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Menzies Building problems

Picking up Monash student zine. Lot's Wife, the other day, I learned that the big rectangular centrepiece of the Clayton campus is in a bad way. The Menzies building was constructed in the early '60s, and is now frustrating inhabitants because of trouble with its lifts, circulation bottlenecks, escalators, sewerage leaks, and facade leaks. Workers on the top floors face a daily trudge up 14 floors of stairs.

Jonathan Burke in Lot's Wife reports that $30M is be injected into the building to extend it life by 50 years. He thinks it would be better to transform the Egglestons-designed Menzies into landfill and build a new building that functions. Conrad Hamann's research reveals that the Eggleston design was merely fitting into a tight space previously determined in the McCutcheon masterplan. "Monash was conceived in an era of carefree independence from public transport, so that in each of Osborn McCutcheon's master plans the car parks grew larger and the buildings were squeezed into a tighter arc." The briefing process for the architects must have been made slightly tricky as they , "were told not to take instruction from the individual [humanities] departments then forming".

Wolfgang Sievers' photos
The Best Laid Plans by Conrad Hamann

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