|RMIT Swanston Academic Building in Melbourne was designed by Lyons Architecture and completed in 2012. Corbett Lyon is from Melbourne, but he worked for a time under Venturi Scott Brown in the US. Photo ©Darren Bradley.
|One of many interior study areas at RMIT. Photo ©Darren Bradley.
|I suspect that the building on the left may have done something to the building on the right. Both are part of RMIT. Both by the same architects (Ashton Raggatt McDougall - RMIT alums. Ian McDougall is an associate professor there, as well).
The additions to the one on the right are more recent. Photo ©Darren Bradley
Modern architecture in Melbourne today has a unique and distinct character, compared to other cities I've been in. This is great in that it gives the city an identity.
But a lot of that design and architecture seems to be about flashiness for the sake of being flashy. It
|This project, called Pixel, is proud of the fact that it is capable of operating completely off the grid, generating its own electricity (through wind turbines and solar panels) and water (rain catchment cisterns), etc. Photo ©Darren Bradley
|Photo ©Darren Bradley
Perhaps it's trying to make up for all of those years of conservatism in the past.
|Despite the craziness, I actually thought this building was designed quite well for the interior spaces. It provided a lot of meeting and study spaces, where the students could congregate - no small feat for a vertical campus. Photo ©Darren Bradley
|Photo ©Darren Bradley
It definitely stands out for its restraint. It's sheathed entirely in textured glass disks that can rotate to let in more or less light. The disks remind me of patterned brick from classic mid-century modern buildings like this one in Palm Springs.
Here's another view of the RMIT Design Hub showing the scale.
It's been criticized for its scale and lack of street presence, but I like the building quite a bit and appreciate it how it contrasts to its crazier counterparts in the neighborhood. It expresses a confidence, maturity, and peacefulness that the other designs seem to lack.
|They are watching you. Photo ©Darren Bradley
My dislike for post-modern architecture is pretty widely known (at least by people who know me), but I have to say that I do appreciate the whimsy of some of the post-modern designs that seem to be everywhere in Melbourne these days. They are fun. And some of them really work, functionally (like that RMIT building).
|Triangles are the new rectangles. Woods Bagot designed this building along the rail corridor of Southern Cross Station in the Docklands for NAB. I actually quite liked this one. It has a nice presence. Photo ©Darren Bradley
For more photos of Melbourne, please see my previous blog entry here.