Explore Arcades and Laneways

Our Vision

NAS is opening up the campus to the surrounding streetscape by creating light-filled laneways, glass-roofed arcades and the Academic Street – linking all the new precincts with the existing city campus and the CBD in a logical and continuous urban experience.

Our inspiration

Melbourne’s CBD is a city of laneways – the New Academic Street is creating some new ones. Along with the new thoroughfare, which runs between Swanston and Bowen Streets, two other main laneways are being created – inspired by the site’s original 1960s plans. The Design Team, consisting of a five different architects, is bringing distinctive styles across the space – eschewing the ‘monolithic’ appearance of the existing buildings (10, 12 and 14) and embracing a complex, non-uniform design.

Features of the Arcades and Laneways

Transforming the student experience

NAS is completely transforming how students and staff engage with the city campus, with porous laneways that cut through the floor plan and create inherently clear way-finding and urban experiences – just like in the surrounding city. While creating vistas is key; the main idea driving the project is to ‘surgically open up’ a whole group of previously ‘impenetrable’ buildings to foot-traffic as well as introducing new uses – such as innovative food and beverage, modular student spaces and cutting edge technology.

NAS main entrance

A new major entry point for RMIT University; the New Academic Street intersects with Swanston Street right where most people want to enter the campus, directly beneath Building 8’s impressive facade. A series of stairs and escalators lead from a small public plaza at street level to a new and open level four. This entry is clear and unambiguous, ‘signalling the activities of the University to the city and inviting everyone to enter’.

Laneways and other entries

As well as the major campus entry at the base of building 8, two new secondary laneway entrances have been built for Buildings 10 and 12. By providing multiple smaller openings that link Swanston and Bowen Streets directly, NAS has added a positive urban complexity to the scale of the block. The laneways have been paved in blue stone to match CBD’s famous laneways and highlight the ‘publicness’ of the NAS precinct.

Precinct Timeline

14 December 2014

Construction Commences

Construction Commences on the Building 8 Entrance.

2 March 2015

Stairway Construction Completed

Opening on day one of Semester 1, the new Swanston Street stairway opened.

July 2017

Construction Completed

By mid-2017, the new entrance will be completed with a brand new facade and upgraded portico and design.

Explore the Arcades and Laneways

Launch the Interactive Map