RMIT University’s new urban sport and recreational pop-up designed by Peter Elliott Architecture + Urban Design is bringing a vacant spot in Melbourne’s CBD to life.

Officially opened today by RMIT Vice-Chancellor and President, Professor Margaret Gardner AO, RMIT’s A’Beckett Urban Square is a $1.2 million project that has temporarily transformed a former car park into a space available for RMIT students and staff, as well as the wider Melbourne community, to enjoy.

This includes new multi-use sports courts, contemporary landscaping features, barbeque facilities, table tennis, WiFi and bike parking.

Professor Gardner says the 2,800sqm public space is part of the continued revitalisation of the RMIT Quarter of the CBD.

“RMIT has invested more than $700 million in capital works across our campuses in recent years, fostering outstanding design and creating spaces that surprise and inspire,” she says.

“While RMIT A’Beckett Urban Square triples sporting facilities for staff and students on our City campus, it is a space that also welcomes the whole community.”

Located behind RMIT’s Swanston Academic Building, the site will also feature a specially commissioned large-scale artwork by contemporary Melbourne artist Ash Keating.

Titled Natural System Response, the work provides an encompassing backdrop for the space, with verdant green representing an urban forest, and searing red the desert landscape.

The pop-up will occupy the site temporarily, with the site flagged for future development by RMIT. As a result, a pragmatic approach to the design has been taken, with demountable construction emphasised.

Photography by Tony Owczarek and Ash Keating. Source: Peter Elliott Architecture + Urban Design