But Oh! That Deep Romantic Chasm Which Slanted
RMIT University, Master of Architecture, Graduate Project 2012
Supervisors: Michael Spooner & Peter Knight
This project offers hope for the abandoned walls of the Argus Building, once home to the prestigious Argus newspaper. It sought to widen the influence of the built streetscape of RMIT University’s Swanston Street precinct, composed of Building Eight by Edmond & Corrigan and Storey Hall by ARM. The emotiveness of both buildings is directed along Little La Trobe Street onto and through the Argus Building’s formidable façade. Slicing through the brick and stone a space is released behind the neglected façade to form a grand urban foyer that services an auditorium, gymnasium, wellness centre, public baths and hotel.
This gesture establishes a new surface within the Argus’ dormant walls which results in a space only glimpsed at by the street. At the edges of this interior, the surface is lifted to reveal structural columns that sweep down to form wide steps, whilst above windows playfully describe the Venetian passage of pattern, colour and light.
The deliberate spatial progression of layers through the building and conveyed by architectural elements, deliberate vistas within and around the building, and a play between interior and exterior space continue the theatricality of Building Eight and Storey Hall, whilst daring to imagine the pleasure of architecture.