Carlton Connect Initiative

(Carlton Connect Initiative)

Melbourne, Australia


Decibel Architecture



Decibel Architecture prepared a masterplanned and curated design response on behalf of Grocon, incorporating and enhancing the opportunities around the developed Stage A rejuvenation by BVN. dB(A) were the masterplanning architect, coordinating works by DCM, 6 Degrees, BVN and MCR for the upper buildings. Our role linked these together with the 5th building – the Collider Super Space.

dB(A)’s design response to the Carlton Connect Initiative was approached as a collaboration adventure space. Our thinking has placed interaction, inspiration and innovation as the outcome and purpose of the spatial and physical intervention. The architecture and shape making was driven by the ultimate goal of enabling truly great thinkers, doers, makers and shapers to partake in conversation and creation together. We have sought to create both a particle accelerator for knowledge, forming new and unknown opportunities, and a Venturi Chamber for reflection and understanding, focusing and intensifying nascent thoughts, ideas and dreams.

(Particle Accelerators)

Like the particle accelerator that explores the fundamental make-up of our universe, Decibel Architecture sought to create a space that enables new elements, new particles and partnerships and energies to resolve in unique and unknown ways.


The busiest and most iconic gathering spaces in the world, Times Square, Shibuya Crossing, Piccadilly Circus, are not defined by a typical orthogonal grid, but a collision of axis and intersections.

(Proposed Response)

Decibel Architecture reviewed and analysed the ‘laneways and squares’ typology proposed in the original masterplan, finding the proposed connections and planning pull up short on achieving the aspiration of the University’s vision.

We sought to bring this urban planning and connectivity physically and conceptually into line with the vision and purpose of the overall connect precinct.

Our proposition is informed by both literal, and physical experience in creation of interdisciplinary and symbiotic spaces of relationship and learning.

We connect, link and layer through disciplines, absorbing and enhancing the Super Floor proposition, meshing it with an articulated urban plan of cross site linkages driven by precinct needs, and housing a granular ground floor of retail, café, fab lab, incubator, meeting spaces for university and community, gaming and programming rooms, and open spaces oriented around a central spatial driver that is then developed up through the rejuvenated RWH tower.

The Carlton Connect Initiative (CCI) provides the fulcrum on which radical innovation can be leveraged to create transformational outcomes for not just the University of Melbourne, but for the communities, cultures and economies that the University of Melbourne contributes to.

(Distribution of Fluid Disciplines)

We have created a radial structure that shifts levels, lines of sights and linkages to ensure connection and collision is not simply serendipitous, but curated and directed.

We ensure random epiphany is maximised in a space that pairs robots and dancers, music and math, and drives innovation and exploration.

Weaving experience with innocence, research with reconnaissance, our curatorial agendas pair not only like minded, but unlike minded thinking to avoid building ‘comfort space’ narratives.

Dissent, opposition, critique and madness are as welcome in the forum as agreement, alignment and sanity.

‘Where is?’ becomes ‘When is?’. ‘What is?’ becomes ‘Why is?’

(Energy Intensity Mapping)

Our Super Floor collider generates a gradient of intensities
and interactions – from calm, relaxing spaces of reflection and quiet repose at the outer green edges, to the intensified spaces of interaction and collision at the centre, our pedagogy of the accelerator is focused into the heart of the Collider.

The energy and opportunity for input and participation and
interaction at the locus of our spatial layouts creates an
intellectual Venturi effect, enhancing and accelerating thought and imagination.

(Augmented Reality)

To better illustrate the architecture of Carlton Connect, Decibel Architecture developed an AR component that allowed users to view and interact with a 3D model through a tablet or smartphone.