Connecting the campus to the city
Our human centric design for RMIT New Academic Street sought to have a positive impact on everyone who engaged with the campus, from the students right through to the researchers. By creating laneways, gardens, new student spaces and better library facilities, our designs considered the practical needs of the environment in context of their broader contribution to the city.
Bringing the educational life of the university directly into the space of the city, we designed NAS to make education visible from the street — opening up visual connections to new activity spaces. Major new stairs, light filled laneways and glass-topped arcades further enhance these connections to student learning, student services and study spaces.
The transformation of NAS included a major expansion and reconfiguration of RMIT’s city campus library. We reduced book stacks by 50% and student study spaces increased by 200%, including places for solo study, noisy group work, quiet group work and social learning. These spaces respond to different educational ‘modes’ over the course of the semester, from project based learning groups in early weeks, to quiet individual study spaces prior to exams. The majority of these rooms are open for extended hours, providing opportunities for students to comfortably study on campus.
Learning areas with floor to ceiling windows, outdoor balconies and access to landscaped rooftop gardens connect the students’ educational experience with the city skyline. We designed interior student portals across three levels for recreation and group work. The design of these open, communal spaces is inspired by the Forum Theatre, the State Library’s sprawling green lawn and where we facilitate our own learning, an architect’s design studio.