RMIT University’s AV facility provides for the loan and servicing of equipment to RMIT students and staff. In recent years its role has expanded from simply servicing the school of Architecture and Design to providing for the university as a whole. The location of AV Loans – down the corridor somewhere in building eight – presented a challenge in terms of its visibility, both within the building, but also in the context of the university.

The design addresses this challenge in several ways. The use of translucent wall lining produces a ‘glowing’ volume to ensure visibility from the lift lobby, and the loans desk, developed from the letters A and V, and built from compressed recycled paper infused with resin, provides a unique visual signature for the facility so that users can mentally map it within the university as a whole.

Internally, the various activity zones (loans, receiving, storage, and work) have been mapped and arranged to ensure optimal adjacencies between uses, minimising crossing of circulation paths. The subsequent space is elegantly simple, flexible and easy to use.

Similarly, while the exterior of the space is highly customised to ensure visual identity/way finding, furniture and facilities within the space are provided with ‘off the shelf’ solutions to ensure maximum adaptability to future requirements. This strategy allows for the new fit-out of the AV Loans facility to remain useable for a long period of time in the face of changing requirements within the university environment.

The AV Loans facility demonstrates how even a small project can be highly individual and identifiable while meeting stringent performance and functional requirements.