Lucy Lever-Brine

The Proscenium

The disparate yet overwhelmingly serious nature of the University of Melbourne’s current buildings brings into question how a new building can be identified as one uniquely belonging to the University on the blank canvas that is the Fishermans Bend site in Port Melbourne. As the University’s brand is predominantly expressed through language, characteristics deemed to be most important to strongly establish the new Campus Hub in the new campus skyline must be interpreted abstractly to achieve a framework upon which an architectural design may emerge.

The new Campus Hub will be both physically and symbolically the centre, as well as the defining edge of the new Fishermans Bend Campus, resulting  in a structure that acts as a beacon for the University’s identity as a whole within the newly developed skyline of the Fishermans Bend University Precinct.

Furthermore, this thesis establishes that the University of Melbourne’s brand is primarily identified through its tangible characteristics as a historical, prestigious institution of learning, as well as its values and aspirations for the future. This identification suggests a natural exploration through theories of postmodernism and semiotics, where a palimpsest of historical elements, hybridity, colour, juxtaposition and camp give birth to a design that is engaging and stimulating for both students and visitors.

The Campus Hub design aims to provoke thought about the changing nature of central University of Melbourne buildings in the future and will inspire a more playful approach that no longer needs to take itself so seriously.

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