RMIT Building 512 Computer Laboratories

The Computer Lab Consolidation project for RMIT University is located on the Brunswick Campus, which offers programs in fashion, textiles, electronic publishing and printing. The main objective of the project was to consolidate and extend the existing computer laboratory spaces within the Campus.

At the same time there was an opportunity to adopt a considered approach to the overall spatial environment and reorganise the large adjacent knitting mill studio that accommodates hand crafted textile based classes.

Located in an existing refurbished saw tooth building, the new computer laboratory spaces are an insertion within a larger volume of space. One of the key design considerations was to tie in with the existing industrial nature of the space through the use of materials.

The main bounding wall is lined with oriented strand board which was chosen for its industrial aesthetic, warmth and textural quality. It provides a focal backdrop to the large open plan knitting mill studio and its warm timber grain contrasts against the painted brick walls.

The new linking corridors between the old and new computer laboratory areas provide large glazed windows to the adjacent knitting barn area. The visual link provides the students with greater exposure to related classes running concurrently, and also to the hand crafted elements of the industry. The design incorporates translucent strip windows and feature lights that start at floor level and ‘wrap’ across the ceiling. The resultant space continually transforms, weaving both natural and artificial light to optimal effect.