Victoria University City West Academic Precinct
Lt Lonsdale Street, Melbourne
Victoria University ’s strategic plan “Excellent Engaged and Accessible ” had, as one of its key pillars, the development of a consolidated city campus at its Queen Street site.
Jackson Architecture’s Master Plan and tower responds to this. Our vision proposed a new identity for the University by enlisting the former Land Titles Office (LTO) (the Mitchell Building) as its public face. Set back behind the heritage front, we proposed the existing LTO vaults be adaptively reused and two to four additional levels be added to create a new landmark building and student hub.
We proposed that new campus space be added in the form of a tower across Little Lonsdale Street, behind the Former Records Building and restored Vault, refurbished in 2004 to accommodate Victoria University Law Library.
Each newly proposed addition integrates with the surrounding historic fabric and are conceived as individually readable elements that relate to each other whilst respecting the public face of Queen Street.
Strategic move for viable Building Footprint
A key strategic design move was the relocation of Sampson Lane that ran north south on the tower site, dividing Victoria’s 1919 Womens VD clinic and the 1928 TB Bureau. Moving the lane to the eastern edge created a building footprint of viable size.
Addressing the Human Scale
At the ground level, the form is undercut to embrace a new laneway for the city (that replaces an existing one). It serves as a pedestrian pathway that connects the new tower to the Victoria University premises on the corner of Queen Street and Little Lonsdale Street.
Where the east side of the building meets the new Victoria University Library across the public lane, the facade is recessed to “receive the library mass”, and allow morning sun to enter the public space.