A shortlisted international competition to design a new building for the Faculty of Architecture, Building and Design for the University of Melbourne.
The proposed building is a neutral and flexible work in progress that is more about an idea than a finished product. To accommodate pedagogical changes over time and variations in studio-based education and teaching programs, a highly flexible warehouse for learning was proposed. It comprises simple rectilinear, undifferentiated space shaped by functional demands, site conditions and sustainability imperatives.
With regard to form and expression, as a place of teaching architecture, the building must express an essential defining characteristic that is about idea and content rather than style. We proposed clothing the building with an environmental skin or veil. Its effect is to give visual expression to the simplest of architectural forms – the box – with an imagery that is simultaneously neutral, powerful and expressive. The skin embodies the essence of architecture: form, articulation, volume, containment, solidity, transparency, structure and surface.