RMIT’s A’Beckett Urban Square has been shortlisted for Urban Design and Sustainable Architecture in the 2015 Australian Institute of Architects (AIA) Victorian Architecture Awards.
Chris Hewison, Executive Director, Property Services, said the nominations was the latest industry recognition for the University’s commitment to providing superior built environments that underpin student and staff experience.
The winners of each state chapter join the shortlist for national awards, to be announced in November.
Located on the corner of Stewart and A’Beckett Streets, the Urban Square is an example of the University’s efforts to utilise existing spaces, and create fluidity between the campus and the city community.
Hewison said that what was a vacant site is now an outdoor recreational area featuring ball sport and BBQ facilities, wrapped by an artist’s wall, modern landscaping and Wi-Fi connectivity.
“By reworking an under-utilised central space, the Urban Square pop-up showcases the University’s creativity and commitment to a dynamic CBD community,” he said
“RMIT Property Services is focused on designing innovative and interactive spaces for all students.
“This project is another example of how the University continues to live up to its industry-leading reputation for innovative design and technology.”
Reflecting on the enthusiastic use of A’Beckett’s pop-up, Hewison acknowledged the importance the built environment has on developing an integrated learning experience.
“We are focused on creating experimental, sustainable and integrated spaces that create a shared destination between the University, the city, and students.
“We are pleased to see the facility in constant use, to us, that is an important measure of the project’s success.”
Peter Elliot Architecture and Urban Design, the firm commissioned to design the Square, submitted the project to AIA.
Their impressive approach, developed “…a piece of urban theatre carved out of the surrounding city, which is framed by new residential towers, multi-level car parks and RMIT academic buildings”.
The inner city pop-up uses harmonised, bold colours and graphics, materials and textures that enhance the purpose of each feature, and has proved an engaging urban recreation facility in the heart of the city.
The winners of the state awards will be announced at the AIA ceremony on Friday 26 June.