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4 min readMay 1, 2021

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I love John Wardle architects.

I looked up MSD and found out how it has won a series of awards. While I think there’s lots of innovative and aesthetic greatness to the design there’s also some significant designs flaws to it.

Cons:

  • The blue glassed computer room on level 1- its location being in the centre of the building gives it no opportunity for easy access to windows — for sound proof reasons maybe and because it’s a ‘room’ afterall there aren’t even inviting looking sliding doors to open up to the atrium at least - computers generate a lot heat in there — it’s an archi building and people usually sit in front of computers for long hours, the room is not suitable for lengthy usage — the ventilation there is crap — after a few hours I literally feel slightly dizzy and my brain power quickly drops to low there because of the crappy ventilation.
  • Same goes for the MSD library at the basement— the ventilation there OMG.
  • Apparently the big window there at the atrium can open in full — but since it’s so big when it gets windy it has the full capability to blow off everyone’s work I heard — Melb’s weather is unpredictable so it’s not very easy and manageable to just leave it open for long times — they just open it about once or twice a year to vent the building apparently but .. that sounds kinda useless lol? — I appreciate the idea and design of it but the open up feature hasn’t been of practical usage. Even then it’s still functional as a big window. Usage wise and aesthetic wise, it’s great, so I give it that.
  • The stairs on the side of the building between lvl 1 and 2 and upwards are awkwardly kind of short. It’s not very comfortable I would assume for some people. It’s not step to step friendly. Its unfamilar form will get people auto-adjust their pace and step size to it with awareness. However, for me at least, when I have to fast-go-down (when I walk-run) the stairs it feels very safe and easy because it’s so shallow.
  • The stairs between the ground level and level 1 is pretty high. Due the typography, allocation of the gallery and library, and design of the building it just ended up that way. Maybe they dug up the ground… for th design too? Anyways, it’s so high that I feel too lazy to walk up it or even down it at times. Same goes for a lot of other people. THERE ARE SO MANY PEOPLE WHO JUST TAKES ONE OF THE THREE LIFTS TO GET UP TO LEVEL 1. Honestly, a waste of electricity. They could’ve designed it more sneakily and use a ramp of some sort in some way (I can think of so many ways), use a semi-spiral stair design to make it look less steep while still going for the same height, or just locate the stairs where the land is closer to level 1? — due to the uneven nature of the land yes they had the opportunity to place the stairs more towards the side. One time I went to the lifts and this guy was like ‘pfft did they just take the stairs up for one level’ (and since then he has made me kinda conscious of going up one level.. but I DO IT ANYWAY).. dude do you know how big the campus is, distance of swantson street trams (after all that travelling), and all other sides of the building .. what are the likeliness of people coming from very nearby the building lol??? Think total travel times. After all that another steep hike up to level one is not a very nice idea. I mean even with nothing, a steep hike does not look very appealing.. the contrast to the lifts is too great in my eyes at least.
  • The glass floor element of the MSD probably costed quite a bit. However it does not stand out at all at the atrium level or at the ground floor. It’s pretty much invisible. Even if I walk on it I feel nothing because the design shape is pretty humble and it’s kinda blurry. I feel nothing. Maybe someone with greater fear of heights can feel it more. But even in a design aesthetic perspective, it really doesn’t add much at all. It’s out on the floor but also so invisible feeling. Maybe it’s because I haven’t spent much of my time at the atrium to feel it. Maybe it provides some variance and a sense of extra lightness to the all wood floor? But when it’s all covered with chairs, tables and people, walking from one end to another or even sitting at the atrium, you don’t feel it’s presence much. Maybe when they hold exhibitions and the floor is more cleared out it’s better but even then I don’t think it’s of significant value. As a little feature it’s worthwhile, but if it costed a lot of the budget then maybe not.

Pros

  • so many
  • lol
  • it’s pretty endless
  • it’s multifunctional in so many ways. user friendly in so many ways. environmentally aware in so many ways.
  • it’s delicately detailed in so many ways.

Overall, it’s still a very very very good building. There’s a lot more of good things I can say about it. It’s pretty obvious that a lot of thought have been put into the design into making it a very practical and user friendly space.

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the way i spoke. believe in love.