Building 9 is prominently located in the heart of the RMIT University city campus on the corner of Bowen and Franklin Streets. It was constructed as the Radio & Electrical Trades School in two stages from 1937 to 1942 and is on the Victorian Heritage Register. Building 9 forms part of a group of contiguous buildings designed by Percy Everett.
The project involves adding two new floors (levels 4 & 5) as well as providing an overall infrastructure master plan for the whole building. The interior of the building has been treated as “loose-fit” to maximise long term flexibility as the new home for the School of Applied Media & Communication.
The new rooftop extension has been conceived as a companion building, related but of another generation. The new façade hovers over the base building as continuous ribbons of concertinaed spandrels separated by horizontal strip windows.
The interior to levels 4 & 5 provides accommodation for staff and graduate students along with support facilities. It contains a mixture of collaborative work spaces, meeting rooms, individual offices and break-out social spaces. Services have been exposed and generally there are no ceilings so the interior space feels voluminous and dynamic.
“This adept, intelligent and highly resolved addition is an outstanding example of a heritage building’s evolution to meet the practicalities of contemporary (academic) life. The significance of the two-storey addition is especially pronounced in the language of the exterior, which sympathetically reinterprets the spirit of the original.”AIA John George Knight Award Jury, 2010
“The Building 9 rooftop extension extends the purpose of this notable building in a masterful and sensitive way.”AIA Public Architecture Award Jury, 2010