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I am very, very happy to see that the building will be activated at street level on Swanston Street, currently it's not a charming experience walking past there.


RMIT University will rejuvenate its CBD campus and overhaul a group of ageing buildings to change the face of a large section of Swanston Street. Balconies and terraces will hang over Swanston Street, transforming the exterior of the buildings that RMIT acting vice-chancellor Gill Palmer described as "grey ghosts". "They're very drear," she said. The university has engaged five architectural firms, led by Lyons, to refurbish the 1960s and 1970s buildings that stand on the major city thoroughfare. The university expects the New Academic Street project to be completed in 2017. A new Garden Building will include open vertical garden space to be used throughout the year.

The city campus runs along Swanston Street between La Trobe and Franklin streets.The redevelopment will be concentrated towards Franklin Street. Inside, the buildings will be better connected with a series of escalators and a student hall that will run across two buildings. Lyons director Carey Lyon said the redevelopment would "redefine the student experience". "It will be a radical transformation," he said. “The whole idea of a lively campus right at the centre of the city is really unique.” Mr Lyon said the redeveloped buildings would provide direct access through a series of laneways to the "heart of the campus" from Swanston Street. “It will create this strong sense of an open, porous campus, which will be completely different to what it feels like at the moment.”

The university will carry out landscaping works on Bowen Street, which runs through the campus. The redevelopment will also include almost 20 new retail outlets that will be accessible to the public. “We’d like to think if it’s a great place for students, other people will come in and use it as well.” Professor Palmer said the university's library will also be expanded substantially to include more space where students can study alone or work together on group assignments. "Libraries are changing a lot. They’re not really repositories of books anymore although books are in there,” she said.

View of Bowen St by RMIT University, on Flickr

Swanston St proposed elevation by RMIT University, on Flickr

Bowen St proposed elevation by RMIT University, on Flickr

Student hall by RMIT University, on Flickr

Student hall by RMIT University, on Flickr

Student hall by RMIT University, on Flickr

Swanston library by RMIT University, on Flickr

Swanston library by RMIT University, on Flickr

Library social space by RMIT University, on Flickr

Building 8 entrance by RMIT University, on Flickr

Building 14 entrance by RMIT University, on Flickr
 

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transforming the exterior of the buildings that RMIT acting vice-chancellor Gill Palmer described as "grey ghosts". "They're very drear,.
Some people may like dull and drear. RMIT is obsessed with its facades on Swanston Street, maybe they should concentrate on education or find something else to occupy themselves with, instead of what the facades of their buildings look like. Some of the RMIT buildings are in bad taste already.
 

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are you f**king serious?

an institution is actually going out of its way to enhance the streetscape of the buildings it owns and rectifying the mistakes of the 60s/70s era it was built in to further open up the busiest street in the cbd and you drop that kind of opinion???

yes some of the RMIT facades are not 100% to everyone's liking but;
1) thats architecture, its art in the built form, not everyone will ever like it. and
2) the fact they at least try new things instead of sticking with safe and unoriginal methods shows how they work as an overall institution.

judging by this comment and your praise for the new 399 Bourke proposal you want melbourne to revert to a boxy, unimaginative city with zero flair...

go troll elsewhere
 

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That whole University/northern end of Swanston Street is a blight on Melbourne. The multi-colored student housing building is one of the worst buildings in Melbourne. RMIT, Storey Hall is the ugliest building in Melbourne it has a hideous exterior. Also RMIT Building 8
 

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Blight according to whom?

Building 8 is a little bit kitschy for my liking (and maybe the RMIT Post Graduate building in a visual sense as I am unsure if it is going to age that well despite it looking interesting to me now), but I don't have any problems with it as it is a great addition to the diversity of architect designs in Melbourne. I can dislike a design of a building but still appreciate what it is doing to add to the diversity of the city.

Anyway, RMIT has been doing that for years. It's perhaps in their genes to push the line further and further with each project carried out. ;)
 

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Blight according to whom?
According to alot of people. It usually makes the worst buildings in Melbourne list.
Using your own language, 'alot of people' would be willing to offer praise toward the building. The difference is, that I can substantiate this claim.

After major refurbishment in 1994 and a new extension on the adjoining site, the Royal Australian Institute of Architects judged RMIT Storey Hall 'of architectural significance'. The building received several awards and commendations in 1996-97 including the RAIA National Architecture Award (Interior Award), Victorian Architecture Medal, William Wardell Award (Institutional) and Marion Mahony Award (Interior Category).
SOURCE: Storey Hall, RMIT Building 16

What you need to understand is, that although some of the noted awards are for the building interior (of which you have not exactly praised but I can see that your agenda is attached to facade), that they are not limited to this.
 

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I do not like these designs
I've already listed Storey Hall, I can keep going:

RMIT Building 8
- RAIA Walter Burley Griffin National Award for Urban Design, 1995
- RAIA Vic Chapter Award for Institutional Alterations & Extensions, 1995
- RAIA Vic Chapter Medal, 1995
- City of Melbourne Award for Institutional Buildings, 1995.
SOURCE: RMIT BUILDING 8

SAB Awards and Recognition
- Australian Construction Achievement Award (2013)
- Victorian Public Architecture Award (2013)
- National Public Architecture Award (2013)
- Victorian Premier’s Sustainability Award – Infrastructure and Buildings (2013)
- Shortlisted World Building of the Year Award (2013)
- Property Council of Australia's Innovation and Excellence Awards – Victorian Development of the Year (2013)
- Property Council of Australia's Innovation and Excellence Awards - John Holland Award for Best Public Building (2013)
SOURCE: Swanston Academic Building
 

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I accept they have have been awarded with prizes. Granted they do have some design merit and they are innovative in some respects. But they are almost childish the designs and facades. The architects obviously have an obsession with being the most eccentric buildings. I do not particularly believe this is good architecture. They do not fit in with the surrounding neighborhood or heritage buildings.
 

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Definetely could do more to liven up the facade on Swanston Street, and I'm not really getting a feeling of an open capmus, with lane ways...Nonetheless a vast improvement on what is currently there.
RMIT have done a great job with this area of the city. The new public square is fantastic (though unfortunately temporary), and a bunch of new stores have opened up onto the back of building 80 which is making that area of the city a bit more lively. Perhaps they could offer a better smoking space for all the students (even though its a smoke free campus), because walking past building 80 on Swanston street can be like walking through a chimney, for a main thoroughfare probably not ideal.
 
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