Building 88, Melbourne, Victoria
Client: RMIT University
This award winning project is an example of contemporary reinvention and re-use. The project reinvented one and a half floors of a bland 1980s, deep floor plate, commercial office building within the Melbourne CBD into a lively and inspirational university design studio.
Limited modifications to the base building were a design factor that impacted the construction methods and the projects limited ecological footprint. The existing ceiling grid was maintained but, by removing only some ceiling tiles, it reinforced the robust and dematerialised studio aesthetic and also provided an additional sense of height allowing the retention of existing light fittings and other services.
Project spaces were developed as consistently detailed full height timber framed and plywood clad envelopes. Spatial connections to adjacent studio spaces are able to radically vary through a combination of large sliding whiteboard panels and glazed swinging doors. Materials selected were able to be pinned, taped, pasted and nailed by the studio occupants.
The aim was to create a vibrant, multi-use work space where students and staff are encouraged to work interactively and freely with others in a group environment. The outcome provided a rich variety of spaces to the users whilst respecting the limitations of a commercial lease within a tertiary education context.