Part of the University of Melbourne, the Ormond College common rooms – situated in a historical building – were rather run down due to under utilization and little to no upkeep. Nest Architects were chosen from a number of architecture practices to renovate the rooms, and create an inviting space for students to eat, drink, relax and have a chat. ‘The problem was the size of the rooms which made them rather intimidating,’ says Emilio Fuscaldo from Nest. The vision was simpl: provide the students with various spaces, design a number of seating areas that feel like separate islands, and break down the formality of the large hall without losing its grandeur. Nest Architects re-oriented the large room from the long axis to smaller spaces that go across the room, separated by communal seating areas, private booths and a raised platform. Now, the hall features different areas to study, hang-out and have informal meetings, each with their own identity. Some quirky elements in the space include a hanging sculpture made from rowing oars, used desks which have been converted into tables complete with graffiti, and a tiled bar and booth seating.