RMIT BUILDING 94 TAFE School of Design

Architects: Allan Powell Pty Ltd with Pels Innes Nielson Kosloff

Completed: 1996

Tags Allan Powell

Alan Powell is an alumni of the RMIT Master of Architecture

Architect’s Statement:

Building 94 was built to accommodate the RMIT TAFE School of Design, RMIT TAFE Library and other associated facilities and comprises of 7,350 sq. m. useable floor area, in a building of 10,200 sq. m. gross. The building allows the existing programs run by the RMIT TAFE School of Design to expand their student numbers and facilitates the creation of new programs. It has been designed to accommodate the increasing high technology demands of courses and the increased level of integration between RMIT TAFE and RMIT’s of higher education facilities. The project was funded by the OFTE in order to create a centre of design excellence at the TAFE level of education in Melbourne. It will compete with other centres already established in Adelaide and Perth.

The building is a six-level building comprising a basement and five upper levels. Basement, ground and first floors fully cover the site and the upper floors are set back as a single entity. A setback of 6m to the north and a light well have been utilised on the upper floors to maximise the amount of natural light available to the building. As a result most classrooms have external windows and views.

Architecturally the building can be read as a composition of four distinct elements – a hovering mosaic tile element on Cardigan Street standing on black crystal legs; the main body of the building rising full height; the service core to the south; and an intersecting stair rising between the other three elements.

From Cardigan Street, the building is designed with a number of different entry points to the various users of the building. The main entry serves the ground floor while a major external stair gives access to the first and second floor. This gives each of the major users in the building a street address.

The ground and first floor on Cardigan Street are treated as expansively as possible. The wheel chair access is treated as a colonnade, the Department of Visual Merchandising’s shopwindows are placed facing Cardigan Street. The structural columns visible on the street are treated sculpturally. The facade on the first floor facing Cardigan Street is tiled in two different glass mosaic tiles – a grey putty colour over the shopwindow, aqua green over the School of Design’s gallery.
RMIT Building 94
Architects: Allan Powell Pty Ltd with Pels Innes Nielson Kosloff
RAIA Vic Chapter Award of Merit, Institutional New Public Buildings

Building 94
Architects: Allan Powell Pty Ltd with Pels Innes Nielson Kosloff
Doug Evans, Editor
Aardvark, Vol 3,
RMIT Publishing, 1996