RMIT University’s newest buildings will throw open their doors on Saturday 29 July, as part of Open House Melbourne.
Three RMIT buildings will be open for general access and guided tours. They include the University’s New Academic Street, a groundbreaking project which has transformed the heart of the city campus.
The New Academic Street project will be making its debut at Open House, showcasing how existing parts of RMIT have been reimagined and reconstructed to create dynamic new spaces for students, staff and visitors.
The New Academic Street project took centre stage at the recent Open House event which celebrated the launch of the 10th annual Open House Melbourne program.
The event was hosted by RMIT in the new Media Portal, one of the many exciting facilities which have emerged as part of the project.
Speaking at the launch, RMIT Chief Operating Officer, Dionne Higgins, said the University was proud to be showcasing the New Academic Street precinct for the first time.
“Five different architects – all RMIT alumni – have collaborated to transform the student environment,” Higgins said.
“Four Swanston Street buildings have been redeveloped, opening them to the streetscape and providing the RMIT community with a unique urban experience through optimum design and leading use of technology.
“From the cutting-edge media precinct and expanded library to glass-roofed arcades, rooftop spaces and outdoor garden terraces, the project builds on RMIT’s reputation for delivering innovative academic programs within stunning modern and historic buildings.”
As well as providing the opportunity for self-guided exploration, RMIT will offer guided tours through the New Academic Street precinct hosted by the principal architects as part of Open House.
Also open to the public on 29 July will be RMIT’s Swanston Academic Building and Design Hub, both completed in 2012 as part of a major capital investment program.
These buildings have both been recognised nationally and internationally with architectural, construction and sustainability awards, and they each have a Green Building Council of Australia 5-star rating signifying excellence in environmentally sustainable design.
The Swanston Academic Building is a world-class learning and teaching facility whose striking design has become a landmark in RMIT’s Swanston Street precinct.
Home to 6000 students and 850 staff members, the building comprises 35,000 square metres of floor space over 11 levels. Innovative, inter-connected teaching and learning spaces are designed to support student-centred education and provide an optimum student experience.
A new exhibition, Colouring Impermanence by David Thomas, will be a key feature at RMIT’s Design Hub on the Open House weekend. The exhibition highlights the value of painting and the process of empathetic observation to contemporary creative practice.
The Design Hub will host an event examining the importance of teaching to Thomas’ practice. Participants will join tutorials with Thomas, his peers and collaborators to experiment with drawing, painting and photography.
The first research building of its kind in Australia, RMIT’s Design Hub represents a new era for excellence in creativity and collaboration. It brings together design academics, industry practitioners and postgraduate researchers within a cross-disciplinary urban laboratory.
Open House Melbourne is the result of an initiative by the Committee for Melbourne, Future Focus Group, and is part of the Open House Worldwide Network, founded by Open House London.
First offered in 2007, Open House will this year present more than 200 buildings around Melbourne, with the footprint extended further into southern and northern suburbs.
Story: Pauline Charleston