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Architecture | Urban Design

RMIT University B100 Pedestrain Improvement Project

Openwork Pty Ltd

Project description

The Building 100 project is an urban intervention responding to a brief to provide a visual and physical deterrent to prevent vehicles from entering the public space at speed. Sceptical of the message that bollards transmit about permission and use in public space, the proposal is not a bollard, but a land-form that invites the body to use it – to sit at its edges, to lie upon it and to gather in groups. The exterior of the piece is smooth – each of its 434 timber battens has been computer milled to form a continuous floating surface that provides prospect to the plaza and the city behind it. Underneath the timber is a steel frame and concrete mass that enable it to work as an impact barrier. The project makes a public space of invitation rather than exclusion and which projects an idea of new civic generosity rather than one of fear or risk mitigation. The project makes a claim for a specifically Melbournian response to what has become a universal and international problem. Rather than operating from a generic position of fear, it instead starts by transmitting an idea of Melbourne’s renowned urban design of occupiable edges. The project sees the urban edge as a space of heightened social adjacency and inclusion. The project also celebrates the idea that it has been designed not for a generic condition, but as a contextual response to its place. The form of the piece is a loving reproduction of an existing paving motif on Sean Godsell’s plaza and is interested not in obscuring but amplifying that language of place.

Project details
Location:Melbourne Australia
Studio NameOpenwork Pty Ltd
Lead designerMark Jacques
Design teamBen Kronenberg, Dylan Gilmore, Elizabeth Herbert, Marijke Davey, Mark Jacques
Photography creditsPeter Bennetts
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