Interiors Award

Interior award – Ashton Raggatt McDougall

This is an article from the Architecture Australia archives and may use outdated formatting

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Spiral stair form the ground floor to the foyer. Image: John Gollings

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.

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First floor foyer in the new annex. Image: John Gollings

Jury Verdict 
The new interior of Storey Hall is memorable and provocative. It is a well planned, thoughtful and consistent elaboration of space, detail, material and colour. Decoration has been brought back into architecture. This radical, exciting folly will be an inspiration for youth and the public will be challenged into re-examining architecture. It is an experimental project that seeks to contribute in a positive way to the intellectual outcomes of the university. The integration with the old buildings works well and there is a complete and consistent expression of the interior concept.

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Looking out to Swanston Street through the ‘Roger Rabbit’ window in the main foyer. Image: John Gollings


ARM Architecture Melbourne
Melbourne, Vic, Australia
Project Team
Stephen Ashton, Howard Raggatt, Neil Masterton, Nigel Fitton, Paul Minifie, John Collins, Poh Raggatt, Grant Roberts, Grant Amon, Tony McPhee, Jan Rippon, Dean Boothroyd, Vivian Mitsogianni
Acoustics Watson Moss Growcott
Bronze artworks Peter De Garis
Builder Hansen Yuncken Melbourne
Building surveyor Bruce Thomas & Associates
Heritage consultant Allom Lovell & Associates
Quantity surveyor Slattery Australia
Services engineer Irwin Johnston & Partners
Structural and civil engineer John Mullen & Partners
Site details
Location Swanston Street,  Melbourne,  Vic,  Australia
Category Commercial / public buildings
Project Details
Status Built
Client RMIT



Published online: 1 Nov 1996


Architecture Australia, November 1996

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