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Pixels or Punks: RMIT, Swanston Academic Building, Melbourne, Australia.

Corner view.RMIT, an Australian university specialising in technology, has recently opened a new building that is one of the the largest teaching and learning facilities in the country. Lyons architects have given the building an expression inspired by the pixel, which is rendered in folded metal panels on the façade. Appropriate for a technology institution some would say.

Although the panels are coloured creating an abstract pattern /image of the façade, for me, the effect is a bit like the shiny metal pyramid studs on a leather jacket. You know, the kind worn by Punks and Bikers! Being out-there on the creative edge is also a good metaphor to inspire free thinkers!

The eleven storey building houses a range of student-centred learning spaces ranging from conversation rooms – we used to think of those as the bar and café when I was at university, to a range of lecture and seminar rooms. Informal learning spaces have been created on the assumption that learning is an activity that can take place almost anywhere and not just in the classroom.

Raised view.

Corner view

Evening view.

An interior space.

A cafe space

An auditorium.


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