After two years in the making, RMIT’s enormous, $220-million New Academic Street project is finally complete.
Lyons Architecture led a five-firm design consortium comprising NMBW, Maddison, MvS, and Harrison and White. Working closely with RMIT to achieve the university’s goals of achieving a future-looking building that has an unprecedented focus on students, this major project has transformed the scattered RMIT city campus into an interconnected, vibrant collection of buildings.
Rather than not down the existing building and start from scratch, the design team embarked on a bold project of adaptive re-use. The previous 1960s buildings were transformed into an environmentally sustainable and functionally flexible building that drew from iconic Melbourne imagery and cutting-edge technology for its design. As well as serving students with its diversity of spaces, New Academic Street re-establishes a long-lost connection between RMIT and Melbourne CBD, incorporating a number of community areas intended for wider use.
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words by Kirsty Sier