Like thousands of eyes staring back at you, the 17,000 sandblasted glass disks that comprise the eight-storey facade of the Royal Melbourne Institute of Technology Design Hub have ulterior motives. The operable modules pivot on a complex framework to filter the sunlight that enters the building, where students from a variety of disciplines, including fashion and aeronautical engineering, commingle in warehouse-type class-rooms. But the windows are also a testing ground. The school will retrofit or replace them as solar energy technologies advance, boosting the building’s energy efficiency and enabling it to adapt to future sustainability needs.
RMIT Design Hub