for design, making or group study.
Carey Lyon, director of Lyons Architecture, who led the portals’ design, said the idea was to give students a choice of the type of space they would like to use.
“Each level is a memorable destination in its own right,” he said.
“It’s the start of the larger New Academic Street project that will create significantly more study, collaboration and lounge space for students so they can stay and study on the campus.”
Lyons Architecture also designed RMIT’s Swanston Academic Building (Building 80) and Lyon, a Professor in RMIT’s School of Architecture and Design, said the lessons learnt in that building’s construction had been used to further improve the students’ campus experience.
“The student portals in Building 80 have been a huge success, but we have also learnt from them – installing more power points, student kitchens with microwaves, and comfortable seating in the Building 10 portals,” he said.
A café has also opened on Level 11, so staff and students in Building 10, 12 and 14 need not leave their buildings for food or coffee.
The next stage of the New Academic Street project will deliver a new food and drink precinct, a new Student Hall (housing RMIT Connect), and a Media Precinct.
Balconies overlooking Swanston Street will create openings in the grey walls along Swanston Street and additional pedestrian entries with stairs, escalators and laneways will link to Bowen Street.
The new library in Buildings 10 and 12 is expected to open later this year, with the rest of the transformation set to be delivered in 2017.
Story: Brenton Shaughnessy.