MIT The Argus Building
Inside the shell of the former Argus newspaper building is the new flagship campus for Melbourne Institute of Technology (MIT). The generous spatial qualities of this 1920s building offered a unique opportunity to create a landmark learning environment, equalling the Argus’s iconic city street presence on the corner of La Trobe and Elizabeth streets.
Our vision was to restore the heritage-listed Beaux-Arts façade, while connecting ground level to the street with retail and other interactive uses. Internally, a diverse program of light-filed spaces includes: lecture theatres, library and learning commons, computer laboratories, offices, meeting rooms and ground floor retail.
The existing structure enabled spaces of different size and volume to be designed with great purpose and effect. The first-floor mezzanine with its triple-volume breakout spaces, combines with internal landscape and enclosed teaching spaces, to offer an active learning and research centre, embraced by heritage walls.
A diverse palette of materials and colours integrates the old building program with the new, in a hierarchy of textures and visual cues that respond to innate human behaviours. As with many adaptive re-use projects, highly specific problems required new solutions to be found. Innovations in the Argus Building included:
- A ground-level investigation of hazardous material with an encapsulating structural solution
- Fire-engineered atrium solution, connecting vertically across eight levels
- Twin lecture theatre with central operable wall to allow face-to-face 300-seat activities
- Harvard-style lecture theatre and a range of interactive teaching spaces
Melbourne Institute of Technology
The perfect combination of environmental design, technology and comfort. with a state-of-the-art library and learning commons and expansive learning environments that can merge into a single space.