RMIT Rodda Lane Precinct

Sibling Architecture

RMIT Rodda Lane Precinct forms part of the revitalisation of RMIT University’s public realm, transforming under-utilised spaces into a welcoming learning place. This has been achieved by bringing together a warren of back-of-house laneways and by providing a new focal point to the city campus through the addition of outdoor flexible spaces concurrently considering the rich heritage of the site.

The design centres around two courtyards that become anchors for social activity in the precinct. New custom seating and perforated shade structures are set among planters, along with increased lighting to improve the outdoor student experience. These courtyards are joined by tight narrow laneways with impressive vertical volumes: new seating and lighting in these corridors seek to accentuate these existing spaces while providing new places to dwell. The multiple urban infrastructures allow for diverse spaces and user groups and all of these design strategies contribute to increased campus safety.

Conceptually the design response to the project extends the fabric of the city into the campus, bringing the quintessential laneway experience of Melbourne into the university.

To create a sense of place and cohesion, a strong singular palette was used to provide continuity. Hues of blue, light-grey and white act as a contrasting counter point to the existing palette. The approach to sustainably is holistic with the provision of more green outdoor spaces for people to enjoy in the city.

The project’s materiality is utilitarian, durable, protective and low maintenance providing long-term value for the client. It creates a more usable and activated public domain, increased campus safety and outdoor student experience, through clear and dedicated wayfinding while helping connect the campus in a meaningful way back to the city. 


Furniture and Lighting: custom. Finishes: Adbri Masonry, Anston Architectural.


Photography: Peter Bennetts