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Mediating the Message

Prominent, permeable and transparent, the Media House symbolises a new media age. Text by Stephen Crafti.

Mediating the Message


August 24th, 2010

Media House, designed by Bates Smart, has now emerged from its prominent site on Spencer Street, Melbourne.

Home to a range of Fairfax Group including The Age, The Australian Financial Review, Rural Press, The Melbourne Weekly, various community newspapers and radio station 3AW, the seven level building provides a striking counterpoint to Southern Cross Station directly opposite.

“Southern Cross Station, with its wave-like roof, juxtaposes with our more geometrical design. Both buildings also traverse the railway tracks,” says architect Roger Poole, Chairman of Bates Smart, who worked closely with interior designers Jeffery Copolov, Grant Filipoff and Rachael McCarthy. 

Unlike the previous Age building, designed in the 1970s, this new building is transparent.

With fortress-like brown brick walls, the earlier building had outgrown its use.

“That office building also originally housed the printing press. It was a different form of media when that building was designed,” says Poole.

In contrast, Media House literally brings the public into the building.

For the full text turn to page 112 of Indesign #42 on newsstands now.

Photography by John Gollings

media house bates smart


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