Interior award – Ashton Raggatt McDougall
The Storey Hall project—commissioned by the Royal Melbourne Institute of Technology as one of a portfolio of architecturally experimental additions to its Swanston Street campus— involved substantial interior revisions to two 19th century stone buildings and a connecting ‘annex’ with a colourful, elaborate facade. The interior also is a frenetically decorative expression of the architects’ interpretations of the complexities of current (fin-de-siècle) cultures, progressive scientific concepts (notably Roger Penrose’s mathematics) and past uses of the old buildings. The fitout provides a conference centre with a 750-seat auditorium, five art and exhibition galleries and a basement lecture hall/cinema. The auditorium (in the original Storey Hall) has a new horseshoe balcony inspired by one removed in the 1950s and geometric wall and ceiling patterns said to allude to Walter Burley Griffin’s Capitol Theatre and virtual reality graphics.