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Major refurbishment caps off 130 years

Photo: Tess Kelly/RMIT University

RMIT is ushering in a new era of innovation and renewal for Melbourne’s northern CBD district with the opening of its newly refurbished City campus buildings on Swanston Street.

Celebrating its 130th year anniversary as a provider of quality, industry-based higher education, RMIT has transformed the heart of its City campus by handing over more than 32,000 square metres of new spaces to the 40,000 students who study there.

The new precinct – called the New Academic Street – includes:

  • Bluestone-paved laneways
  • Glass-covered arcades
  • New food and drink outlets
  • Balconies overlooking Swanston, Bowen and Franklin streets
  • A new-look Swanston Library with 40 per cent more space
  • Four new TV studios as part of an industry-leading media precinct
  • A four-storey all-weather timber garden building

Completed over two and a half years, the refurbished buildings have been reimagined by a consortium of five architecture firms led by Lyons, all headed by RMIT alumni.

Using a sustainable “adaptive reuse” approach, the 1960s campus buildings have been transformed into astonishing new student spaces.

Vice-Chancellor and President Martin Bean CBE said: “A transformative learning environment is a cornerstone of our Ready for Life and Work strategy. The opening of New Academic Street creates an amazing new space where students can learn, thrive, collaborate and cooperate in new ways.

“We’ve created a space where students can learn skills today for the jobs of tomorrow.

“At the same time as building a modern learning environment for our students, we’ve also proudly opened our campus to the world’s most liveable city – cementing our position as one of the very few great education cities in the world.”

The Lord Mayor of Melbourne, Robert Doyle AC, will officially launch New Academic Street.

“This project has further transformed our central city spine, brilliantly connecting the campus with the city centre,” the Lord Mayor said.

“New Academic Street provides a superior environment for students: the word upgrade doesn’t do it justice.

“This is exactly the type of project that we want to see in our Melbourne Innovation Districts: practical and future-focused. Congratulations to Martin Bean CBE and RMIT.”

The City campus upgrade underpins the recently launched Melbourne Innovation Districts – a joint program between RMIT, the City of Melbourne and the University of Melbourne to kick-start innovation in the northern end of the CBD.

Source: RMIT

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