Melbourne’s new RMIT Swanston Academic Building features a sparkling facade that is modeled after a pixelated image of its neighbors! Designed by Lyons Architecture, the pyramid-scaled building is fused with an existing historic red brick building on the university’s campus.
It’s only fitting that a university specializing in technology and design would have a building inspired by a digital measurement – the pixel. The sprawling Swanston Academic Building is a pixelated reflection of the cityscape surrounding it, and with a squint of the eye the scene seems to blend seamlessly.
The Swanston Academic Building’s walls are clad with curved and folded surfaces and “pixel” scales that lend 2 dimensional and 3 dimensional properties to different edges of the structure. In some parts, the scales jut out, revealing a glass curtain beneath which filters in daylight without interrupting the design of the façade.
Inside, the space functions as both classroom and social area. Double-height lobbies invite students and guests to mingle, do homework, or take a rest in between classes. The pixelated theme is carried through to the interior spaces as well – many feature the same scales used on the façade. Bright colors, geometric furniture, and flexible spaces make many of the floors accessible to both small classes and larger lectures. The RMIT Swanston Academic Building is an innovative learning pavilion that exemplifies the coursework taught inside.