Melbourne has always been a city that promotes unusual, innovative architecture and design. And if you have been wandering on Swanston and Flinders Street here, you will understand why we are saying this. Federation square, Council House 2, RMIT Green Brain (The Storey Hall) are just a few examples. Last year yet another building – RMIT Design Hub – joined this list of atypical architecture. Located at the corner of Swanston and Victoria Street, this building has a skin made up of approximately 16,250 glass discs spanning across all 9 levels of the building. In broad daylight, the white discs seem to disappear in the sky at a distance, creating a character of unending structure.
The 60cm diameter sandblasted glass discs are fixed to galvanised steel cylinders. These units of disc and cylinder are organised into panels, each panel comprising of 21 units from which 12 are operable allowing for perimeter air intake contributing to the passive cooling system for the structure and lowering the overall energy consumption. The architect Sean Godsell has found a perfect balance between aesthetic and sustainability in the building facade.
Earlier in our article, Q&A(rchitect), we discussed the diverse nature of an architecture practice. RMIT design hub seconds this speculation by providing a ‘warehouse’ style space for various design disciplines under one roof. Students from diverse range of design research and post graduation studies can work alongside each other, modify spaces to suit the team requirements and achieve something unusual from creative collaborations. Thus, the large uniform off-white box of 13,000 sq m seems limitless from outside and has limitless design possibilities within.
Photographs by Vin Rathod, text by Priyanka Rathod
Vin Rathod is an architect and a photographer. He holds a Bachelor of Architecture from KRVIA, Mumbai and Master of Construction Project Management from UNSW, Sydney. Vin is an Emerging Member of Australian Institute of Professional Photography (AIPP) and works in Sydney, Australia. For Vin, each photograph is a design; a design for the subject, be it an art, architecture, city, or a sculpture. He thrives on creativity and imagination and is always developing new ideas. The photographs speak of his vision to see built-form as an artwork. A collection of Vin’s fine art photographs are constantly evolving as seen on his website Through Vin’s Lens
As an architect, Priyanka is very much interested in exploring designs with sustainable initiatives. After completing Bachelors of Architecture from KRVIA, Mumbai University, she did her Master of Architecture with major in Design from UNSW, Sydney. In her professional career, Priyanka has worked on variety of projects – urban and rural; commercial, institutional and healthcare both in India and Australia. Her volunteering initiatives include participation in the event organising team of Archikidz! Sydney 2012 held during Sydney Architecture Festival. Currently, Priyanka lives and works in Sydney enjoying her time between professional work and some personal initiatives including writing for Through Vin’s Lens