Features of RMIT Connect
The new service model for student interaction (developed separately by the Academic Portfolio) is multi-modal: if you just need to check something quickly, like a course enrolment query, you can book an appointment on your laptop or smart phone and head off for a coffee. When its your turn, you’ll be sent a text. Or you can use self-help kiosks. For longer enquiries and in depth support, dedicated private spaces for consultation are planned. Roaming concierge staff (students employed by the University) will assist with short queries, with staff matched to busy and quieter times. Students can use the space as a social lounge area whilst waiting for a consultation; with features such as service kiosks that transform into student desks when not in use.
Warm, welcoming and open
RMIT Connect’s architectural design defines it as a distinct in form and volume. From the main approach from Swanston Street, the ‘outside’ of the Hall is clad in bluestone over existing columns of Building 10. Across the threshold, the ‘interior’ is lined with timber-veneered panels, which create an immediate welcoming impression and marks Connect as a destination. The carpeted floor and perforated veneered plywood ceilings create a quieter and less active atmosphere compared to the surrounding arcades.
A Hall in two halves
Connect is a large enough space to be split into two ‘halves’ – in building 10 and in Casey plaza. The architectural design is informed by this distinction.
Under Building 10; the Hall is a double-volume space with views to the level 5 Swanston Library space above. Furniture and joinery is aligned with the bluestone columns and is designed more formally with permanent desks, kiosks and signage.
The layout of the ‘half’ under the Casey Building is focused around a large skylight that provides natural light and views to upper levels. Furnishings and joinery are located directly under the void in order to benefit most from the natural light, as well as to reinforce the circulation routes through the Hall. The furnishings are also more casual, including fixed seating plinths and banquets. This area will enable student-staff consultation to be undertaken in informal settings and will allow for the Hall to cater for larger capacities of students and more staff at peak periods.